UCMC opens new Heart and Vascular Center

The center has been in development for the past 13 years and will employ over 40 faculty experts.

By Katherine Vega

The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) officially launched the long-awaited Heart and Vascular Center earlier this month. This venture will employ more than 40 faculty experts in the fields of cardiology, cardiac surgery, and vascular surgery. The center will be headed by UCMC Medical Director James Liao, Surgical Director Valluvan Jeevanandam, and Chief of Vascular Surgery Christopher Skelly.

Liao said the creation of the center was the joint effort of Pritzker Medical School Dean Kenneth Polonsky, UCMC President Sharon O’Keefe, Jeevanandam, Skelly, and himself.

“[The Heart and Vascular Center] has been in development in various forms, over the past 13 years,” Liao wrote in an e-mail. “It gained momentum with my arrival at the University of Chicago in August of 2012, and was finally developed (infrastructure and strategic plan) over the past two years.”

Liao added that the new center will “facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration in a disease-centric approach to patient care, improve coordination of care and…patient experience, and optimize efficiency, eliminate redundancy, and reduce costs.”

In a previous statement on the UCMC website before the launch of the center, Liao wrote that “we are building toward a new home [with the] University of Chicago Heart and Vascular Institute, which will include: inpatient and outpatient facilities, physician offices, a multimodality imaging center, a digital classroom and a translational research center (with adjacency to basic science laboratories).”

According to the UCMC website, more than 40 percent of Americans are expected to have some sort of cardiovascular disease by 2030. —Katherine Vega