MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine is pleased to announce that Vinay Badhwar, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.C.C., will serve as the executive chair of the newly formed West Virginia University (WVU) Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Badhwar is internationally recognized as a master cardiac valve surgeon and a team-builder with extensive cardiovascular healthcare leadership experience. Badhwar will lead cardiovascular services for WVU Medicine.

The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute will be headquartered in the new $200 million, 10-story tower on WVU Medicine’s main campus in Morgantown, scheduled to open in January 2017. The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute will additionally be home to WVU Medicine’s statewide efforts in cardiovascular quality and research, clinical education, outreach, and statewide program development. WVU Medicine plans to open outpatient clinics affiliated with the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute across West Virginia and surrounding regions to complement the existing outpatient clinics in Fairmont, Elkins, Grafton, and Bridgeport.

“We’re putting the West Virginia spirit to work by expanding our expertise in the area of advanced heart and vascular care for the people of West Virginia. Dr. Badhwar’s inaugural role as the executive chairman of our cardiovascular service line will help us further transform all of WVU Medicine as a destination for people across the United States who need our advanced specialty services,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and chief executive officer of West Virginia University Hospitals and WVU Medicine’s chief operating officer, said.

“I know Dr. Badhwar to not only be an outstanding technical surgeon specializing in complex heart valve repair but also as a national leader in cardiovascular medicine with experience in unifying multi-disciplinary providers around the introduction of innovative technology while achieving the highest quality outcomes for patients. We intend to fully support the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute to become a top referral center in the United States for complex heart and vascular healthcare.”

Badhwar currently serves as the chief of cardiac surgery at the University of Pittsburgh’s Presbyterian Hospital and director of cardiac surgery for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Heart and Vascular Institute. A national expert in complex mitral valve repair, atrial fibrillation surgery, minimally invasive valve surgery, and robotic surgery, Badhwar is that institution’s current director of the multi-disciplinary Center for Mitral Valve Disease, co-director of the Center for Atrial Fibrillation, and director of minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery.

He has lectured worldwide in the areas of mitral valve repair and atrial fibrillation surgery and holds several prominent leadership positions in national cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology organizations. Badhwar is a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, the Heart Valve Society, and the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery.

An accomplished clinical researcher and innovator, Badhwar is widely published, holds several patents, and is a member of the editorial boards of The Journal of Heart Valve Disease and The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Badhwar will serve as the Gordon F. Murray Professor and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.

“Dr. Badhwar is one of the best cardiac surgeons in the United States. The fact that we could recruit him to WVU Medicine is a big win for the state and a game-changer for our ability to care for people with complex heart and vascular diseases,” Clay Marsh, M.D., vice president and executive dean of West Virginia University Health Sciences, said. “By building a team of experts led by such a noted individual, WVU Medicine is taking a bold step to ensure the citizens of West Virginia can proudly get access to the nation’s best heart and vascular care possible, right here in our state.”

“I am deeply honored to come to the proud state of West Virginia to lead this important new venture with the fine team at WVU Medicine. With the collaboration of superb colleagues in cardiology and surgery and with the full strategic and fiscal support of WVU Medicine, I embrace its clear direction to build a comprehensive heart and vascular institute focused on innovation and advanced therapy,” Badhwar said.

“I am further humbled by the opportunity to follow the legacy of Dr. Gordon Murray as we strive to unify cardiovascular care providers across the state on a mission of quality and multi-institutional access to nation-leading expertise focused primarily on improving the cardiovascular healthcare of the people of West Virginia. Together, WVU Medicine and its collaborators will rapidly become a nationally recognized provider of advanced heart and vascular care.”

“Dr. Badhwar’s global reputation and thought leadership in the area of valvular heart disease will transform heart care in West Virginia and enable us to expand our research into heart and vascular disease at West Virginia University,” Judie Charlton, M.D., chief medical officer of WVU Medicine-West Virginia University Hospitals, said. “We are truly fortunate to have been able to recruit someone of his stature to lead one of our most critical signature programs.”

With more than 12,000 employees and nearly $2 billion in annual revenues, WVU Medicine is West Virginia’s premier academic health system and provider of advanced specialty care. WVU Medicine includes the specialists, sub-specialists, and primary care physicians of West Virginia University (through its affiliated faculty practices in Morgantown, Charleston, and Martinsburg); the WVU Cancer Institute; the WVU Eye Institute; the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute; and seven West Virginia hospitals and their affiliated practices and clinics, including Ruby Memorial Hospital, United Hospital Center, Camden Clark Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Potomac Valley Hospital, Berkeley Medical Center, and Jefferson Medical Center. WVU Medicine also includes dozens of medical offices and a diverse network of affiliated organizations. To learn more, visit WVUMedicine.org.

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For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, Manager of Media Relations, 304-293-7087