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by Kathy Whitney | Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 2:11 PM
John G. Byrne, M.D., William S. Stoney Jr. Professor of Cardiac Surgery and chair of the department, is stepping down from his position to become the chief of Cardiac Surgery and the vice president of Surgical Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He becomes the Lawrence H. Cohn Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, effective April 1, 2013.
For Byrne, it will be a homecoming of sorts. From 1998 to 2004 he was the associate chief and residency program director in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, having completed a research fellowship and chief residency there.
He came to Nashville and Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute in 2004, at which time he presented a detailed plan of how to grow the Department of Cardiac Surgery.
“Dr. Byrne has made significant contributions toward the success of the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. Under his leadership, our Department of Cardiac Surgery has grown into one of the nation’s dominant programs both in terms of innovation and surgical volumes. We will miss his leadership and wish him well in this new role,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.
Last year, the Department of Cardiac Surgery experienced its highest case volume to date with 1,245 adult cardiac surgeries. Under Byrne’s leadership, Vanderbilt became the first hospital in the region to open a hybrid OR, which offers a novel approach to cardiac surgery. He helped establish Vanderbilt’s trans-catheter aortic valve replacement program (TAVR), ensuring that Vanderbilt was one of the sites for the Medtronic CoreValve clinical trial.
“John Byrne has been an outstanding leader of the Cardiac Surgery department. His leadership was key to transitioning our cardiac services into the integrated Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., John Clinton Foshee Distinguished Chair in Surgery.
“He recruited outstanding surgeons in both adult and pediatric cardiac surgery and almost tripled the surgical volumes. We wish Dr. Byrne great success in his new position.”
One of the accomplishments Byrne is most proud of is building a collaborative relationship between cardiac surgery and cardiology.
“We built a team and an integrated care delivery system with a sense of shared purpose, shared vision and shared goals,” he said.
“We changed the paradigm of how to take care of patients. The transformational event was not the hybrid OR or even TAVR. It was the way we worked together.”
Beauchamp said he will be assembling a search committee to identify the new chair to replace Byrne.
Kathy Whitney, (615) 322-4747
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