Noted Heart Surgeon Petracek Joins Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Michael R. Petracek, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon currently practicing with Cardiovascular Surgery Associates and the Saint Thomas Heart Institute, and one of

Nashville’s leading heart surgeons for over 20 years, is leaving Saint Thomas Hospital to join the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a full-time clinical professor of Surgery in the Department of Cardiac Surgery.

Dr. Petracek is scheduled to move his clinical and surgical practice from
Saint Thomas to VUMC on Jan. 15, 2006.

“Dr. Petracek has a long relationship with Vanderbilt, and is coming back to practice here. He will be a tremendous asset to the Medical Center ,” said Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice-chancellor for Health Affairs. “His return is especially welcome at a time when we are experiencing tremendous growth with our Department of Cardiac Surgery.”

Petracek received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1971 and underwent residency training at Vanderbilt from 1975 through 1981. He has been a member of VUMC’s faculty as an assistant clinical professor of Cardiac Surgery since 1983.

“Dr. Petracek brings to Vanderbilt a wealth of expertise in heart surgery, particularly in the area of stentless aortic valve surgery and minimally invasive mitral valve surgery,” said John G. Byrne, M.D., the William S. Stoney Jr. professor and chairman of the Department of Cardiac Surgery.

“We look forward to Mike joining our growing Cardiac Surgery program, not only for his clinical expertise, but also to avail ourselves of his tremendous knowledge to help train VUMC’s surgery residents to become the next generation of the nation’s leading cardiac surgeons.”

“I’ve been on Vanderbilt’s faculty since 1983 and while I’ve been at

Saint Thomas, it has been my pleasure to work with Vanderbilt’s residents and to participate in educational conferences at Vanderbilt Hospital ,” Petracek said. “Now I am moving my practice to Vanderbilt and hope to be instrumental in advancing the collaboration between Vanderbilt,
Saint Thomas , and the Ascension Health System.”

Petracek says the change of venue for his practice evolved out of a growing desire to bring further collaboration between two of
Nashville ‘s top heart programs. Petracek and Byrne have realized many common interests and a commitment to develop a heart valve referral center they hope will become one of the nation’s finest.

“I hope that by sharing my expertise and 24 years of experience in cardiothoracic surgery, especially valve surgery, it will bring another perspective to the residency training program at Vanderbilt. John and I have discussed our common goals and I look forward to working closely with him, starting with the establishment of a nationally recognized valve referral center,” Petracek said.

In addition to his surgical proficiency, Petracek also brings many long-term relationships with referring physicians throughout Middle Tennessee and the neighboring states of



Alabama and
Louisiana .

In addition to being one of the region’s top heart valve and heart rhythm surgeons, Petracek shares a significant place in Nashville’s medical history as a member of the team of surgeons at Saint Thomas Hospital who performed Nashville’s first adult heart transplant. His interest in valve surgery resulted in the first implantation in the of both the St. Jude stentless aortic porcine valve, as well as their newest Regent mechanical valve.

“I am so excited not only to have this opportunity to contribute to the Vanderbilt residency training program, but also to achieve some of the personal goals that I have to optimize patient care and to advance the future of heart valve surgery,” Petracek said.

Media Contact:
John Howser (615) 322-4747