Widely-known heart surgeon to join faculty at UMass Medical School

January 2, 2002

Worcester, Mass. - Stephen J. Lahey, MD, has been appointed chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery in the department of surgery at UMass Memorial Health Care and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Dr. Lahey is an eminent academic surgeon whose accomplishments are well known in this region," said Dana K. Andersen, MD, chair of the department of surgery at UMass Memorial Health Care and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Dr. Lahey has achieved outstanding clinical results as a cardiac surgery chief, and I'm extremely pleased that he will be taking this important leadership role at UMass Memorial."

As chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UMass Memorial, Lahey will be administratively and operationally responsible for one of the busiest and most complex surgical services at UMass Memorial, encompassing clinical procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery, cardiac valve repair and replacement, and a host of newer procedures such as "off-pump" bypass surgery and ventricular assist and cardiac transplantation procedures. Cardiac surgeons at UMass Memorial performed the first heart transplant in Massachusetts outside Boston in February 2001.

Lahey comes to UMass Memorial from a position as chief of cardiac surgery at Tenet Healthcare's Worcester Medical Center. From 1987 to 2000, he was an assistant professor of surgery at the Harvard Medical School, and was promoted to associate professor of surgery in 2000, practicing as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center hospitals in Boston. Trained at Brigham & Women's Hospital, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Lahey is the author of more than three dozen articles in medical journals; his 1998 analysis of readmission after "fast track" cardiac surgery is widely cited as contributing to more effective post surgical management. Dr. Lahey is currently on the executive committee of The Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, a consortium of cardiac centers recognized internationally for having changed the practice of cardiac surgery through the systematic collection and analysis of clinical outcome data.

"I am looking forward to helping make UMass Memorial Health Care the premier health care system in New England for cardiothoracic surgery," said Dr. Lahey. "As a Worcester native, I am particularly pleased to be practicing in central Massachusetts, and I appreciate UMass Memorial's continued commitment to the most advanced care."

Lahey is a graduate of St. John's in Shrewsbury and the College of the Holy Cross; he earned a master's degree at Boston College in 1973 and his medical degree from the Tufts University School of Medicine in 1979.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country, attracting more than $123 million in research funding annually. A perennial top ten finisher in the annual US News & World Report ranking of primary care medical schools, UMMS comprises a medical school, graduate school of nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences and an active research enterprise, and is a leader in health sciences education, research and public service.

UMass Memorial Health Care is central Massachusetts' largest not-for-profit health care delivery system, covering the complete health care continuum with teaching hospitals, affiliated community hospitals, freestanding primary care practices, ambulatory outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, a rehabilitation group and mental health services. UMass Memorial is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Alison Duffy, 508-856-2000

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