Special expertise in minimally invasive surgery and geriatric cardiac surgery expands cardiothoracic surgery services at region’s academic medical center

August 8, 2002

WORCESTER, Mass.— Adam E. Saltman, MD, PhD,  and Nicola A. Francalancia, MD, have joined the division of cardiothoracic surgery in the department of surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center.  Saltman, who comes to UMass Memorial from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Francalancia, who comes to Worcester from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, will expand the range of services offered in the division, according to cardiothoracic surgery division chief Stephen J. Lahey, MD.

“We are delighted to welcome Drs. Saltman and Francalancia to UMass Memorial,” said Dr. Lahey.  “Their particular skills will be a valuable complement to the cardiac surgery services currently in place and growing at UMass Memorial.”

The two surgeons join Lahey, Christian T. Campos, MD, and O. Nsidinanya Okike, MD, in the division of cardiothoracic surgery at UMass Memorial.   “Cardiac surgery at UMass Memorial has long been a premier service for the people of the region,” said Lahey.  “As Tom Vander Salm, who developed the cardiothoracic surgical service here more than twenty years ago, departs to build a cardiothoracic surgery program elsewhere,  we’re very pleased with the extraordinary skills and clinical capabilities our new colleagues bring.”

Vander Salm, the former division chief, was recruited in December 2001 to develop a new cardiac surgery service at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts in conjunction with Mass General Hospital. 

Saltman, a graduate of Harvard University (AB) and Columbia University, from which he earned a master’s and doctorate in pharmacology and his medical degree, was a resident, research fellow and chief resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston before taking an appointment as assistant professor of surgery at SUNY Stony Brook in New York. There, he directed cardiothoracic surgery education, and served as director of surgical electrophysiology.  In addition to an active clinical practice, Saltman investigated the genetic changes wrought by cardiac atrial fibrillation, and studied a polymer film being developed to deliver anti-inflammatory medicine directly to the heart in order to prevent atrial fibrillation.  

The author of  more than  two dozen scientific journal articles, book chapters and presentations, Saltman, a native of Queens, New York, will reside in Westborough.

Francalancia, a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with degrees in engineering (BS) and bioengineering (MS), and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,  trained at the University of Toronto, the University of Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt University, before completing cardiothoracic surgery training at Deaconess Hospital in Boston in 1997. From there, he took a position as assistant professor of surgery at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, where he has served as director of surgical education and the coordinator of the transmyocardial laser revascularization program – part of a larger area of expertise in cardiac services for the geriatric population. 

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.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country, attracting more than $131million 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.

Mark L. Shelton, 508-856-2000