November 18, 2003

WORCESTER, Mass.—Stephen O. Heard, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UMass Memorial Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Heard, formerly executive vice chair of the department, has served as interim chair since July 2002.

“In the past sixteen months, Steve has demonstrated a keen understanding of the complexities of the department itself and the broader institutions, and has validated the high regard in which his colleagues have held him since he first joined us in 1988,” said John O’Brien, President and CEO of UMass Memorial, and UMMS Chancellor and Dean Aaron Lazare, MD, in a joint memorandum.  Both praised Heard’s leadership and administrative skills as well as his vision for the strategic future of the department.

Heard, whose clinical interests include sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, catheter-related bloodstream infections and monitoring of critically ill patients, received his medical degree from the University of Texas in 1978 and completed both an internship and residency in internal medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where he also served as chief resident.  He completed his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Florida in 1983, followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine.  While affiliated with the University of Florida, he was an instructor in anesthesiology.  At Boston University Medical Center from 1984 to 1988, Heard became an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Division of Surgery and associate director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit Section on Critical Care Medicine. 

Heard joined UMass Medical School as assistant professor and UMass Memorial Medical Center as associate director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and director of the Division of Critical Care Medicine.  He was promoted to associate professor in 1990, professor in 1996, vice chair in 1998 and executive vice chair in 2001.   

Heard is a member of a number of professional organizations devoted to the specialties of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. President-elect of the Massachusetts Society of Anesthesiologists, he is also treasurer of the American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists. He was program co-chair of the 2003 Annual Congress of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the largest multidisciplinary organization devoted to the practice of critical care. He has written more than 70 articles and chapters in the area of critical care medicine and anesthesiology.

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, one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country. UMMS, which attracts more than $151 million in research funding annually, 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.  Visit and for more information.

Contact: Alison Duffy, Public Affairs and Publications, 508-856-2000; .