Heart failure

Prominent Cardiac Surgeons Join UCSF Comprehensive Care Center for Advanced Heart Failure

Newswise – UC San Francisco’s cardiovascular team welcomes two highly regarded cardiac surgeons to its renowned program. Specialists will join the new group Comprehensive care center for advanced heart failure (AHF CCC).

Jason W. Smith, MD, joins UCSF Health as Professor of Surgery and Surgical Director of the Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs. Prior to coming to UCSF, he was the Surgical Director of Heart Transplantation at the University of Wisconsin. Smith trained at Loyola University Chicago Medical Center, completing a surgical residency and fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery, followed by an advanced fellowship in heart and lung transplantation and artificial heart support at Stanford University. He also focused on heart failure and heart transplant surgery at the University of Washington before moving to Wisconsin.

Dr. Smith has been instrumental in the national effort to increase access to heart transplantation by improving the use of donor organs and was one of the principal investigators of the National Donation Trial after cardiac death (DCD). His other research interests include ex vivo cardiac perfusion and normothermic regional perfusion, and his clinical interests include advanced heart failure, emerging therapies for valvular heart disease, and coronary revascularization. He holds positions with the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the American College of Cardiology.

“I am thrilled to join UCSF in providing world-class heart failure care to the people of my hometown whom I love so much,” said Smith. “It is an honor and a joy to be here and to be part of such an incredible team. I look forward to continuing the tradition of incredible care and working to build on the work that has already been done, to develop and extend the services we can provide to this community.

The UCSF Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Advanced Heart Failure Team also welcomes cardiac surgeon Dr. Amy Fiedler, MD, who joins UCSF as an assistant professor of cardiac surgery. She also comes to UCSF from the University of Wisconsin where she was an assistant professor of surgery with a focus on heart failure, transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support. Fiedler graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her residency in general surgery as well as a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research focuses on expanding heart transplant opportunities to a growing number of individuals by working to improve current technologies and develop innovative techniques for the preservation and supply of heart donors.

“One of the reasons I love being a heart surgeon/heart surgeon/heart failure surgeon is the ability to restore quality of life and a new lease on life for my patients,” Fiedler said. “I take great pride in my work and am touched daily by the ability to play such an important role in the life course of my patients.”

Fiedler’s leadership potential was recognized by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when she was selected as one of 60 scholars across the country to join the Presidential Class of 2020. Additionally, Dr. Fiedler is Surgical Director and member of the Board of Directors. administrators of Team Heart, a non-profit organization that provides life-saving heart surgery to the people of Rwanda.

“We welcome the addition of our new colleagues and view this as an important step in the growth of our multidisciplinary program. Their expertise enables us to provide patients with expanded access to advanced heart failure and transplant services and world-class care,” said Liviu KleinMD, MS, Section Chief of Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support, Pulmonary Hypertension, and Heart Transplantation, and Medical Director of AHF CCC.

Smith and Fiedler will see patients at the center which was established in late 2021 to provide a continuum of patient care under an umbrella program. Clinical areas include heart failure management, mechanical circulatory support, and heart transplantation. Heart failure patients can experience the highest level of care with advanced artificial intelligence products that are being used to integrate remote heart monitoring from home – with UCSF being the national lead institution in a ongoing clinical trial for this technology.

Additionally, AHF CCC utilizes new technologies that have made it possible to accept previously unqualified donors, with innovative organ preservation and organ circulation systems for organ transport, allowing access to donor organs at a much longer distance and from the DCD, increasing the availability of organs as they go along as well as the number of transplants at UCSF.

The AHF CCC team works closely with the UCSF Cardiac ICU to enable patients with heart failure and cardiogenic shock from local and regional hospitals to be transferred quickly to UCSF with rapid deployment of ECMO allowing patients to recover while awaiting transplantation at UCSF.

About UCSF: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) focuses exclusively on the health sciences and is dedicated to advancing global health through advanced biomedical research, higher education in the life sciences and health professions and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as the primary academic medical center at UCSF, includes leading specialist hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. The UCSF School of Medicine also has a regional campus in Fresno. Learn more at ucsf.edu or check out our Fact sheet.


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