Using teamwork to take on a non-discriminatory disease

UTSW Campus

We all like to think we're special, but here's a sobering thought: Heart disease doesn't care who you are. It is far and away the No. 1 killer of Americans – both men and women – and it doesn't play favorites. Heart disease strikes the old and the young, the rich and the poor, often in sudden and tragic ways.

Fortunately, over the past 50 years we've witnessed dramatic declines in the rate of death from heart disease. That's the good news. The bad news is that heart disease itself continues to expand and get worse. It would be nice if there was a magic pill to cure heart disease, but the fact is that it's a complicated disorder with many manifestations. That calls for heart care providers to be up to the task of managing the wide diversity of problems that can and do occur within the human heart and associated vascular system. That's a tall order for any one individual heart doctor. So what do we do?

A-Z Heart Care

I've been a cardiologist and heart researcher for more than 25 years, and I know well that patients are best served when they have a team of specialists at their disposal who bring a broad array of expertise to heart care. I'm talking about people who can figuratively – and literally – take you from A to Z when it comes to diagnosing and treating the various aspects of heart disease.

At UT Southwestern, we have one of the strongest and most highly integrated teams of cardiovascular professionals in the world. They provide state-of-the-art care across the entire spectrum of cardiovascular medicine. It's a formidable group of professionals from wide-ranging backgrounds – cardiologists, surgeons, scientists, geneticists, nurses, allied health professionals, and more. Included on our team you’ll find specialists in:

Genetic Disorders – These physicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of hereditary cardiovascular disorders.

Heart Failure and Cardiac Support – These doctors' focus is treating patients with late-stage cardiovascular disease, which can include surgery and implantation of devices, such as pacemakers.

Valve Disorders – These physicians treat a range of heart problems caused by valves that regulate the flow of blood into, within, and out of the heart.

Imaging – These experts use the latest imaging technologies to diagnose and guide the treatment of heart disease.

Cardiac Rhythm Management – These doctors diagnose and treat rhythm abnormalities that can affect the beating of the heart.

Cardiovascular Surgery – These surgeons focus on surgical approaches to treating heart disease, including bypass surgery, valve surgery, and transplantation.

Cardiac Interventions – These physicians are experts in non-surgical treatments of heart disease in which catheters are inserted into the heart via the circulatory system.

Prevention and General Cardiology – These doctors treat early stage heart disease and offer advice and guidance on dealing with lifestyle factors.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – These experts diagnose and treat diseases of the vascular system not directly related to the heart.

A Privilege

It is my privilege as the Chief of Cardiology at UT Southwestern to lead our team of experts. But at the same time, I should point out that, in a sense, no single person leads a program as complex and wide-ranging as ours. We work together as a highly collaborative team, one where we all provide critical leadership in our areas of specific focus. My own area of expertise is in the molecular aspects of heart failure and heart disease.

I can promise you that even if heart disease doesn’t think you're special, the people here at UT Southwestern do. Combine our attitude with advanced training and leading-edge care, and you have a real difference maker in your cardiac health.