Media Contacts

Kathy Wilets

Phone: 801-581-5717

Dec 19, 2014 9:43 AM

The Laennec Master Clinician Award from the American Heart Association has honored academic cardiologists for several decades who have made contributions to clinical cardiolovascular medicine through their clinical and teaching acumen. Receiving this important award means one major thing, as far as honoree James Chen-tson Fang, M.D. is concerned.“What it primarily does is bring recognition to the University of Utah,” said the chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “Some of the major advances in American medicine related to heart disease have happened here and we continue to be part of that story.”

Fang, who is also the executive director of the Cardiovascular Service Line at University of Utah Health Care, said recruiting has been a major goal during the past year in Utah. He was previously Spitz Master Clinician Chair at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, where he was a professor of medicine and associate chief of clinical affairs for cardiovascular medicine. 

“The people here that I lead are a fantastic group of people,” he said. “There was enormous opportunity to make it even better.” University of Utah Health Care has over 30,000 cardiovascular visits annually at 20 different locations throughout the Intermountain West.  Cardiovascular visits have increased by more than 30% percent over the last two years.

Another important priority of his is working toward a more integrated cardiovascular practice unit with a more patient-centric model in education, research and clinical care that crosses traditional departmental silos. “I think the way you get something integrated is to have the people who are actually delivering the product aligned clinically, academically, and fiscally,” he said.

Among his research goals for the division and service line include his plans to increase support for investigators who have been part of groundbreaking work at the University in the management of advanced heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and percutaneous therapies for the heart. Fang also plans to recruit other investigators who are interested in other aspects of heart disease, including the use of big data to assess outcomes and the study of cancer therapies on the heart.

Because many potential recruits have little knowledge about Utah, the Laennec award should help raise the program’s reputation nationwide.

“I think the most important thing is that the University of Utah is a major player in American medicine, particularly cardiovascular science and care,” Fang said. “It’s time that it wasn’t a secret any longer.”

cardiology awards american heart association