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Published:  January 13, 2012

Blase A. Carabello, MD, Appointed Chief of Cardiology for Texas Heart Institute® and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

Blase A. Carabello, MD, has been appointed Chief of Cardiology for both the Texas Heart Institute (THI) and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (St. Luke’s). Earlier this year, Dr. Carabello was chosen to head THI’s new Center for Heart Valve Disease.

“Dr. Carabello is one of the world’s foremost experts on valvular heart disease, a serious and growing problem among Americans,” said THI President and Medical Director James. T. Willerson, MD. “Dr. Carabello is a major addition to our professional staff and we are pleased he has elected to join us and pursue efforts to educate and help people suffering from valvular disease and to lead new discovery into treating that disease.”

THI’s Center for Heart Valve Disease will open a new clinic within St. Luke’s in January to treat patients with valvular disease.

Margaret M. Van Bree, DrPH, Chief Executive Officer, St. Luke’s, and Senior Vice President, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, added, “Dr. Carabello’s extensive expertise will greatly benefit St. Luke’s patients from around the globe who are affected by heart disease as he leads efforts to improve the care and outcomes of our heart patients.”

Valvular heart disease is often seen as an affliction of the elderly. Experts anticipate that as the general population ages, including millions of Baby Boomers, and people are living longer, the prevalence and costs of treating these afflictions will significantly rise. The disease, however, can afflict people at any age, and is sometimes congenital. In addition, researchers worry that the disease often goes undiagnosed and that incidence rates might even be higher than reported.

A study presented to the American Heart Association looked at patients in New York State and found that the incidences of hospitalization and treatment for heart valve disease have progressively and consistently increased since the early 1980s.

THI’s Center for Heart Valve Disease will focus on all aspects of valvular heart disease, including improved valve replacement procedures with less invasive technology and the use of adult stem cell therapy.

Dr. Carabello had been serving as Chief of Medicine at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Administration Medical Center.  He will continue to work with the V.A. in collaboration on programs, research and care. He also is Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. The Pennsylvania native is a graduate of Gettysburg College. He received his medical degree in 1973 from Temple University in Philadelphia and completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Carabello has served as president of the Society for Heart Valve Disease and of the Association of University Cardiologists. Since 2001, he also has served on the Cardio/Renal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, he is a published author of the 1998 and 2006 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Valvular Disease.

Dr. Carabello is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed and invited publications and is the recipient of numerous teaching and professional awards, including the 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the group’s most prestigious scientific award.


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