Southern California boasts medical advances

Southern California is home to several world-class facilities and universities where cardiovascular visionaries have made inspiring medical breakthroughs and have changed the way we practice cardiovascular science and medicine. These breakthroughs make the region an ideal destination for AHA Scientific Sessions 2017, Nov. 11-15 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The first open-heart surgery in the Western U.S. was performed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center in 1956. Cardiovascular innovation has thrived there since then. In 1984, Dr. Hillel Laks, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, established the UCLA Heart, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program, now the largest in the world. Eight years later, he pioneered the country’s first alternative heart transplant. Dr. Laks performed a quadruple bypass on a 53-year-old donor heart and transplanted it into a 68-year-old man. In 2001, Dr. Laks and his team implanted one of the world’s first total artificial hearts into a man in his 70s. Many of Dr. Laks’ techniques are now used in operating rooms across the globe.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city worth noting, however. Irvine, located just 15 miles south of Anaheim, is home to the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, which U.S. News & World Report has ranked as one of the top 50 U.S. medical schools for research. Nationally and internationally recognized faculty members work collaboratively with UC Irvine Health’s cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons to offer care and training in several specialties. The Heart Failure Program — the only one of its kind in Orange County — uses scientific advances, leading-edge diagnostics and noninvasive imaging to correct the underlying problems that contribute to heart disease. Finally, the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology is an academic-based research and training center housed within the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, aimed at fostering an interdisciplinary approach toward advancing our understanding of cardiovascular disease.

Southern California also is at the forefront of cardiovascular research. Multiple facilities in the area, such as The Orange County Heart Institute and Research Center, Orange County Research Center, St. Joseph Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and University of California, Irvine’s Division of Cardiology conduct leading-edge research, ranging from basic science and translational investigations to clinical trials, epidemiological studies, health policy and more.

This year’s AHA Scientific Sessions promises even more inspiring cardiovascular discovery. You’ll experience the best education, the best new cardiovascular products and the best networking of the year. We look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!