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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014


AGH Heart Surgeon Named to Prestigious National Post

Monday, November 14th, 2011

George J. Magovern, MD, Chair of West Penn Allegheny Health System’s Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery program and a distinguished heart surgeon at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), has been appointed as a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS).

Dr. Magovern joins a very select, elite group of the nation’s top thoracic surgeons who serve as directors or officers of the ABTS. The board’s 14 executive members hail from some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, including Harvard, Duke and the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Magovern is the only Pittsburgh area physician elected to the Board and he will serve a six-year term running through October 2017.

As a member of the ABTS executive team, Dr. Magovern will play a critical role in ensuring the quality of thoracic surgery care in the United States by helping direct the process of evaluating and certifying thoracic surgeons who meet the field’s specific educational, training and professional requirements.

The ABTS is one of the boards that comprise the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Through ABMS, the boards work together to establish common standards for physicians to achieve and maintain board certification. In addition to his role on the ABTS board of directors, Dr. Magovern serves as a certifying examiner for the ABTS and is a member of its Cardiac Consultant Subcommittee

Dr. Magovern has practiced at AGH for more than 25 years and he also serves as Program Director of the hospital Thoracic Surgery Residency Program and Surgical Director of the hospital’s Gerald McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute.

Under Dr. Magovern’s leadership, the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at AGH has grown into one of the region’s most comprehensive and preeminent referral centers for the treatment of complex cardiovascular disorders. Among his many noteworthy accomplishments, Dr. Magovern established AGH’s heart transplant program in 1987 and has helped it evolve into one of the top adult heart transplantation centers in the country.

More recently, Dr. Magovern started a new collaborative curriculum with the Division of Vascular Surgery leading to an integrated seven-year residency in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. _One of the few training programs of its kind in the country, this unique residency allows physicians to qualify for board certification in both vascular surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Its intent is to help address the growing shortage of cardiothoracic surgeons in the country by attracting a broader, more talented pool of residency candidates into the combined training program.

“AGH has long been recognized as a leader in the field of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. Over the past 16 years, Dr. Magovern has carried that torch with great distinction, building a stellar program that has grown significantly in it its capabilities, innovation and academic mission. His well-deserved appointment as an officer of the ABTS reflects these remarkable achievements and further enhances the prestige of our organization on a national and international level,” said Jack Isherwood, chairman of the West Penn Allegheny Health System Board of Directors.

In addition to his new role with the ABTS, Dr. Magovern is also an active member of his field’s other key professional scientific organizations, including the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, and serves as a reviewer for both the Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

In his clinical practice, he specializes in complex valvular heart surgery, thoracic aortic surgery, redo open-heart procedures, and cardiac surgery for heart failure patients.

For more information, contact:
West Penn Allegheny Health System
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