Agreement establishes official link between leading institutions in cardiovascular research, education and patient care

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Heart Institute today announced a formal affiliation agreement that centers on cardiovascular research, education and patient care at the two institutions and at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke’s Health. 

The announcement, made by Baylor President, CEO and Executive Dean Dr. Paul Klotman and Texas Heart Institute Board Chair David Grimes, also outlines the goal of strengthening and expanding the collective cardiovascular programs.

The affiliation brings two outstanding institutions into closer alignment. The objective is to build on the expertise and synergies of both, with a unified leadership team. The two institutions are jointly recruiting a chief executive officer for Texas Heart Institute who will also serve in a cardiovascular leadership role at Baylor.

“Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Heart Institute have worked together for many years, and several Baylor faculty members already hold leadership positions at Texas Heart Institute,” said Klotman. “This affiliation formalizes our relationship and emphasizes the importance of having common leadership of cardiovascular programs.”

“This affiliation builds upon not only the prominence of both organizations, but a shared vision with global implications,” explained Texas Heart Board Chair David Grimes. “This is about further elevating cardiovascular discovery and care on an even brighter international stage. Additionally, we are excited with what this will mean as we work to identify the right CEO to lead our vision going forward. With this affiliation, we are well positioned for even greater success.”

In addition to leading the mission of Texas Heart Institute, the new CEO of Texas Heart Institute will also co-direct the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Baylor, overseeing cardiovascular services at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. A search is now in progress to find the ideal leader for this effort.

This affiliation continues to build on the foundation created by two of the most renowned cardiovascular pioneers, the late Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Denton Cooley. Cooley, founder and president emeritus of Texas Heart Institute, has a faculty position at Baylor, serving as Distinguished Emeritus Professor.

Dr. James Willerson, president of Texas Heart Institute, said, “The importance of this affiliation cannot be minimized. Texas Heart Institute has been ranked among the ‘Top15’ heart care centers in the U.S. for each of the past 24 years consecutively. This will have far-reaching implications on both research and the delivery of care for decades to come across the globe.” 

The institutions will work together on a wide array of cardiovascular issues, including coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and ischemia, heart failure and cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias and channelopathies, congenital developmental heart disease, aortopathies, valvular heart disease, cardiovascular regenerative medicine, heart assist devices, stem cell research and genetics. CHI St. Luke’s Health, including Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, will serve as an important partner in the clinical efforts.