Seasoned Surgeon to Lead Swedish Cardiac Surgery Program

Seasoned Surgeon to Lead Swedish Cardiac Surgery Program

SEATTLE, Nov. 1, 2007 – The Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) today welcomed Glenn Barnhart, M.D., as medical director of its cardiac surgery program. In this newly formed position, Dr. Barnhart will be responsible for all program elements.

Dr. Barnhart comes to Seattle after serving as chief of the Department of Cardiac Services at Sentara Heart Hospital (SHH) in Norfolk, Va., one of the nation's top heart surgery centers. He has performed more than 3,500 open-heart operations, including adult and pediatric cardiac surgery and cardiac transplant procedures. Previously, he was medical director of the Cardiac Transplant Program at SHH and medical director of the Heart Intensive Care Unit there. He was also director of the Cardiovascular Surgery Program at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk.

"One of the big attractions for me to join SHVI was the comprehensive nature of the program – from education to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehab and wellness," said Dr. Barnhart. "It has a longstanding, excellent reputation, and our goal is to make SHVI the premier center in the Northwest for patients in need of any type of heart surgery."

With the addition of Dr. Barnhart, SHVI's staff of cardiac surgeons grows to four. He joins Drs. William Curtis, David Gartman and Joseph Teply. In 2006, SHVI-affiliated surgeons and their teams performed 525 cardiac surgeries, 370 of which were bypass cases and 115 of which were bypass-valve combination surgeries. SHVI is based at Swedish's Cherry Hill Campus.

"Having worked with Glenn Barnhart for many years in Virginia, I know firsthand how qualified he is to take our well-established cardiac surgery program to the next level and develop it into one of America's top-tier programs," said Swedish President and CEO Rod Hochman, M.D.

Clinical areas Dr. Barnhart plans to develop further at Swedish include aortic and mitral valve repair and replacement using minimally invasive techniques, surgery for the adult with congenital heart disease, and minimally invasive ablation surgery for atrial fibrillation. He will work closely with the existing structure where all quality and clinical-assurance efforts are implemented and managed within the department. In many cases, heart disease is acquired and develops over time. Because of this factor, Dr. Barnhart emphasizes that consumer awareness and prevention are vital, and he plans to be supportive of patient education efforts of the American Heart Association and similar groups.

In Virginia, Dr. Barnhart and his team performed nearly 100 minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve repair surgeries over the last three years, which, he notes, "require a significant amount of choreography and cooperation among surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and operating-room technicians."

"I've been very impressed with how closely cardiologists and cardiac surgeons work in the Seattle area and, in my opinion, the high level of education, training and practice of the cardiology community here is among the best in the country," said Dr. Barnhart. "That's very important because, from a quality and clinical standpoint, synergy between these two groups is paramount."

Dr. Barnhart noted that "a compelling factor for me to join SHVI was to resume working with Dr. Rod Hochman. We had the pleasure of working together in Virginia for a number of years, and I respect his vision for health-care delivery and his support of doctors. He has the unique skill to work collaboratively with physicians and other groups, which creates a healthy environment for optimal patient care."

"We are very pleased Dr. Barnhart will lead our strong surgery program," said Marcel Loh, senior vice president of the Swedish Institutes and chief administrative officer of the Cherry Hill Campus. "His reputation as a top-notch surgeon, team leader, and champion for quality bode well for anyone in need of cardiac care."

Dr. Barnhart is board certified both in cardiac and thoracic surgery. He earned his bachelor's degree from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., and his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). He spent two years at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., as a clinical associate in surgery before returning to MCV to complete his general surgery training. Dr. Barnhart's post-residency training included a two-year fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at MCV, followed by a residency in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at The Children's Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Barnhart has held numerous academic positions including associate and assistant professor of surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiac Surgery at MCV. He has been a member of professional associations including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, as a fellow with the American College of Surgeons, and the Humera MCV Surgical Society. Dr. Barnhart has remained active in various clinical-research efforts including serving as the principal investigator of six major studies and as a co-principal investigator on 22 clinical trials. He has published more than 50 original medical articles and abstracts, written six book chapters and presented at numerous national and regional professional meetings.

Dr. Barnhart is 56 years old and has been married for 34 years to his wife, Treva. They have four children, including the youngest, Ginny, who attends The Bush School in Seattle. In his spare time, he runs and bikes.


About the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute
The Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute is a regional network of physicians at hospitals and clinics across the Puget-Sound region. It offers a broad spectrum of cardiovascular-care services – from surgical and interventional procedures to the latest advances in heart-disease prevention, diagnosis and cardiovascular health and wellness. The Institute includes almost 20 member clinics and four medical-center affiliates, including Swedish's Cherry Hill and First Hill Campuses in Seattle; Stevens Hospital in Edmonds; Highline Community Hospital in Burien, and Valley Medical Center in Renton. For more information, visit

About Swedish
Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive nonprofit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard – a freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, a Home Care Services division and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit

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