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Gregory P. Fontana, MD, appointed Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital

Gregory Fontana MDGregory P. Fontana, MD, an international leader in cardiothoracic surgery, was recently appointed by Lenox Hill Hospital as chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.  He previously served as the vice chairman of Surgery for Strategic Program Development and attending cardiac surgeon at Cedars Sinai Medical Center's Heart Institute in Los Angeles and as Clinical Professor of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Dr. Fontana will be working closely with a superb and nationally recognized group of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, and will build upon the tradition of surgical excellence established by Valavanur Subramanian, MD, and others.

Dr. Fontana has been a pioneer and principal investigator for several exciting approaches in cardiac surgery involving transcatheter valve therapies and minimally invasive surgical procedures for congenital and acquired heart disease.  Such trials include replacing the aortic valve with either a catheter or through a small incision at the base of the heart. Both approaches eliminate the need to “open the chest” and reduce complications, length of hospitalization and recovery time.

As a widely published researcher and author, Dr. Fontana's contributions to the medical literature include more than 100 academic citations including articles, book chapters, and reviews.  He has been a principal investigator in the Partner Trial of transcatheter aortic valve implantation and the CoreValve Pivotal trial and has been named national principal investigator for the St. Jude Transcatheter Portico Valve trial.  He is a founding member of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Surgeons.  Dr. Fontana is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the David C. Sabiston Jr. Surgical Society, the Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, the American Heart Association, the 21st Century Cardiac Surgical Society, the International Academy of Cardiology and the Western Thoracic Surgical Association.

As a national leader in education, Dr. Fontana was the founder and has been the course director of "Controversies in Advances in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease,” an innovative new format for medical symposia which is debate and cross-fire based. In addition, has assumed leading roles in educational programs for the American College of Cardiology, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Fontana earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California Riverside and his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.  He completed an internship and residency in surgery and cardiovascular surgery at Duke University Medical Center and fellowships in pediatric cardiac surgery at UCLA and at Children's Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Fontana's recruitment, a major step in the North Shore-LIJ Health System's vision to establish Lenox Hill Hospital as Manhattan's preeminent Cardiovascular Institute and Heart Center, is complemented by superb existing faculty and the Hospital's commitment to continue to recruit internationally recognized expertise.