New cardiovascular institute secures leadership team

By Published: January 29, 2019 12:44 PM CT

Coming from Texas, Ohio and Oklahoma, three nationally renowned heart doctors have been recruited to lead a new cardiovascular institute in Memphis.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare have partnered to create a national-caliber cardiovascular program between the university and its clinical partner.

“My vision for the institute is for us to be a regional and national leader in cardiovascular care in the very near future,” said Dr. John L. Jefferies, who was recruited from the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to become the institute’s co-director last June. “Our goal is to be a Top 50 cardiology program in the U.S. News & World Report rankings within the next few years.”

Last week, Dr. Chittoor Sai Sudhakar was recruited as the second co-director from Temple, Texas, where he served as the division director for Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Baylor Scott & White Health System Medical Center.

Dr. Zhongjie Sun joined the effort last April as deputy director, coming from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

The recruitment strategy was a three-pronged approach to attract leaders in cardiology, cardiac surgery and cardiovascular research.

“They will serve as the pillars for both recruitment and community partnership that will create an extraordinary program that will bring the benefits of innovative, cutting-edge, and high-quality care to the Memphis patient community,” Dr. David Shibata, a professor in UTHSC’s department of surgery, said in a prepared statement.

The newly formed UT Methodist Institute for Cardiovascular Science is anticipated to bring national and international referrals to Memphis.

“UTHSC and Methodist are very heavily invested in making this a nationally and internationally recognized program,” Jefferies said in a prepared statement. “My role will be to lay the groundwork to further develop this institute, expand the number of services offered, and develop Centers of Excellence in distinct areas of cardiovascular medicine.”

<strong>Dr. Zhongjie Sun</strong>

Dr. Zhongjie Sun

<strong>Dr. Chittoor Sai Sudhakar</strong>

Dr. Chittoor Sai Sudhakar

<strong>Dr. John L. Jefferies</strong>

Dr. John L. Jefferies


University Of Tennessee Health Science Center Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet

Michelle Corbet covers business for The Daily Memphian. Prior to, she was a reporter at the Memphis Business Journal. A native Memphian and University of Memphis graduate, Michelle covered business in Conway, Arkansas after college. Michelle got her start covering business as an intern at The Commercial Appeal.

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