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A message from the chief

Dr. Pranav Patel
UC Irvine Health Affairs Communications
Dr. Pranav Patel, chief of the Division of Cardiology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine.

It is our mission in the Division of Cardiology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine to be the primary provider of specialized and advanced patient care in the diagnosis, management and prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Orange County and Southern California.

We also are committed to bringing our leading-edge research to the bedside and to offering an outstanding educational environment.

Our nationally and internationally acclaimed faculty members work in collaboration with UC Irvine’s cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, each year treating thousands of patients, many of whom have been referred by community physicians for their complex conditions.

These highly skilled cardiologists offer expert care in complex coronary, peripheral and vascular interventions; valvular disease and structural interventions; heart failure and complex cardiac rhythm disorders.

They also provide specialized care for adults with congenital heart disease, women with heart disease and cancer survivors with heart disease. In addition, our physicians provide advanced cardiac imaging and preventive cardiology care.

As cardiologists at one of the top 50 U.S. medical schools for research, we place a premium on scientific study and discovery. With grants from the National Institutes of Health and other prestigious institutions, our investigators are engaged in a broad spectrum of advanced research which includes:

  • Identifying subjects at high risk of developing heart attacks
  • Strategies aimed at reversing heart failure
  • Molecular imaging of the myocardium and the study of intricate myocardial mechanics
  • Interventional cardiology and electrophysiology
  • Health policy research

The division is intimately involved with UC Irvine's Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology. This academic-based research and training center, housed within the university's Henry Samueli School of Engineering, is aimed at fostering an interdisciplinary approach to advance our understanding of cardiovascular disease. The goal is to create an academic focal point for cardiovascular research and training within the dynamic biomedical device sector of Orange County.

Our cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs are the most technologically advanced in the area. We started Orange County’s first primary transradial cardiac catheterization laboratory in 2009. Approximately 70 percent to 80 percent of our cases are performed via the radial artery in the wrist. This has reduced vascular complications and improved patient comfort.

In addition, UC Irvine Douglas Hospital has two hybrid operating suites that can be used by cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and vascular surgeons alike. All the labs are equipped with digital and biplane technology. With these facilities, our cardiologists are able to provide the most advanced care to our patients and the most sophisticated clinical training to our cardiology fellows.

The division's Heart Disease Prevention Program has been involved in many clinical trials and also longitudinal studies of heart disease. The program strives not only for excellence in scholarly research, but also for community education and outreach aimed at the early detection and prevention of heart attacks.

Through our Preventive Cardiology Program, registered dietitians and exercise physiologists work with cardiologists to create a personalized action plan for each patient. The plan includes a nutritional assessment and prescription for physical activity, as well as additional behavioral and clinical steps to lower the risk of a life-threatening cardiac event. Smoking cessation classes, stress reduction and weight-management counseling are available if needed.

Our Heart Failure Program, the only one of its kind in Orange County, is the first heart program in Southern California to be certified by The Joint Commission, and recently earned the commission's Gold Seal of Approval for providing quality care. It has also received the American Heart Association's "Get with the Guidelines — Heart Failure Silver Plus" award for meeting the highest standard of care for heart failure patients.

Faculty members in the Division of Cardiology also specialize in women’s heart disease, as well as in treating adults with structural and congenital heart disease. Working together with cardiologists from CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County, we have developed the only specialized academic medical clinic in region which is dedicated to the care of adults with congenital heart disease.

We also work with the Heart and Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and theVA Long Beach Healthcare System, which enables us to develop larger clinical trials that serve the broader community.

This consortium also allows us to provide the physicians in our accredited fellowship program with the best cardiology training. This is one of the most vital components of our mission. Five to six fellows graduate every year from UC Irvine's Cardiology Fellowship programs and most of them continue to serve patients in Orange County.

Promoting cardiovascular health is our passion. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care in this region.