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Institute for Congestive Heart Failure at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital

Aug 2, 2017

Dr. Kris VijayPHOENIX (AUG. 2, 2017) – Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is creating a comprehensive, patient-centered Institute for Congestive Heart Failure.  

Dr. Kris Vijay, medical director for the Institute for Congestive Heart Failure, is collaborating with other physicians and hospital stakeholders to bring new heart failure diagnostics and therapies to the forefront of the industry. Research, innovation and education are driving factors, with the institute serving as a training ground for caregivers and the community.

“Our work encompasses everything from prevention and early detection using new diagnostics and an array of treatment options, including optimized medications, heart valve repair and replacements, pacemakers and defibrillators, and mechanical devices to help the heart work better, Vijay said.  “We take a multidisciplinary approach, building a team of compassionate physician specialists and advanced practice nurses who will educate and empower patients to live longer and better.”

About 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure, caused by a build-up of fluids in various parts of the body, according to the American Heart Association. However, that number could triple among seniors during the next four decades, based on recent findings from a 14-year study conducted by the National Institute on Aging and the Icelandic Heart Association.

This study speaks volumes about the need to take better care of ourselves, particularly as we age, Vijay said.

Among the factors contributing to heart failure are coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and chronic kidney diseases, which block the coronary arteries leading to heart failure. In addition, conditions such as cancer, treatment with some cancer medications and a few other toxic triggers can directly affect the heart muscle, leading to congestive heart failure, he said.

Vijay has served as a non-invasive cardiologist, a clinical lipidologist and heart failure specialist. 

He is a clinical professor of medicine at University of Arizona’s Phoenix campus and an adjunct professor of medicine at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.

During a medical career spanning more than two decades, Vijay has participated in 180 clinical trials on congestive heart failure, hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes and other disorders. Currently, he is developing consensus recommendations on cardio-renal prevention and intervention for South Asian individuals worldwide, and also serving as president of The TWINEPIDEMIC Inc., a nonprofit that addresses diabetes and heart disease among this population.

Vijay has presented at numerous national and international meetings on diabetes and heart disease; served on medical journal editorial boards, reviewing landmark guidelines and policy statements; and published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He also has held leadership positions on national advisory boards that addressed medical quality initiatives. He is a past governor of the Arizona chapter of the American College of Cardiology, past president of the National Lipid Association, Southwest chapter, and a founding member and past president of the Cardio Renal Society of America, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and managing heart and kidney disease.

He was one of the first 34 members in the country to be recognized and awarded as a Fellow of the of the Heart Failure Society of America for his professional achievement, outstanding credentials and contributions to heart failure clinical practice and research.

Vijay earned his medical degree and completed postgraduate training in India, followed by internal medicine training in Oxfordshire, U.K., and an endocrinology and diabetes fellowship at University of Southampton, U.K. In the United States, he trained in Rochester, N.Y., and completed a fellowship in cardiology at Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and University of Arizona. He also holds a master’s degree in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan.

“Having a clinician and researcher the caliber of Dr. Vijay on our team is advantageous not only to our patients in Arizona but across the United States and throughout the world,” said Frank Molinaro, CEO of Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital.

The Institute for Congestive Heart Failure is one of six specialty cardiac and vascular institutes being created by Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital. The hospital also is involved in 16 national clinical trials on a variety of heart and cardiovascular conditions, and serves as a training ground for cardiologists throughout the country.          

Aside from his duties at the hospital, Vijay will continue to lend his vast clinical skills and experience to training programs and workshops for students, residents, fellows, other physicians and caregivers locally, nationally and internationally. His philosophy is “to serve the under-served through education, passion and compassion.”

About Abrazo

Abrazo Community Health Network embraces patients with the compassion of a friend while delivering the best-in-class care of a comprehensive health network. Abrazo Community Health Network encompasses six acute-care hospitals – Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, Abrazo Central Campus, Abrazo Maryvale Campus, Abrazo Scottsdale Campus and Abrazo West Campus – along with freestanding emergency centers, urgent care centers, primary practices and specialty practices. With a network of physicians and other skilled caregivers, Abrazo Community Health Network is expanding its depth and breadth of resources to shape the future of healthcare in Arizona and remain at the forefront of cardiology, neurology, orthopedics and other highly specialized care. For more information, visit AbrazoHealth.com.

Disclaimer: Dr. Kris Vijay is an independent physician and is not an employee, agent or representative of Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital.  He is solely responsible for the provision of his medical services to patients.

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