USF Health names director of Heart Institute and new chair of Cardiovascular Sciences

New leadership to strengthen heart health initiatives

Tampa, FL (Nov. 7, 2012) — USF Health today announced two new appointments to strengthen its key initiatives in heart treatment and research. 

Dr. Leslie Miller has been named director of the USF Heart Institute, which focuses on new diagnostics, prevention and treatments for heart disease.  Dr. Arthur Labovitz, who has served as vice chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, succeeds Dr. Miller as the new chair of the department.

Leslie Miller, Arthur Labovitz, USF Heart Institute, Cardiovascular Sciences

Dr. Leslie Miller, left, and Dr. Arthur Labovitz will drive forward USF Health’s initiatives in heart research and treatment.

“With heart disease the leading cause of both death and lost productivity, the work of the USF Heart Institute could not be more critical to improving our state’s health,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

“Dr. Miller is the ideal choice to lead this effort… He has a deep understanding of the urgency to develop and expand the Heart Institute.  He can convey the importance of our effort and help others to understand that lives are, quite literally, at stake.”

Dr. Miller joined USF Health two years ago to become the chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. He also holds the Edward C. Wright Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine. A national leader in cardiac care, Dr. Miller is the former president of the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation and the former president of the American Society of Transplant Physicians. He has been widely published on the topics of heart failure and transplantation and has been involved in nearly 100 clinical trials.

In addition to advancing the Institute’s work in turning the latest cutting-edge science into new treatments, Dr. Miller will be an advocate to help raise funds for a new 100,000 square-foot facility to house the Institute.  He will bring together investigators from different areas, and position USF as a national leader in genomic medicine, regenerative therapies, and new drug discovery.

Dr. Labovitz, the new chair of Cardiovascular Sciences, is also director of Cardiac Imaging at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. He is medical director for Non-Invasive Cardiology Services at Tampa General and co-director of Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging at Florida Hospital Tampa.

USF Health’s cardiology program, the only academic practice in the Tampa Bay region, is uniquely positioned to provide cutting-edge expertise in treating heart disease. Dr. Labovitz plans to build upon USF Health’s reputation as the leader in complex cardiac care and first resource for local referring cardiologists, accomplishing the missions of clinical care, research and education.

“Dr. Labovitz looks forward to strengthening our relationships with our existing partners, Tampa General Hospital and Florida Hospital Tampa, and our colleagues in the community,” Dr. Klasko said. “He also is eager to begin work with cardiologists at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.”

Dr. Labovitz joined USF Health in February 2011. He was previously at St. Louis University, where he served as director of cardiology and of the cardiovascular fellowship programs. Recognized as a leader in the field, he has served as president of the National Board of Echocardiography and as an editorial board member of various academic journals. He has more than 200 scientific publications.

In 2007, Dr. Labovitz received the American Heart Association’s Hugh McCulloch Award for outstanding contributions to the treatment of heart disease. He received his BA from Pennsylvania State, his MD from Hahnemann Medical College and completed a cardiology fellowship at St. Louis University.

-USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities.

Media contact:
Lisa Greene, USF Health Communications
(813) 974-4312  or