USF Health celebrates FCI arrival, strengthened clinical cardiology group

The marriage of Florida Cardiovascular Institute and the USF Health Department of Cardiovascular Sciences was celebrated Wednesday evening, March 27, with a reception at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS).

Clinical faculty and staff, departmental chairs and USF Health leaders joined Tampa General Hospital, community referring physicians and others in officially welcoming six FCI cardiologists to the Morsani College of Medicine’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences as full-time faculty members.   The strategic union creates the largest clinical cardiology practice in Tampa at the region’s only academic health center.

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L to R: Dr. Joel Fernandez and Dr. Fadi Matar of the USF Health Department of Cardiovascular Sciences’ new FCI Division with departmental chair Dr. Arthur Labovitz.

“We celebrate FCI joining our group. They bring the qualities we emphasize at USF Health – compassion, hard work and a very high quality of care – along with decades of experience,” said Arthur Labovitz, MD, chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and an acting director of the USF Health Heart Institute.

“Our new USF Health Cardiovascular Sciences Department will be a much more relevant department in which FCI and our core cardiology group will carry on our missions.  That includes training cardiologists of the future and doing the research … that will advance cardiovascular care in our community and make a difference in patients’ lives.”

Fadi Matar, MD, established FCI in 1999 with co-founder J. Thompson Sulzberger, MD, after they left USF’s medical school to go into private practice.  He recognized the private group’s longstanding collegial relationship with USF and teaching affiliate Tampa General Hospital.

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Dr. Jeff Lowenkron, right, CEO of the USF Physicians Group, was among the speakers welcoming the FCI cardiologists as full-time faculty members. “It was flexibility and commitment that allowed this (union) to happen,” he said.

“We enjoy this new marriage,” said Dr. Matar, USF Health associate professor of cardiology and acting director of the newly created FCI Division in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. “Our family has grown from 6 to 18 cardiologists.”

The expanded group’s shared commitment to excellence and strengthened collaboration will enrich the care provided to patients, he added.

SEE RELATED STORY: Florida Cardiovascular Institute joins USF Health

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Dr. Labovitz holds up the co-branded FCI-USF Health white coat presented to each of the department’s new FCI Division cardiologists.

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The FCI Division cardiologists will continue to see patients at their South Tampa location, 509 S. Armenia Ave.

Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications