Featuring: Douglas R. Johnston, MD
Nationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon, Douglas R. Johnston, MD, has been named surgical director of Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, effective October 1. In his new role, Dr. Johnston will lead strategic growth, quality and visibility of the clinical programs.
“Dr. Johnston has a strong vision for growth, innovation, sustainability and teamwork. We are confident that his leadership, combined with Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s world-class team, will elevate our cardiac surgery program to another level of national prominence,” says Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, who is stepping down as chief of Cardiac Surgery after 18 years in that role. Dr. McCarthy will continue to serve as executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and vice president of clinical integration for Northwestern Medical Group.
Dr. Johnston joins Northwestern Medicine from the Cleveland Clinic where he served as vice chair of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, program director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency and Advanced Cardiothoracic Fellowships, and surgical director of the Aortic Valve Center. Dr. Johnston specializes in minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery, aortic and endovascular surgery, complex reoperations, pericardial disease and radiation associated cardiac disease.
Dr. Johnston’s clinical interests and expertise is matched by his innovation portfolio. The accomplished inventor has contributed to 12 submitted or issued patents for inventions that have improved different aspects of patient care, data collection and workflow, and employee well-being. He also has extensive research experience, which started when he was an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and was awarded the Claire Garber Goodman Fund Scholarship. This scholarship gave him the opportunity to be the principal investigator for a study of tuberculosis treatment and prevention in a community with strong indigenous health systems in northern India.
“I'm very lucky to join an organization that is already a center of excellence in so many ways and is also on a very steep upward trajectory. The vision is to differentiate ourselves as a place where patients can get the best quality care, not just locally but nationally, for both common and uncommon, complex cardiac conditions. We want to make it equally as easy for a patient living a block away from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and a patient in Alaska to talk to a Northwestern Medicine cardiologist or cardiac surgeon about a diagnosis or treatment,” says Dr. Johnston. “We will also be adding more cardiac surgeons to the group over the next few years to continue to build up areas of expertise. This is an institution with so much history and current success. I want to be careful to preserve what is working and work together to approach anything that needs to be improved creatively and with a growth mindset.”
Dr. Johnston earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1998 before completing his clinical training in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was awarded the Edward D. Churchill Fellowship, the American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship and an NIH National Research Service Award for his research in the immunology of heart and lung transplantation. He trained in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, including a focused fellowship in endovascular surgery. In 2008, he joined the Cleveland Clinic as a staff surgeon.
Douglas R. Johnston, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery in the Department of Surgery,Professor of Surgery (Cardiac Surgery)
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