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Albany Med Today

Dr. Miller Honored for Dedication to Patients with Heart Failure

Surgical colleagues honored cardiothoracic surgeon Stuart Miller, MD, for leading Albany Med’s LVAD (left ventricular assist device) program, which has improved the quality of life for many patients with weakened hearts by providing them with an implanted heart pump to help circulate blood.

“Dr. Miller is credited for spearheading every facet of the implementation of our LVAD program, from the education and coordination of staff to the equipment acquisition and training—and he has enjoyed it every step of the way,” Edward Bennett, MD, chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, said in presenting the award. “It’s been quite an undertaking, and the level of commitment and clinical expertise with which he has handled the program is evident in its success.”

Dr. Miller said credit for the success of the LVAD program extends to a host of others.
“This program could not be possible without the contributions of many. I particularly need to acknowledge the contributions made by our dedicated nursing staff, and especially my medical colleague, Dr. Mark Tallman (MD) of Capital Cardiology Associates.”

Albany Med was the first hospital in Northeastern New York to implant the device which has rapidly become the most widely used device of its kind in the world. An LVAD is not an artificial heart, nor is it a heart replacement. Rather, an LVAD attaches to the heart and is designed to assist—or take over—the pumping function of the patient’s left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart.

Since late 2011, 11 patients have had LVADs implanted at Albany Med, while another six are receiving ongoing care here.

For more information on Dr. Miller and the LVAD program, go to www.amc.edu/Patient/services/Surgery/cardiac_surgery/lvad/index.cfm