Newswise — UC San Francisco’s Cardiovascular team is welcoming two highly regarded cardiac surgeons to its renowned program. The specialists will join the newly formed Advanced Heart Failure Comprehensive Care Center (AHF CCC).

Jason W. Smith, MD, joins UCSF Health as a professor of surgery and surgical director of the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs. Prior to coming to UCSF, he was the surgical director of heart transplant at the University of Wisconsin. Smith trained at Loyola University Chicago Medical Center, completing a surgical residency and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship, followed by an advanced fellowship in heart and lung transplant and artificial heart support at Stanford University. He also focused on heart failure and heart transplant surgery at the University of Washington prior to his move to Wisconsin.

Dr. Smith has been instrumental in the national effort to increase access to heart transplantation through improving donor organ utilization and was a primary investigator on the national donation after cardiac death (DCD) trial. His other research interests include ex-vivo heart perfusion and normothermic regional perfusion, and his clinical interests include advanced heart failure, emerging therapies for valvular heart disease and coronary revascularization. He holds positions with the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the American College of Cardiology.

“I am excited to join UCSF to provide world class heart failure care to my hometown population which I love so much,” said Smith. “It is an honor and a joy to be here and to be part of such an amazing team.  I look forward to continuing the tradition of incredible care and working to build on the work that has already been done, to grow and expand the services we can provide this community.”

UCSF Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the advanced heart failure team is also welcoming cardiac surgeon Dr. Amy Fiedler, MD, who is joining UCSF as an assistant professor of cardiac surgery. She also comes to UCSF from the University of Wisconsin where she was an assistant professor of surgery with a focus in heart failure, transplant and mechanical circulatory support. Fiedler is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her general surgery residency as well as cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research is focused on expanding the opportunities for heart transplantation to increasing numbers of individuals by working to improve current technologies and develop innovative techniques for heart donor preservation and procurement.

“One of the reasons I love being a heart transplant/heart failure/cardiac surgeon is the ability to restore quality of life and a new lease on living to my patients, said Fiedler. “I take great pride in my work and am humbled daily by the ability to play such an important role in the life journey of my patients.”

Fiedler’s leadership potential was recognized by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when she was selected as one of 60 scholars across the nation to join the Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2020.  Additionally, Dr. Fiedler serves as the surgical director and on the board of directors of Team Heart, a non-profit organization which provides life-saving cardiac surgery for the people of Rwanda. 

“We welcome the addition of our new colleagues and see this as an important step in the growth of our multi-disciplinary program. Their expertise allows us to provide expanded patient access for advanced heart failure and transplant services and world-class care,” said Liviu Klein, MD, MS, section chief of Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support, Pulmonary Hypertension and Heart Transplantation, and Medical Director of AHF CCC.

Both Smith and Fiedler will see patients at the center which was formed in late 2021 to provide a continuum of patient care under one umbrella program. Clinical areas include heart failure disease management, mechanical circulatory support, and heart transplantation. Heart failure patients can benefit from the highest level of care with advanced artificial intelligence products which are used to integrate remote heart monitoring from home – UCSF being the national lead institution in an ongoing clinical trial for this technology. 

Additionally, AHF CCC is using new technologies that has made it possible to accept donors previously not qualified, with innovative organ preservation and organ circulatory systems for transporting organs, allowing access to donor organs from a much longer distance and from DCD, increasing organ availability as well as the number of transplants at UCSF. 

AHF CCC team works in close coordination with UCSF’s Cardiac ICU to allow heart failure and cardiogenic shock patients from local and regional hospitals to be transferred quickly to UCSF with rapid deployment of ECMO allowing patients to recover while awaiting transplantation at UCSF.

About UCSF: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF School of Medicine also has a regional campus in Fresno. Learn more at or see our Fact Sheet.


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