Newswise — STONY BROOK, NY, AUGUST 16, 2016 – Joanna Chikwe, MD, Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City, has been appointed as Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, joining Javed Butler, MD, MPH, Chief of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, as Co-Director of the Stony Brook University Heart Institute.

Henry J. Tannous, MD, Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and cardiothoracic surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital, has been named Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The appointments, announced by Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, are effective on September 1, 2016.

Dr. Chikwe graduated from Oxford University. After completing her residency training in the United Kingdom, and advanced fellowship training at Mount Sinai in New York, she was recruited to the faculty of Mount Sinai in 2008, where she served as Program Director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency and Advanced Fellowship Programs, and Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery for Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospitals.

Dr. Tannous is currently an Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 2008. He is also the Chief of Pump-Assisted Thoracic Surgery, Chief of the Mount Sinai Thoracic Expansion Program and Chair of the Resident Council.

“As we continue to expand our patient-centered, compassionate approach to clinical care, and accelerate our trajectory as the first choice of consumers for cardiac services across Suffolk County, Long Island and beyond, Drs. Chikwe and Tannous will strengthen our incredible Stony Brook Heart Institute, helping to create and then incorporate the most innovative cardiac surgical techniques,” said Dr. Kaushansky.

The team of five cardiothoracic surgeons includes Dr. Thomas Bilfinger, Dr. Allison McLarty and Dr. Vinay Tak: the division now offers outstanding expertise across the spectrum of adult cardiothoracic surgery, with specialist expertise and programs in mitral valve repair, coronary revascularization, minimally invasive surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, ventricular assist devices, lung cancer screening and surgery, and atrial fibrillation surgery.

Dr. Chikwe’s primary focus is aortic and mitral valve reconstruction, coronary revascularization and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. She has particular experience in mitral valve repair and will be involved in the Transcatheter Valve programs at the Stony Brook University Heart Institute. Dr. Chikwe will also lead our investigative efforts advancing our understanding of the origins of valvular heart disease, and the optimal approach to preventing it and treating our patients.

As a cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Tannous has established an advanced clinical practice in adult cardiac surgery, as well as a focused interest in the most effective and advanced techniques for minimally invasive surgery for certain lung cancers, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). He also concentrates on the latest surgical methods to correct atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.

“Together with Drs. Bilfinger, McLarty and Tak, Stony Brook will continue to bring the best ideas in cardiothoracic surgery to the residents of Long Island. Moreover, by joining with our outstanding cardiologists and cardiovascular investigators, the Stony Brook Heart Institute is poised to understand the origins of heart disease and translate that knowledge from the bench to bedside better than any other health care organization on Long Island. We are so excited by all the possibilities” said Dr. Kaushansky.

“Our patients and their family members, staff, nurses, and physicians at the Stony Brook University Heart Institute are looking forward to working with Dr. Chikwe and Dr. Tannous,” said Dr. Butler. “Together they bring tremendous experience to Stony Brook that spans the entire spectrum of cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgery so this is an important step forward in our progress and excellence in cardiac care.”

“We are very fortunate to have two deeply experienced young heart surgeons-- who, are stars in their field, joining our team at Stony Brook,” said Mark Talamini, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at Stony Brook Medicine. “Having built excellent programs in Manhattan, they are both excited about taking the reins here at Stony Brook and expanding their reputation for clinical excellence to Long Island.”

About Dr. ChikweDr. Chikwe received her medical degree from Oxford University in the United Kingdom. She completed her general surgery residency at Oxford and Cambridge, followed by research into cardiac transplantation for which she received a Master’s degree from University of Cambridge. After finishing her residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals in London where she gained expertise in minimally invasive surgery, she completed an advanced fellowship focusing on mitral valve repair and aortic reconstruction at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she is currently Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Chikwe continues a productive collaboration with the Department of Population Health Science and Policy at Mount Sinai, publishing landmark clinical research in leading journals including JAMA, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology where she serves on the editorial board. She is an award-winning author of six clinical textbooks, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

About Dr. TannousDr. Tannous received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in 2000 and completed his residency at WHHC-Yale School of Medicine in Waterbury, CT, in 2005. He completed fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery at George Washington University and Mount Sinai Hospital. He has served as Chief of Thoracic Surgery at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY, since 2013. He has been a fellow in the American College of Surgeons since 2006 and is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery.

About Stony Brook MedicineStony Brook Medicine integrates and elevates all of Stony Brook University’s health-related initiatives: education, research and patient care. It includes six Health Sciences schools — Dental Medicine, Health Technology and Management, Medicine, Nursing, Social Welfare, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences — as well as Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and more than 90 community-based healthcare settings throughout Suffolk County. To learn more, visit

About Stony Brook University Heart InstituteStony Brook University Heart Institute is located within Stony Brook University Hospital as part of Long Island's premier university-based medical center. The Heart Institute offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The staff includes 50 full-time and community-based, board-certified cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, as well as 350 specially trained anesthesiologists, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, operating room technicians, perfusionists, and other support staff. Their combined expertise provides state-of-the-art interventional and surgical capabilities in 24-hour cardiac catheterization labs and surgical suites. And while the Heart Institute clinical staff offers the latest advances in medicine, its physician-scientists are also actively enhancing knowledge of the heart and blood vessels through basic biomedical studies and clinical research. To learn more, visit