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"Heart to Heart"
from THI President,
Dr. James T. Willerson
A letter from Dr. Willerson, President of Texas Heart Institute.
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Photos and news from THI's 50th Anniversary on September 18, 2012.
Photos and more!
Sharing the celebration

L&LRC E-News September 2012

  September 2012                                                                 Vol. 13, No. 7

50 years of excellence

The Cavern in Liverpool where The Beatles played gigs in the early days (photo by flickr user Victoriapeckham)

Did you know it's the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first single? A couple of months ago, during my usual YouTube exploration, I bumped into "Yesterday" being performed by Adam Levine from Maroon 5. I couldn't help but search for the original. I absolutely fell in love with it. My parents are from India and I grew up in the Middle East so was never really exposed to great Western musicians and bands. Rather, my childhood memories are of the old, classic '60s-'80s Hindi music and even some popular Arabic songs. My first recollections of Western music are West Life's "My Love" and 'N Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" when I was around 14 years old. From there I jumped onto Backstreet Boys, Michael Buble, John Mayer, Adele and so on. [Photo of The Cavern Club in Liverpool where The Beatles played gigs in the early days (flickr user Victoriapeckham).]

As Texas Heart Institute celebrates 50 years of excellence, I am reminded there is always so much to learn and discover … every single day.

Read on for more reflections on the Texas Heart Institute's 50 years of commitment to patient care, education, and research. — Christina

50 years of innovative patient care

About a year ago, my uncle, in his mid-seventies, suffered a stroke. Growing up, I felt very close to him, even though he lived in Dallas and I lived in San Antonio. We've always had a special bond because we both love old books and poetry. When my mother called to tell me about his stroke I was shocked. Naïve and oblivious, I never thought something like that would happen to someone close to me. It's a scary thing to have someone you love go through that. He now lives with a pacemaker and a new sense of his own mortality.

I am thankful every day for the surgeons and other professionals who dedicate their lives to treating and researching heart disease. It is thanks to them that procedures and devices have advanced to what they are today, allowing my uncle to survive. — Rebecca   

P.S. If you're interested in books about defibrillators, pacemakers, or other heart devices, we have a great selection, including the most recent Medical Device Register.

Medical Device Register - THI LibraryClinical Cardiac Pacing, Defibrillation, and Resynchronization Therapy - THI LibraryPacemakers ICDs - THI Library


50 years of cutting-edge research

THI Professional Staff Publications Word Cloud

The professional staff at THI averages over 30 papers a month. I enjoy looking at recent publications and can tell you they reflect the full range of cutting-edge research, from basic research to clinical trials. I was curious to know what the publication record said about THI's accomplishments over the past 50 years. I pulled the records for over 3,000 first-author publications in MEDLINE and collected the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). The resulting word cloud shows the topics important to THI with word size roughly representing the number of times it was used. Heart-assist devices and heart transplantation are the two biggest. If you look closely, you'll also see terms like coronary vessel anomalies, mitral valve, Texas, and cattle. For detailed citations, you can browse or search published research from the past five years in our database of Texas Heart Institute Professional Staff Publications  

50 years of education and mentoring

The Dr. Alfred Blalock Collection - THI LibraryDr. Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) was best known for his research on shock and for developing, with Dr. Helen Taussig, the Blalock-Taussig Shunt, a surgical procedure for correcting "blue baby syndrome," a congenital heart defect in infants. That development ushered in the modern era of cardiac surgery and Dr. Cooley, as an intern at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, assisted Dr. Blalock with the first of these operations. Dr. Blalock's influence, work, and research inspired Dr. Cooley to specialize in heart surgery. After founding the Texas Heart Institute, dedicated to treating heart disease and training new heart specialists, Dr. Cooley recognized his surgical teacher and mentor by dedicating the library in THI's new 28-story tower to Dr. Blalock. Although the library no longer bears his name, Dr. Blalock's memory lives on in a collection of his papers and letters, housed in the library's archives. — Gregg 

P.S. Read more about THI's history as told by Dr. Cooley himself:

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