Cardiac experts up-tick Northwell heart-surgery team

Pumped up: Northwell Health has made two key additions to its open-heart surgical team.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Two noted surgeons have been added to Northwell Health’s heart-transplant team.

The New Hyde Park-based health system announced this week that Brian Lima and Syed Hussain, both cardiac surgeons specializing in heart transplants and other adult cardiac surgeries, have joined the heart transplant center at North Shore University Hospital’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital.

Lima has been named NSUH’s new director of heart transplantation surgery, while Hussain will play a “key role” in Northwell Health’s heart-transplant program as the lead procurement surgeon – the doctor who surgically retrieves donor hearts, according to the health system.

Brian Lima: The Duke of heart transplants.

The new heart-transplantation director – who is also an associate professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell – built a reputation for transplant surgeries as surgical director of mechanical circulatory support at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he also served as director of clinical research in cardiac transplantation and co-director of cardiovascular research services for Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas’ largest not-for-profit health system.

A recognized authority on advanced heart-failure therapies, cardiac transplantation and primary graft dysfunction, Lima has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He received his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Stanley J. Sarnoff Research Fellowship Award in cardiovascular sciences, and completed his residency in general surgery – as well as a fellowship in cardiac surgery research – at the Duke University Medical Center.

Hussain, who will also join the cardiothoracic surgical team at Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital, was recruited from the Cleveland Clinic, where he was a cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in coronary artery bypass grafts, minimally invasive aortic valve procedures and other adult cardiac surgical procedures.

Syed Hussain: All-India.

The new procurement specialist, who was educated and trained at India’s prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences and completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, has also been frequently published in medical journals and textbooks and has presented more than 60 international lectures on cardiothoracic surgery.

The two hires are among the first and most important steps for the new transplant center. North Shore University Hospital received New York State Department of Health approval in June to establish Long Island’s only transplant center – the first time the Health Department opened its books to approve a new heart-transplant program in two decades.

Alan Hartman, Northwell Health senior vice president and executive director of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery for the health system, credited NSUH’s “growing reputation for excellence” as the key to “recruit(ing) two nationally recognized cardiac surgeons to join the heart transplant center.”

“Drs. Lima and Hussain have extensive experience in heart-transplant surgery and will be integral in launching Northwell’s program, working with our outstanding advanced heart failure team and cardiac experts all focused on delivering the highest quality of care to our patients,” Hartman said in a statement.

The first surgeries at the new transplant center are slated to be performed later this year, according to Northwell Health.