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Michael E. Halkos Appointed New Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery

July 2017

Effective July 1, 2017, Michael E.  Halkos, MD, MSc, has been named Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Emory Department of Surgery.

The former Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Robert Guyton, MD, who followed the esteemed Charles Ross Hatcher, Jr., MD, as the second chief of the division in 1990, will remain clinically and academically active within the Division and the School of Medicine. During Dr. Guyton's tenure, Emory's CT Surgery program achieved national recognition as one of the country's top programs in areas including off-pump coronary revascularization, congenital cardiac surgery, robotic mitral surgery, major aortic surgery, robotic-assisted coronary bypass, and transcatheter valve therapies. He has been a national leader in CT surgery education, has trained over 120 cardiothoracic surgery residents, and has served as a crucial mentor for many of Emory CT Surgery's faculty members.  

"Dr. Halkos was selected to this impressive leadership position after a national search was conducted," says John Sweeney, MD, Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery. "The search committee interviewed some of the country's most well-established and up and coming CT surgery leaders, and Dr. Halkos rose to the top of the candidate pool. He impressed us with his steady, sophisticated responses; the subtle and consistent team-based leadership style he has developed here at Emory; his intimate understanding of cardiothoracic surgery at a multi-hospital system like Emory; and the ambitious vision he recommended for the future of the Division." 

Dr. Halkos joined the Emory Department of Surgery in 2009 after completing his Emory Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency. He is a highly experienced and productive academic cardiac surgeon-scientist with expertise in minimally invasive cardiac surgery, particularly robotic-assisted coronary artery bypass surgery and robotic mitral valve surgery, hybrid coronary revascularization, and hybrid atrial fibrillation ablation. Over 50 percent of his clinical practice focuses on minimally invasive approaches for cardiac surgical operations. Along with Douglas Murphy, MD, at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, he helms one of the largest and most successful robotic cardiac surgical programs in the world. He is also one of the highest volume surgeons in performing robotic coronary bypass procedures, and is an international leader with his cardiology colleagues in hybrid coronary revascularization.  

Dr. Halkos has demonstrated a passion for Emory's tripartite mission, and has excelled in both education and research in addition to patient care. He currently directs the Cardiothoracic Center for Clinical Research, was the Department of Surgery's first faculty member to receive an NHLBI K-23 Award, received his Master's Degree in Clinical Research in 2012, and currently serves as Principal Investigator for multiple industry- and NIH-sponsored trials. He plays an active leadership role in resident education, and has authored well over 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.

He credits much of his clinical and academic success at Emory on strong mentorship as well as close collaboration and multidisciplinary teamwork with his colleagues in cardiothoracic surgery and research, cardiology, anesthesiology, and nursing.

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