The Cardiovascular Research Foundation has appointed Jack Lewin, MD, as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. Lewin, who will also serve on CRF’s board of directors, comes equipped for his new role after years of experience as a practicing physician, leader and manager.
He succeeds William A. Himmelsbach, MPH, who retired in late 2012. CRF board member Colette Y. Gardner has served as president and co-chair of the Executive Leadership Council in the interim.
Shaping the future of interventional cardiology
According to Lewin, as soon as he was approached about the new role, he was eager to hear more. “There’s not a cardiologist in the interventional space worldwide who doesn’t know what TCT is or hasn’t looked at the TCTMD Web site,” he said. “CRF itself is a fantastic institution that runs not only conferences but also pursues clinical and preclinical research. Putting that all together to advance science and translate those findings to clinical practice is really exciting.”
During his time as CEO of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) between 2006 and 2012, the ACC and CRF began discussing ways to collaborate. In 2008, CRF began to help select interventional content for the Innovations in Interventions (i2) Summit at ACC’s Annual Scientific Session, and in 2011 ACC became an official co-sponsor of TCT.
One of the most pressing concerns in the United States, Lewin noted, is how to curb costs while providing the best possible care for patients.
“There is an enormous amount of change going on in terms of economics that will radically influence where research, education, and clinical practice go,” he explained. “The American health care system, for all of its fantastic achievements, is not always fantastic at the point of care. There’s a lot of unevenness in quality. But the key issue is that it’s unaffordable and unsustainable, and there are many people not included in coverage today.”
CRF, Lewin predicted, could be the chief advocate in the cardiovascular space. “I look forward to bringing information back to CRF about where health care is going, and I would like to bring our experience here back to the national discussion,” he said. “Cardiovascular medicine constitutes almost 40% of the Medicare budget, so to the extent that we can figure out better ways to make people healthier using technology and lifestyle and whatever else we learn, CRF’s work is going to be important for the nation’s economic future.”
Bringing proven leadership and expertise on board
According to Gregg W. Stone, co-director of the Medical Research and Education Division of CRF, Lewin will be a good fit. “Jack Lewin is a true visionary with exceptional experience in health care delivery, and in leading cardiology systems in new and exciting directions,” Stone commented.
Prior to joining the ACC, Lewin was CEO of the California Medical Association and director of health of Hawaii. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, he founded and directed the Navajo Nation Department of Health, serving the needs of America’s largest American Indian tribe. Lewin received his BA in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, and his MD from the University of Southern California. He and his wife Sandra have three children.