Altoona Native Tapped as New Director of Cardiac Surgery at UPMC Altoona

September 1, 2016

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 1, 2016 – The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has named Louis Russo, M.D., clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as its new director of cardiac surgery at UPMC Altoona. The new role is a homecoming for Dr. Russo, who was raised in Altoona.

“Altoona has always been the place I consider home,” said Dr. Russo, who has enjoyed spending time in Altoona on a regular basis since leaving as a young man. “My parents and many friends still live here, and now I’m back. As a homegrown surgeon from Pennsylvania, I am looking forward to providing excellent care for patients in my hometown.”

A graduate of Penn State University and board certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Russo earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in Philadelphia before completing his residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He previously served as director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program at Maine Medical Center, and has served as the principal investigator and co-investigator on several clinical trials. His clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery.

Dr. Russo joined the UPMC family in 2013 and has been caring for patients at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania. There, he served as vice-chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Surgery.

“Dr. Russo has been part of UPMC’s world-class cardiac surgery program for more than three years and has headed up UPMC Hamot’s quality efforts during that time,” said Jerry Murray, president of UPMC Altoona. “He is a seasoned surgeon who will provide a clinical connection between Pittsburgh and Altoona, and we’re confident he’ll build on the successes he had at UPMC Hamot.”

UPMC Altoona offers a wide spectrum of state-of-the-art cardiac surgery, including the latest techniques in surgical treatment of coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease. This includes coronary artery bypass grafting; aortic, mitral and tricuspid valve replacement; and repairs of mitral and tricuspid valves. In collaboration with the cardiologists from the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, Dr. Russo will also offer advanced anti-arrhythmic surgery.

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the world’s premier centers for comprehensive care, developing revolutionary devices and new models of treatment that improve the lives of those facing the most complex heart and vascular conditions.