Trailblazer Heart Surgeon Joins Institute for Cardiovascular Health

Announcement: Dell Medical School and Insitute for Cardiovascular Health


George Arnaoutakis, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Institute Leader

AUSTIN, Texas – In a major step toward building a fully integrated array of heart and vascular services in Central Texas, acclaimed cardiovascular surgeon George Arnaoutakis, M.D., has joined the Institute for Cardiovascular Health – a clinical partnership between Ascension Texas and UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.

An academic leader and innovative scientific investigator with a focus on aortic disease, Arnaoutakis serves as the inaugural Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Med. He has been named Director of Thoracic Aortic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery Quality and Outcomes, and Surgical Director of the institute’s Transcatheter Valve Program. He also serves as Ascension Texas’ Physician Executive for Adult Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

“This is a new day for complex cardiovascular care in Central Texas,” said internationally renowned congenital heart surgeon Charles D. Fraser, Jr., M.D., Executive Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular Health. “As a highly accomplished aortic surgeon and the leader of several cutting-edge clinical trials, Dr. Arnaoutakis is a world-class clinician and medical researcher committed to providing whole-person, high-quality cardiovascular care here in Austin as a model for the nation,” said Fraser.

“Attracting extraordinary physician leaders to Central Texas and building this kind of collaborative program exemplifies how Dell Med is advancing its mission to deliver excellent comprehensive clinical care grounded in innovative education and research,” said Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D., Dell Med Dean and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs for UT Austin. “Programs like this allow patients and families to find the high-quality care they need right here at home.”

Arnaoutakis agreed, saying, “This is a transformative opportunity in Austin, a vibrant and dynamic city with immense regional and national significance. I am excited to join Dell Med and Ascension Texas, with the esteemed clinicians at Ascension Texas Cardiovascular, to build a comprehensive cardiovascular and thoracic program that will have an immediate impact in the region and beyond,” he said.

“We are beyond excited about the expertise Dr. Arnaoutakis will bring to our integrated academic system of heart care,” said Andy Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Texas. “We look forward to collaborating with him as well as the growing team of top-notch physicians at the Institute for Cardiovascular Health as we continue to expand this joint program.”

Arnaoutakis officially started his journey at Dell Med and Ascension Texas on Monday, January 9. After earning his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, Arnaoutakis received his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine, followed by a general surgery residency and postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He then completed cardiovascular surgery training at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Read more about his clinical and research interests here.

On January 12, Arnaoutakis presented his first Dell Med Grand Rounds to the local medical community on the topic of management and trends in Type A aortic dissection, the most lethal location for a tear in the aorta.

The Institute for Cardiovascular Health was established in March 2022 to complement the existing clinical excellence in cardiology services currently available across the region.

“By coordinating clinical care services with innovative approaches to medical education and the state-of-the-art research at Dell Med and UT Austin, we’re on the road to making Central Texas a destination for highly-specialized heart care,” said Fraser.

About the Partnership Between UT Health Austin and Ascension Seton

The collaboration between UT Health Austin and Ascension brings together medical professionals, medical school learners, and researchers who are all part of the integrated mission of transforming healthcare delivery and redesigning the academic health environment to better serve society. This collaboration allows highly specialized providers who are at the forefront of the latest research, diagnostic, and technological developments to build an integrated system of care that is a collaborative resource for clinicians and their patients.

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.