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A Brief History
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Charter Day - August 3, 1962

In 1962, when the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease were in their infancy, Dr. Denton A. Cooley made a decision of great importance that would benefit people throughout the state of Texas, across the United States and around the world.

He founded the Texas Heart Institute. Its mission: to reduce the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative programs in research, education, and improved patient care.

Fifty years later, the Institute's success cannot be counted simply in time, but in new knowledge and discoveries that have advanced the progress against cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Through its innovative programs in research and education, the Texas Heart Institute has been the scene of a variety of exciting developments about the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Among these are the first successful heart transplantation in the U.S., the first implantation of an artificial heart in man in the world, breakthroughs in the treatment of infants born with congenital defects, and effective methods of preventing heart attacks by reducing the formation of blockages in the arteries.

In addition, the Texas Heart Institute and its clinical partner, CHI St. Luke’s Health - Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, have become one of the nation's largest cardiovascular centers. Members of the Institute's 180-member Professional Staff have performed more than 118,800 open heart operations, 258,000 cardiac catheterizations and 1,270 heart transplants—experience no other facility can match.

Improved understanding and better diagnoses, treatments and education are offering hope to the 81 million Americans who have some form of heart disease. Death rates from cardiovascular disease have declined and millions of people who have a history of heart attack, chest pain or both are alive today. 

Yet, cardiovascular disease is still the nation's leading cause of death, claiming a life every 33 seconds, 2,600 lives each day and nearly one million lives each year. More women than men die of heart disease, and 35,000 babies are born each year with heart defects. Moreover, as the population ages, cardiovascular disease may have an even greater human and economic impact. By the year 2030, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double to 22 percent of the population.

As Dr. Cooley prophesied 50 years ago, the Texas Heart Institute has offered hope to victims of cardiovascular disease around the world. As long as heart disease remains a threat to all our lives, its efforts will continue.

50th Anniversary Celebration September 18, 2012

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