Dr. Holly Andersen to Lead Education and Outreach at New Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

New Position Points to Institute's Emphasis on Raising Awareness of Heart Health

Jan 30, 2009


A leading authority on preventive cardiology, Dr. Holly Andersen has been appointed director of education and outreach at the new Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The newly created position underscores the Institute's strong commitment to raising awareness about the risks of heart disease.

In this role, Dr. Andersen will oversee patient education, community outreach and prevention efforts with the goal of reducing cardiovascular risk, especially among women.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting more than 58 million Americans. While the disease does not discriminate, the American Heart Association has reported that nearly half a million women die each year from heart disease and stroke — nearly twice the mortality of all forms of cancer combined.

"The good news is that cardiovascular disease is largely preventable. By helping people adopt healthier lifestyles, education and outreach can save lives," says Dr. Andersen, who is also an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. "The other good news is that in recent years we have greatly improved our understanding of heart disease and have introduced important treatment advances in areas like minimally invasive surgery and drug therapies. We have a responsibility to educate the greater community about these benefits, and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute is committed to making this a top priority."

In February 2008, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital announced the creation of the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute — made possible through a $50 million gift from Mr. Perelman that also created the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine. The Perelman Heart Institute is scheduled to open this fall at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell on East 68th Street.

The new Heart Institute will feature an interactive education resource center that gives patients the latest medical information on heart disease, from prevention to diagnosis to treatment and lifelong health. Outreach efforts will target patients, community members, young physicians and other hospitals, and will employ lectures, media appearances and community screening events.

Dr. Andersen notes that while the number of people dying from heart disease has gone down, new cases have been increasing among those aged 29 to 45 — especially in women. "Great strides have been made in raising awareness of the importance of diet and exercise and the dangers of smoking, although much more important work remains to be done," she says. "We are just now starting to learn about new factors like stress and sleep that, if well-managed, can help promote a long and healthful life."

Dr. Holly Andersen

Dr. Holly Andersen received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Dartmouth College, and graduated with honors from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and awarded the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Achievement Award from the American Medical Women's Association. She completed her internship, residency and fellowship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she additionally served as the chief resident for the Department of Medicine. She is dual board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Sports Medicine. She founded and chairs the David E. Rogers Memorial Research Award competition for the medical house staff. In 2006, a Visiting Professorship for Integrative Medicine was endowed in her name at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Andersen has been selected as one of America's "Best Doctors" every year by Castle Connolly since 2001, and in 2008 was named by the Consumers' Research Council of America as one of "America's Top Cardiologists." She has published original work on mitral valve prolapse and presented at national and international conferences. She is a past board member of the Arthur Ashe Athletic Association, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, The President's Council of the International Women's Health Coalition, and the National Advisory Board for the Women's Sports Foundation. She lives with her husband and two children in Manhattan.

Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center will function as a "medical town square" complete with a patient-friendly welcome center and a clinical trials enrollment center. The Institute will expand upon the Hospital's cardiac care expertise and connect all cardiac services from treating life-threatening arrhythmias to complex coronary artery disease. It will also focus on translational and clinical research efforts aimed at new ways to diagnose and treat patients with heart disease. New interventional cardiology labs will allow physicians to continue to develop advances in minimally invasive procedures that ensure quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays for patients.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth, and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian, which is ranked sixth on the U.S.News & World Report list of top hospitals, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Pavilion. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit Weill Cornell Medical College.

Media Contact:

Linda Kamateh 212-821-0560