Surgeon named to head up new cardiac surgery program here

Top Vancouver cardiac surgeon coming here.

Interior Health has tapped Vancouver General Hospital’s cardiology program for the doctor who will head up its new cardiac surgery program at KGH.

Dr. Guy Fradet, the head of Vancouver General’s division of cardiovascular surgery and medical director of cardiac surgery at VGH, has been named to the new KGH post.

He is scheduled to make his first public appearance since accepting the job next week during a news conference in Kelowna. At the news conference he is expected to  present his vision for the local program.

Fradet was not at his Vancouver office Friday and could not be reached for comment. Interior Health officials refused to comment on the hiring, saying it would not make any comment until next week’s news conference.

But last week, Interior Health CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny confirmed the health authority had found its man, and had made an offer which had been accepted. At the time he did not identify Fradet.

The cardiac program at KGH has been evolving in recent years. 

In 2009, doctors here started performing angioplasties in preparation for a provincial government announcement last year that it will fund the creation of a $448-million cardiac care centre here.

Construction of the new Interior Heart and Surgery Centre will start in 2013 and is expected to be complete by 2017.

In the meantime, KGH will start offering cardiac surgery at the hospital, using two specially refitted operating rooms that will be made available as a result of the opening of the new patient care tower at KGH next spring.

The opening of the heart centre will make KGH the fifth full cardiac care site in the province, and the first outside of the Lower Mainland and Victoria. Fradet, a well-known cardiologist in the Lower Mainland, is also the associate head of the cardiovascular surgery division at UBC. 

He graduated from medical school at Laval University in Quebec in 1979 and attended both Montreal’s McGill University and UBC during his training as a surgeon. 

His specialties are adult cardiac surgery and general thoracic surgery.