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Saving Lives, One Heart at a Time

One of the few female heart surgeons in the United States, Dr. Kathy Magliato is a leading expert, consultant, and national spokeswoman on heart disease in women. Currently operating at Providence Saint John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, Magliato is making great leaps in cardiology and medicine in general.

A Union College alum, Magliato graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Cum Laude honors before earning her medical degree with Alpha Omega Alpha honors at Case Western Reserve University. Magliato’s interest in science and the human heart began at a young age, undeterred by the fact that cardiac surgery was an overwhelmingly male-dominated field; less than five percent of cardiac surgeons are women.

“The inspiration to be a cardiac surgeon honestly was: the more people told me I couldn’t do it, the more I wanted to do it,” Magliato revealed in an exclusive interview with Lenny. “And going through my training, I was pretty much talked out of doing any of the male-dominated professions like cardiac.”

The first woman ever to serve as the Immediate Past President of the Board of the Greater LA County American Heart Association, Magliato’s interest in women’s cardiac health has earned her insurmountable credit in the medical world.

After nine years of clinical training at Akron General Medical Center, the University of Michigan Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh, Magliato went on to serve as a heart and lung transplant surgeon as well as Director of the Mechanical Assist Device Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Credited by the U.S. News as a nationally-ranked hospital in 11 adult specialties, Cedars-Sinai was also ranked number 10 in the whole country for Magliato’s disciplines in cardiology and heart surgery.

The founder and director of St. John’s Multidisciplinary Women’s Health Center, Magliato’s passion for promoting and treating the cardiac issues of female patients is recognized and lauded in an NBC series, Heartbeat. The medical drama is based on Magliato’s critically acclaimed autobiography, Heart Matters. Published in 2010, Heart Matters depicts Magliato’s struggle to balance the demanding world of surgery while also being a mother and wife, as well as her love for battling heart disease – one of the biggest threats to women’s health.

An expert in heart disease and an avid educator on cardiac health and heart disease prevention, Magliato has been featured as a health consultant on a variety of news channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, and CNN.

Magliato continues to serve as a surgeon, heart disease educator and activist, as well as health consultant. She is also recently moving into a position on the American Heart Association’s Western States Affiliate Board. An exemplary role model for women going into medicine, Magliato’s passion for her life-saving work exceeds the prejudices determined to stop her.

Featured Image by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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