Northwestern Medicine recently welcomed Dr. Stuart Rich as director of the new Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, and as a professor of medicine-cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Rich is a pioneer when it comes to treating pulmonary hypertension, a debilitating and incurable type of high blood pressure of the lungs.
“I’m a dreamer, and the leadership in the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is strong and visionary. Northwestern Medicine is the ideal setting for the next big breakthrough in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension, and I look forward to working with the strong team in place to further advance treatment for this chronic disease,” noted Rich.
Rich has been dedicated to developing treatment options for patients with pulmonary hypertension for more than 30 years, and has published hundreds of book chapters and clinical articles on the disease. He led the advancement of several new treatments for the disease that include the utilization of intravenous prostacyclin, which was the first FDA-approved treatment for PH and the only one until now that has been proven to improve survival rates.
His career began at the University of Illinois as principle investigator for the National Institutes of Health Registry on Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, and was responsible for the largest clinical center in the United States, assessing and treating individuals with pulmonary hypertension since 1980. He has also been a pioneer in the advancement of every novel treatment for the disease, as well as the use of devices and therapeutic procedures.
Rich studied at Washington University in St. Louis and had a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Chicago. In 2014, he received the heart for Hope Legacy Award from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, and in 2015 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute.
Rich joined Northwestern from the University of Chicago Medicine and is part of the school’s top heart surgery programs.
“Dr. Rich has worked for decades as the world recognized leader in the field of pulmonary hypertension, and will make Northwestern Medicine the destination for thousands of patients with this rare but life threatening condition. We look forward to this transformative physician accelerating the exceptional momentum of our team at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute,” noted Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine executive director.