About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Mary Washington hires U.Va. to help with heart surgery program

Mary Washington Healthcare has hired the University of Virginia Health System to help fill vacancies in its heart surgery program.

U. Va. will recruit and screen surgeons for the program. The university is also advertising for a program director.

“They’re doing the screening,” said Kathleen Allenbaugh, hospital spokeswoman. “We have a lot of folks doing the interviewing: hospital administration and cardiologists.”

U.Va. placed a help-wanted ad in the Free Lance-Star last week for an advanced-practice clinician with a master’s degree to “develop, implement and maintain” Mary Washington’s heart surgery program. U.Va. also is helping to recruit two surgeons, one who will replace Dr. John Armitage, and one to replace Dr. Pyongsoo Yoon. Armitage departed the hospital this spring, leaving Yoon as the director and sole surgeon. Yoon has resigned effective March 1 to take a job in Memphis.

This is the latest chapter in the growing relationship between U.Va. and Mary Washington. U.Va. supplies heart surgeons to fill in for Yoon when he is away. U.Va. also is a 20-percent partner with Mary Washington in the stereotactic radiosurgery program that will be housed in the new cancer center being built on the Fredericksburg campus.

So has Mary Washington hired U.Va. to run its heart surgery program?

“No, however, Mary Washington and U.Va. have a positive working relationship,” Allenbaugh said. “We continue to talk with U.Va. about expanding our heart surgery partnership in the future.”