Baptist Health Foundation

Baptist Health Foundation Presents Endowed Chair Ceremony For Tom C. Nguyen, M.D.

March 12, 2024

MIAMI, FL - March 12, 2024 - Tom C. Nguyen, M.D., chief medical executive of Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and director of minimally invasive valve surgery, was installed as the Barry T. Katzen Medical Director Endowed Chair at a ceremony and dinner on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami. The program was led by Bo Boulenger, President & CEO of Baptist Health; Joe Natoli, EVP and chief administrative officer of Baptist Health; Alex Villoch, CEO of Baptist Health Foundation; and Jack Ziffer, Ph.D., M.D., EVP and chief clinical officer, chief physician executive; followed by a presentation by Dr. Nguyen.

The endowed chair was established in 2007 by a $2 million gift from Bill and Gayle Cook, and was named in honor of Barry T. Katzen, M.D., founder and currently chief medical executive emeritus of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, who led the Institute for more than 35 years. The institute was the brainchild of Dr. Katzen, whose visionary ideas pioneered a collaborative, multidisciplinary heart and vascular program at Baptist Health with research and education as a foundational element of the Institute. 

The endowment will support Dr. Nguyen’s work in the further development of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute as a destination providing advanced, multidisciplinary care, research and education, including innovative minimally invasive cardiovascular techniques and treatments.  He is one of only a small number of cardiothoracic surgeons in the U.S. who are trained in both traditional “open” cardiac surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this significant occasion for Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute,” said Alex Villoch. “The generosity and vision of the Cook family will continue to make a huge impact on the Institute’s ability to provide world-class clinical care as well as conduct groundbreaking research to benefit the South Florida community.”

Dr. Nguyen is an internationally recognized minimally invasive heart surgeon. His outcomes score is in the top 98.7 percent in the national Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ database. He came to Baptist Health from the University of California San Francisco, where he was the chief of cardiothoracic surgery and Charles Schwab Distinguished Professor. During Dr. Nguyen’s tenure at UCSF, cardiothoracic surgery was transformed, establishing benchmark figures in quality and outcomes, with expansion of research.

Dr. Nguyen graduated from Rice University and then worked in Switzerland at the World Health Organization. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, but he decided to pursue medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Nguyen has achieved many accolades. After completing his surgery residency at Stanford University, he completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Columbia University and a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) fellowship at Emory University.

Recognizing his passion for teaching and mentorship, he received the Benjy Brooks Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award and teaching awards from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American College of Surgeons. He has volunteered as a surgeon across the globe and lived and worked in Africa to share his experiences. 

Dr. Nguyen is active in research at a national and international level with nearly 300 peer-reviewed articles.  He serves on the editorial boards of four academic journals and is the editor of several textbooks. He recently served as president of the 21st Century Cardiothoracic Surgery Society and is a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. 

“I am incredibly honored to accept this endowed chair,” said Dr. Nguyen. “It will allow me and my team at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute to keep making significant strides at the leading edge in cardiovascular medicine.  I’m confident that the innovations we pursue will serve to carry on the legacy of Dr. Katzen, who paved the way for us to keep improving patient treatments and outcomes.”

Added Dr. Ziffer, “Dr. Nguyen is a transformational leader, with the vision of further developing Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute as a world-class program in clinical cardiovascular medicine and surgery, research and education. We are very grateful to the Cook family for their vision and trust in providing this remarkable honor for Dr. Nguyen. This endowment will serve as an example to grow the Institute by recruiting other renowned physicians like Dr. Nguyen.”

Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute has been advancing care in the community for over 35 years.  It is the largest and most comprehensive cardiovascular care network in the area, with over 25 locations across South Florida. The Institute leverages the power of Baptist Health’s combined resources of multidisciplinary specialists, pioneering research, compassionate caregivers and leading-edge treatments and technology. Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is the first in the United States to use technology developed with Philips that makes it easier for doctors to perform image-guided procedures for heart and vascular disease.
About Baptist Health Foundation

The mission of Baptist Health Foundation is to inspire philanthropy and build extraordinary donor relationships in support of excellence, innovation, community wellness and global leadership in healthcare at Baptist Health South Florida. Through philanthropy, the Foundation supports and expands Baptist Health’s ability to provide outstanding patient care and bring the latest treatments to patients and families affected by a serious illness. Donor contributions also allow the Foundation to assist Baptist Health facilities in keeping pace with technology and equipment advances, perform cutting-edge research and offer continuing education opportunities to medical staff. Learn more at

About Baptist Health  
Baptist Health is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned institutes specializing in cancer care, brain and spine care, heart and vascular care and orthopedic care. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and The Baptist Health PineApp, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and is the most awarded healthcare system in South Florida by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn.



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