Inova Names Chris O’Connor CEO of Inova Heart and Vascular Institute

OConnorChris_IHVIFALLS CHURCH, VA – April 7, 2015 – Renowned clinician Christopher M. O’Connor, MD, joins Inova as Chief Executive Officer of Inova Heart and Vascular Institute (IHVI). In this role, Dr. O’Connor will direct IHVI’s system-wide cardiovascular strategy, expand the clinical, research and education programs of the Institute, and recruit notable cardiac and vascular professionals to further the Institute’s stature as a national and international cardiovascular leader.

Dr. O’Connor returns to the Washington, DC, area after 31 years at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. While at Duke, his research earned him worldwide recognition as an authority on heart failure. Most recently, Dr. O’Connor served at Duke as the Richard Stack Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Director of the Duke Heart Center. Under his leadership, the Duke Heart Center experienced significant growth of five to ten percent per year, and the U.S. News and World Report magazine’s annual ranking moved to #4 in the nation.

“Chris brings with him a wealth of experience and impressive credentials in clinical research,” said Patrick Christiansen, PhD, CEO, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. “We look forward to working with him to further personalized medicine initiatives in cardiology, including endeavors with Inova Translational Medicine Institute and the evolving Inova Sports Medicine Institute to effect positive change in cardiovascular health.”

Having led more than 20 clinical trials and published at least 400 manuscripts, Dr. O’Connor’s work has uncovered links in how mood disorders and stress affect heart disease and led to insights into pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies to treat heart failure (HF). As the Principal Investigator of the HF-ACTION clinical trial, which studied exercise training in more than 2,000 HF patients, his research led to a change in the international guidelines, a change by CMS in the national reimbursement of cardiac rehabilitation for HF patients and validation of two novel biomarkers that were later approved by the FDA. Dr. O’Connor’s jointly owned company BisCardia holds a patent for the use of bisphosphonate – a drug commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis – to improve heart function.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Inova as the CEO of IHVI and building on an already strong program,” said Dr. O’Connor. “With Inova’s richly diverse patient population, there are significant research opportunities in mood disorders and heart disease, cell therapy and regenerative medicine, heart disease in women, aspirin therapy, and platelet function – all areas that stand to provide valuable education and improve the health of the patients we serve.”

Dr. O’Connor earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Chemistry from the University of Maryland College Park and his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore. He went on to Duke to complete his internship, residency, chief residency and cardiology fellowship. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure, and serves on the editorial boards for several other journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Media Contact: Tracy Connell,

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  1. Noreen on April 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I had my CABG done at Inova Alexandria and have had follow up procedures at Inova Fairfax. Dr Narain Rajan is my cardiologist. It’s because of Inova and the doctors that treated me that I am alive and with my family. Thank you.

  2. Dina on October 12, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Great care by Dr. Sears-Rogan and her team. (TEE, Sept 23, 2015)

    They worked really well together and stood by their clinical protocols! It was excellent to get great care and also see a team that enjoys working together.
    Excellent bed side manner!

    D.i Sears-Rogan
    Dr. Erin Foley, Anes
    Mani (echo tech)
    Agnes Bartek, RN
    Nani (reception desk)
    Nani, Reception Desk

  3. Mary on September 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I am trying to reach the office of Dr. Chris O’Connor (announced as CEO of IHVI in April 2015). Neither Inova or Duke University has contact information available. Inova website phone contact (703-776-3593) is not a valid number. Please provide appropriate contact information.

    • InovaNewsroom on September 27, 2016 at 8:18 am

      You can contact Dr. O’Connor’s office at 703-776-6477.

  4. Paul on November 3, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I enjoyed Dr. O’Connor’s presentation at Inova 360 yesterday. I was especially intrigued by him touching on two topics of great interest to me.
    1) Patient Education — much is needed, I am working on an animation delivery platform
    2) EHR — Inova, as do many large hospitals, uses Epic Systems. Epic is built on an antiquated database and works to protect $billions of installed systems, rather than to seek cooperative, open-sourced solutions.

    I would love to discuss these with Dr. O’Connor.

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