UNC Health Care announces new organizational structure for Heart and Vascular services

UNC Health Care has become a leader in the state and the nation for its heart and vascular care and research. Heart and vascular services at UNC Health Care are currently undergoing a period of rapid growth, including the opening of the North Carolina Heart and Vascular Hospital at Rex in 2017. Now more than ever, a structure is needed that will continue and increase our strategic alignment of services and priorities, clinical best practices, and quality care for our patients. To meet these goals and strengthen our academic mission in this area, UNC Health Care is announcing a new organizational structure for Heart and Vascular that will position us well for the future.

The structure below is effective immediately:


System Leadership

Dr. Jim Zidar has been named physician-in-chief of UNC Heart and Vascular Network. He will be working with Marlene Rifkin, Senior VP, and Lauren Onken, Director, to lead Heart and Vascular for the UNC Health Care system, reporting to Gary Park and Allen Daugird. They are responsible for developing the overall UNC Health Care service line strategy, coordinating activities and clinical integration across UNC Health Care entities, and expanding the UNC Health Care Heart and Vascular academic mission.


Leadership at Rex and UNC Medical Center

Both Rex and UNC Medical Center have strong Heart and Vascular programs that are positioned for rapid growth in the years ahead. To best prepare for this growth, the new structure calls for Heart and Vascular leadership teams at both locations to work with Jim Zidar, Marlene Rifkin and Lauren Onken. 

  • Dr. Ravish Sachar, physician-in-chief, will work closely with Erick Hawkins, CFO, to lead inpatient and outpatient Heart and Vascular operations at Rex. They will also coordinate and facilitate care among Heart and Vascular physician specialties at Rex.
  • Dr. Rick Stouffer, physician-in-chief, will work closely with Marlene Rifkin to lead inpatient and outpatient Heart and Vascular operations at UNC Medical Center. They will also coordinate and facilitate care among Heart and Vascular physician specialties at UNC Medical Center.

Standing Committees

To ensure that Heart and Vascular services at both Rex and UNC Medical Center are focused and coordinated on key issues, the new structure includes six standing committees that will involve Heart and Vascular medical staff at both Rex and UNC Medical Center. Jim Zidar, Marlene Rifkin and Lauren Onken will facilitate the committees that will focus on service line leadership, quality outcomes, training, growth and strategy, clinical integration and new payment models, and research.


The Future of Heart and Vascular at UNC Health Care

The goal of everything we do at UNC Health Care is to provide quality care more efficiently and effectively to the people of North Carolina. Our reorganization of Heart and Vascular is no different. Through this structure, we will grow and expand the talented team at Rex and better connect them to the research and teaching at UNC Medical Center. In the end, we will bring together the best of what we have to offer in a coordinated and strategic way that prepares us well for the future and provides the best care for our patients.