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Jim and Pat Calhoun Honored by the UConn Health Center

FARMINGTON, Conn. – University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun and his wife Pat were honored on May 17 by another highly accomplished UConn team – a team that performs cardiac angioplasties, open heart surgeries and promising research, rather than three-point shots, slam-dunks and breathtaking assists.

During a ceremony at the University of Connecticut Health Center, doctors, educators and researchers, together with many of the Calhoun's’ family and friends, honored the generous support Pat and Jim Calhoun have given to cardiology research. At that time, the entire cardiology program at the Health Center, encompassing all aspects of clinical care, research and education, was dedicated in honor of the Calhoun's.

The official name of the Health Center’s cardiology program is now, The Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

“This is a spectacular day in the history of the UConn Health Center,” said Peter J. Deckers, M.D., executive vice president of the Health Center. “Pat and Jim Calhoun’s support has been invaluable to the growth and continued success of our cardiology program. We are enormously grateful for their friendship and support.”

“Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American men and women, affecting people from all walks of life. Pat and Jim Calhoun know the reality of heart disease all too well: at young ages, they both lost parents to heart disease. In their lives, they have worked tirelessly to help other families in Connecticut and beyond, by supporting important cardiology research initiatives. Indeed, they are champions of generosity – and we are delighted to honor them today,” Dr. Deckers added.

The Calhoun's have actively supported cardiology research at the Health Center since 1998. Their support, both through generous personal gifts as well as money raised through the annual Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic golf tournament, is approaching $1 million. The golf tournament, which started in 1999, now raises more than $200,000 every year for an endowed research fund: the Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Research Endowment Fund.

In addition to their philanthropic activities, Calhoun is helping the Health Center promote awareness and education about cardiovascular disease by serving as a spokesman for the cardiology program.

Money from the Calhoun endowment supports critical cardiovascular biology research initiatives at the Health Center, many of which have received national attention.

“Today, we are working to find new ways to prevent the progression of heart disease by optimal use of medications; to protect against heart attacks by restoring blood flow to areas affected by clogged arteries and protecting the heart muscle directly; and to detect heart damage earlier and more accurately, to name just a few of our exciting research initiatives,” explained Bruce T. Liang, M.D., director of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

“No doubt, the lives of men and women in Connecticut today – and for many years to come – will be touched by the Calhoun’s commitment to cardiology research,” Dr. Liang added.

At the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, the UConn team offers comprehensive approaches to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart, valves and blood vessels. Services include:

• State of the art diagnostic services including exercise tests, medication stress testing, nuclear imaging, echocardiography, stress echo, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and more.

• Preventive Cardiology: Cardiologists offer advanced medical approaches to help patients manage risk factors for heart disease, such as cholesterol disorders or diabetes.

• Care for Patients with Hypertension: UConn experts have pioneered new approaches to monitor and control high blood pressure, including 24-hour monitoring services.

• Interventional Treatments: UConn cardiologists offer comprehensive interventional services, including angioplasty and drug-coated stents, to diagnose and treat blocked arteries. Primary coronary intervention – emergent angioplasty – is also performed.

• Surgical Treatments: The Health Center offers comprehensive cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgeries, including open-heart surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, mitral and aortic vale replacement surgery, peripheral arterial bypass surgery and more.

During the dedication ceremony, the Calhoun's received a framed and signed photo of the Health Center’s cardiology team which includes researchers, cardiologists, hypertension experts, cardiovascular surgeons, vascular surgeons, cardiology nurses and more. They also received a framed commemorative letter from UConn President Philip Austin on behalf of the university and the Board of Trustees.

“It is truly inspiring to see someone of Jim Calhoun’s stature, a head coach at UConn, make such a generous personal investment in the institution where he works,” added President Austin.

For more information about cardiology services at the UConn Health Center, call 800-535-6232.

Pictured above (Right to Left):  Bruce T. Liang, M.D., director of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, Peter J. Deckers, M.D., executive vice president of the Health Center, Pat and Jim Calhoun and University of Connecticut President Philip E. Austin.