January 14, 2020

Jay K. Bhama, M.D., Joins UAMS as Chief of Division of Cardiovascular Surgery

By Amy Widner

He will lead the cardiovascular program at UAMS by working alongside Paul Mounsey, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. Both departments are in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Bhama is a nationally recognized heart surgeon with significant health care leadership experience within the cardiovascular arena. With a special interest and expertise in heart valve surgery as well as mechanical circulatory support, Bhama brings a unique skillset to the cardiovascular program at UAMS.

Bhama divides his time between UAMS and Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock, where he serves as the Heart Failure and Transplant Institute’s surgical director for heart transplantation and co-director for mechanical circulatory support (MCS) and left ventricular assist devices (LVAD).

Bhama formerly was professor and chief of the adult cardiac surgery program at University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City. Under his leadership, the program became a regional leader in heart valve surgery, structural heart disease and MCS/LVAD. A national expert and thought-leader in the field of heart failure surgery, Bhama also was director of the heart transplantation, MCS, and extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation programs. Prior to that, Bhama was associate director of the cardiothoracic (heart and lung) transplant and artificial heart programs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Bhama earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed a general surgical residency in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, also at Baylor. He completed cardiothoracic surgical training at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He also completed an advanced cardiac surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and a fellowship in cardiothoracic transplant and mechanical circulatory support at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Bhama is a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, and American College of Chest Physicians. Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. has named him one of the nation’s top doctors in thoracic and cardiac surgery based upon peer nominations.

Bhama is widely published, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He holds several patents on innovative medical devices and serves as a reviewer for the field’s leading medical journal. He is also the state’s only cardiothoracic surgeon member of the prestigious American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Bhama has been in practice for over 15 years and his clinical interests focus on heart failure surgery, such as left ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation, as well as general cardiac surgery, including heart valve surgeries such as complex mitral valve repair. His research focuses on clinical outcomes after heart transplant and MCS procedures and the development of innovative medical devices for the management of advanced heart failure.