Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans. Yet, both diseases can be largely prevented, and every year, thanks to scientific advances brought about by research, treatment improves.
To continue that good work, leaders from Albany Med, Saratoga Hospital and Columbia Memorial Health have come together to lead the fight against heart disease and stroke at the American Heart Association’s Capital Region Heart Ball on Saturday, March 3, at the New York State Museum, 222 Madison Ave., Albany, from 6 to 11 p.m.
Dr. Ferdinand J. Venditti, Jr., executive vice president for System Care Delivery and hospital general director of Albany Med; Angelo Calbone, president and CEO of Saratoga Hospital; and Jay Cahalan, president and CEO of Columbia Memorial Health, are co-chairing the event.
Calbone and Cahalan were two of the three recipients of the Donald Led Duke Heart Hero Award at last year’s Heart Ball.
Dr. Venditti, a board-certified cardiologist, first came to Albany Med in 1999 as the Richard T. Beebe Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine. After serving more than 10 years as chair, he was appointed vice dean for Clinical Affairs at Albany Medical College in 2008, where he assumed responsibility for the management of all aspects of the Albany Med Faculty Physicians Practice, which currently has more than 500 full-time physicians practicing in more than 35 sites throughout the Capital Region. In January 2016, Dr. Venditti was appointed executive vice president for System Care Delivery and hospital general director, where he is now responsible for all aspects of the clinical care delivered at the main Albany Med campus on New Scotland Avenue.
Before joining Albany Med, Dr. Venditti was on the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine and was later a faculty member of Harvard Medical School while on staff at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. A Schenectady native, he graduated from St. Lawrence University and the State University of New York at Brooklyn Medical School, and completed his medicine residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and his cardiology training at Boston University Medical Center. He trained in cardiac electrophysiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I’m truly honored to join Angelo and Jay in co-chairing this year’s Capital Region Heart Ball,” said Dr. Venditti. “Albany Med is known regionally for our leading-edge cardiac services, pioneering research in preventing heart attacks and strokes and for delivering quality, compassionate care. Over the past year, our affiliation with Saratoga Hospital and Columbia Memorial Hospital has allowed us to collaborate in a number of areas and further advance cardiac care throughout our region.”
Calbone has been president and CEO of Saratoga Hospital since 2006. Under his leadership, the hospital has invested tens of millions in facilities, technology and talent. The hospital also has taken significant steps—including affiliating with Albany Medical Center in January 2017—to secure the future of quality healthcare in Saratoga County. Already, the affiliation has enabled Saratoga Hospital to bring lifesaving 24/7 emergency cardiac interventional services to the Saratoga region.
Before joining Saratoga Hospital, Calbone was president and CEO of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center in Lewiston/Niagara Falls, New York, and CEO of the Health System of Niagara. A graduate of West Liberty State College in West Virginia, he has a master’s in health services administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife, Kate.
“We have an opportunity, as healthcare organizations and as individuals, to raise awareness about heart disease—and how to prevent it,” Calbone said. “We’re making progress. Deaths due to cardiovascular disease are on the decline, but we are still losing more than 600,000 Americans a year to this disease. We can and must do better.”
Cahalan is president and CEO of Columbia Memorial Health. He joined CMH in 1994 as its chief operating officer, and served as executive vice president before being named president and CEO in 2012. Cahalan was instrumental in building CMH’s Physician network and led the Hospital to its groundbreaking Affiliation with Albany Med. Prior to joining CMH, Cahalan was vice president of diagnostic services for Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Conn. Cahalan holds masters’ degrees from the University of Connecticut, and Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. He completed his undergraduate degree at Southern Connecticut State University. He lives in Athens, NY, with his wife Leila.
“Awareness and prevention go hand in hand, and the American Heart Association has achieved tremendous results. But there is still much more to be done,” said Cahalan. “The recent integration of cardiology services between CMH and Albany Med was an important step in providing seamless cardiac care to our service area. It’s an example of partnership that we know will help the American Heart Association meet is critical mission of preventing heart disease and stroke.”
“Nearly everyone has been affected by heart disease and stroke in one way or another,” said Kathy Lanni, chief community officer of SEFCU and chair of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “We’re honored that these three community leaders are leading this event, which will help us fulfill our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”
For information or to purchase tickets, visit CapitalRegionNYHeartBall.heart.org.