UCLA heart surgeon Dr. Curtis Hunter partners with Saint John’s Health Center heart program as part of community partnership to benefit Westside patients

UCLA Health article

As part of their evolving community partnership, UCLA Health, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, and Saint John's Health Center have announced that Dr. Curtis Hunter will partner with Saint John's heart program. In this capacity, Hunter will be part of a combined team to include Dr. John Robertson, director of cardiovascular surgery at Saint John's, to provide heart surgery to patients in Santa Monica and other West Los Angeles communities. He continues to be on staff at UCLA's hospitals in Santa Monica and Westwood.

"This agreement provides a framework to offer better health care for patients in our common service area," said Posie Carpenter, chief administrative officer of Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. "UCLA's strength lies in a union of research, teaching and excellent patient care. We believe there is significant potential to collaborate with Saint John's in these areas, and this is one example of how this partnership will benefit patients in our mutual service areas."

"Dr. Hunter's arrival helps ensure patients can count on outstanding heart surgery services without leaving Santa Monica," said Lou Lazatin, CEO of Saint John's Health Center. "This relationship combines the strength of our two long-standing heart programs for the well-being of our entire community."

Hunter is board-certified in thoracic surgery and general surgery. He is an assistant clinical professor of surgery and director of cardiothoracic surgery services at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. In addition to cardiothoracic surgery, Hunter's clinical interests include adult acquired cardiovascular disease, thoracic aortic disease and research in optimizing outcomes in cardiac surgery.

Hunter received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Utah, followed by general surgery residency training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and cardiothoracic surgery training at Boston University Medical Center. Hunter previously was at Boston Medical Center, where he served as assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery, director of thoracic endografting and director of cardiothoracic critical care.

About Saint John's
Since its founding in 1942 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Saint John's Health Center has been providing the patients and families of Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and ocean communities with breakthrough medicine and inspired healing. Saint John's provides a spectrum of treatment and diagnostic services with distinguished areas of excellence in oncology, spine, neurosurgery, orthopedics, women's health, cardiac care and specialized programs such as the internationally acclaimed John Wayne Cancer Institute. For more information, visit www.newstjohns.org.

About UCLA Health
For more than half a century, UCLA Health has provided the best in health care and the latest in medical technology to the people of Los Angeles and throughout the world.  Comprising Ronald Reagan UCLA Health - Santa Monica Medical Center-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and the UCLA Medical Group, with its wide-reaching system of primary care and specialty care offices throughout the region, UCLA Health is among the most comprehensive and advanced health care systems in the world. UCLA physicians are world leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of complex illnesses and perform pioneering work across an astounding range of disciplines, from organ transplantation and cardiac surgery to neurosurgery and cancer treatment, bringing the latest discoveries to virtually every field of medicine. For more information, visit www.uclahealth.org.


UCLA Health    Saint John's Health Center 

Roxanne Moster, [email protected]

Ted Braun, [email protected] 

  Greg Harrison [email protected]


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