|MENDING BROKEN HEARTS: One Cardiologist's journey through a half century of discovery and medical change
The strong guidance of parents and teachers as he grew up in Alabama's Appalachia motivated Donald Harrison to reach for outstanding career achievements. He became one of the most respected and well-known cardiologists in the world, most notably in building a world-class cardiology program at Stanford University. He then moved to Cincinnati to direct the University's Medical Center with more than 1,000 faculty members and over $240 million in funded research and an extensive building program.
In this memoir, Dr. Harrison describes the changes in medicine and cardiology that he has experienced personally and that he has influenced over a career spanning 50 years. His drive for excellence came from his mother's early, strong hand, although she later rejected his choice of careers. Much of his life's work has been to heal broken hearts, even his own in his relation to his mother.
There were and continue to be many highlights in his 50-year career: Being the cardiologist for the first heart transplant performed in the United States by his close colleague and friend, Dr. Norman Shumway, at Stanford; making medical research and training cardiologists for the future priorities at the Stanford University Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center; treating royalty in the United States and around the world; visiting China and the Soviet Union to treat patients and open diplomatic doors; and in developing new drugs and technology for treating patients with heart disease.
Dr. Harrison continues to be active as a venture capitalist and a company founder. He has been the founder or co-founder of six medical technology companies and has been on the board of directors of twelve companies. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife, Laura.