New Cardiothoracic Surgery Chief

UVA Health welcomes Ourania Preventza.


IN MARCH, after a global search, UVA Health selected internationally renowned physician Ourania Preventza, MD, MBA, FACS, as chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and chair of the cardiothoracic surgery program. As co-directors of the Heart and Vascular Service Line at UVA Health, Dr. Preventza and chair of cardiology Christopher M. Kramer, MD. oversee cardiac surgery, cardiology and vascular surgery as a single entity. 

In addition to her responsibilities at UVA Medical Center, Dr. Preventza is providing her surgical expertise and entrepreneurial skills (including an MBA from Brandeis University focused on healthcare policy) to UVA Health’s joint venture with Riverside Health System. She helped oversee an opportunity assessment of Riverside’s cardiothoracic program, is UVA Health’s main point of contact for Riverside surgeons, and will be able to scrub in there to provide expertise on complex cases.

Prior to her arrival at UVA Health, Dr. Preventza served as a professor with tenure at Baylor College of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the Medical School of Athens and performed her general surgery residency at Wayne State University and cardiothoracic surgery residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She also completed a surgical critical care fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Preventza recently served as president of the International Society of Endovascular Specialists and is a leader in several professional organizations, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Women in Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association. Dr. Preventza’s commitment to excellence in mentorship and resident education earned her the prestigious 2023 Socrates Award from the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association.

Feedback during the selection process emphasized her extensive experience in cardiac and aortic surgery, focus on collaboration across disciplines for building programs, and an uncompromising commitment to education and mentorship of others. For all her achievements and acclaim, search committee member Allan Tsung, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery, was impressed by her humility. “It’s not about her,” he said, but “making sure that UVA continues to be one of the top programs in the country.”

Dr. Preventza joined UVA Health in June. 

For more information on how to support the Heart and Vascular Center, please contact Courtney Wilson, Senior Associate Director, Healthcare Philanthropy, UVA Health Development, at or call us at 434.964.8286 or 800.297.0102.