Cardiologist Athena Poppas, M.D., FACC, FASE, has been named chief of the division of cardiology for Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals, as well as The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Poppas has served as interim chief since June 2017. She also is director of the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute, which includes Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals and multiple offices around the state.
Poppas, a resident of Providence, is a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and has won numerous teaching awards at both Brown and Rhode Island Hospital. Her clinical and research specialties are in valvular heart disease, heart disease in women, and echocardiography and heart disease during pregnancy. She has over 100 publications and frequently presents internationally.
Poppas, known nationally and internationally for her work, was also recently named vice president of the American College of Cardiology, an organization of more than 52,000 cardiovascular care team members with a mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.
“Lifespan is fortunate to have the leadership of Dr. Poppas in such a vital and rapidly evolving area as cardiology,” said Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, M.D. “She has helped bring the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute to the forefront of the diagnostic, therapeutic, and research arenas in our region, and we look forward to building upon our program with her leadership.”
“Dr. Poppas has led a distinguished career in research, clinical leadership, and medical education,” said Jack A. Elias, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs and dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown. “I am thrilled that she will remain in this role in a permanent capacity.”
Poppas earned her B.S. in biology at Brown University, followed by a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. She completed her residencies in internal medicine at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and in cardiovascular medicine at University of Chicago Hospital. She practiced and taught at University of Chicago and then Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University before joining Lifespan and Brown in 1998.
Poppas will assume her position as vice president of the American College of Cardiology in March, when the organization holds its convocation, inauguration and awards ceremony. This is the first of a three-year leadership role (vice president, president and immediate past-president). As vice president, she will be an officer of the board of trustees which governs the college and oversees decisions related to its mission and strategic direction.
“Dr. Poppas has been actively engaged in leadership roles at the state and national level within the college for many years, including leading the recent transformation of the ACC’s governance structure and processes,” said ACC Immediate-Past President Mary Norine Walsh, M.D., MACC. “Her wealth of experience and knowledge of how the college is best suited to meet the diverse needs of the global cardiovascular community ensures she will be a strong leader for the ACC.”