In Memoriam: Joseph D. Babb, MD, FACC

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Joseph D. Babb, MD, FACC, a pioneer in interventional cardiology and prominent Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC), died recently at age 79.

Babb practiced at the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville, NC, and served as clinical professor of cardiology at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. Babb began practicing in 1966 after graduating from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Before completing his interventional cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Babb was a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, serving in Vietnam and at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

He was recognized in the cardiology community for performing the first coronary angioplasty at the Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center, where he also served as an assistant professor of medicine and cardiologist. He also performed the first coronary angioplasty in Connecticut after being named chief of cardiology at Bridgeport Hospital. 

Babb served as ACC Governor of North Carolina and was instrumental in the founding of the North Carolina Regional Approach to Cardiovascular Emergencies (RACE) project – a statewide system for providing rapid artery reperfusion for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction. He was also an advisor for the inaugural ACC Senior Cardiovascular Professionals Section Leadership Council. He served as president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention (SCAI), from 2001 to 2002. In 2005, Babb received SCAI’s Distinguished Service Award. Earlier this year, Babb was named the Patient Preferred Interventional Cardiologist in North Carolina.  

“Joe was a tremendous physician, educator, mentor and friend,” said ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC. “ACC Governor and SCAI President, he was a tireless advocate for his patients, quality care, and Interventional Cardiology. He will be sorely missed by all those he touched in a long, successful career.”

“Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted that ‘when someone passes this life, it is not their accomplishments those left behind remember most, it is how they made you feel.’ Joe made one feel like they could accomplish anything if they tried, as he emitted the positive things life and work meant and how we were to use our gifts for our patients, colleagues and family,” said ACC Membership Committee Chair B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC.

Clinical Topics: Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Interventions and Imaging, Angiography, Nuclear Imaging

Keywords: Fellowships and Scholarships, Military Personnel, Angiography, Angioplasty

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