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Dr. John Harper Named to Ewton Chair for Cardiology at Texas Health Dallas
12/08/2011

DALLAS – Dr. John Harper, FACC, FAHA, director of inpatient cardiovascular services at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and a cardiologist on the hospital’s medical staff, has been named the first distinguished holder of the Jennie Metcalf Ewton Chair for Cardiology at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

John Harper, M.D.
John Harper, M.D.
Dr. Maynard F. Ewton Jr. and his wife, Rosemarie, created the chair in honor of Ewton’s mother, Jennie. The $1 million chair is an endowment that has been funded by the Ewtons, the Harry S. Moss Trust, Hillcrest Foundation, Edwin B. Jordan Family Foundation, and the Wallace, Barbara and Kelly King Charitable Foundation Trust.

“When Rosemarie and I first discussed the concept of a gift, uppermost in our minds was an initiative that would improve patient care,” said Ewton, an internist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas for more than 40 years. “To do that, we wanted to identify a leader among our cardiologists who only had one thing in mind: constantly improving the quality of patient care.”

Ewton added: “Dr. Harper and I have been close professional associates for many years, and I hold him in the highest regard both professionally and personally. I’m certain he’ll be an outstanding leader for the program.”

Harper has been a strong driver of the hospital’s congestive heart failure program. His work has included reducing readmission of heart failure patients and looking at ways to better care for heart failure patients long-term — not just in the hospital.

 “The Ewton Chair for Cardiology gives Texas Health Dallas’ heart and vascular program a servant leader who will create an environment for our talented physicians to excel,” said Britt Berrett, PhD, president of Texas Health Dallas. “Much of Dr. Harper’s work will be behind the scenes, helping determine what we need to do to become a world-class center for cardiovascular care.”

Among numerous hospital duties, Harper is core faculty for Texas Health Dallas’ internal medicine residency program. His work includes teaching young physicians about the latest in cardiac care and other medical issues, along with lessons in bedside manner and ways of communicating with patients.

“What’s so refreshing about Dr. Harper is that the wisdom and knowledge he imparts to young physicians is not simply about the science of medicine,” said Dr. Mark Feldman, chairman of internal medicine at Texas Health Dallas and holder of the William O. Tschumy, Jr., M.D. Chair of Internal Medicine. “He certainly does that, but he also teaches these clinicians about compassion and professionalism.”

Harper serves as chair of the Texas Health Resources Heart and Vascular Governing Council, which provides strategic focus and spearheads quality initiatives for all Texas Health Resources hospitals. He was recently named one of Dallas’ top cardiologists by D Magazine, an honor he has received numerous times during his career. He also has been recognized as one of the region’s top cardiologist in Texas Monthly and "The Best Doctors in America" list.

Ewton said he’d like to see the cardiology program grow, with renewed attention on offering new services and improving access and quality.

“You need someone looking from the 50,000-foot level to see what the community actually needs and to anticipate those needs without simply being reactionary,” Ewton said.

In addition to his formal teaching duties at the hospital, Harper holds an annual conference for physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, medical students and residents, called “Intersections: Literature and Medicine.” The course explores compassion and science at the bedside. The sell-out conference features local and national experts; this year New York Times best-selling author Dr. Abraham Verghese was the keynote speaker. The conference is funded by the Lupe Murchison Foundation and the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation.

“In an era when so much of the talk surrounding health care is about money and costs, I think we need to step back and remember that the focus should be about improving the health of the people we serve,” Harper said recently when describing the purpose of the program. “Compassionate care remains — and always will be —the foundation of what we do.”

Harper earned his undergraduate degree at Southern Methodist University, before earning his medical degree from UT Southwestern Medical School. He is an Elder at Park Cities Presbyterian Church and enjoys spending time with his wife Laurie and their four children and seven grandchildren.

About Jennie Ewton
Jennie Ewton was born and was raised in Palo Pinto County, Texas, where her family was among the first settlers of that area. She was always proud of her heritage and raised cattle until her death in 2001. Married to a Baptist minister, she was also very active in the church.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 898-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. US News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.

 

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