Interventional Cardiologist Donald Baim Dies

Shelley Wood and Reed Miller

November 09, 2009

November 9, 2009 (Boston, Massachusetts)Interventional cardiologist Dr Donald Baim, chief medical and scientific officer at Boston Scientific, has died due to complications of surgery for treating recently diagnosed adrenal cancer.

A message sent from Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott to company employees called Baim "a pioneer in the development of interventional cardiology," who "served Boston Scientific with enormous dedication, distinction, and effectiveness."

In his note to employees, Elliott extended sympathies to Baim's family. "We were fortunate to have had Dr Baim as a member of the Boston Scientific family, and we are grateful for all he did for our company.  He leaves us far too soon, and we will miss him very much."

At Boston Scientific, Baim oversaw both preclinical and clinical studies, educational programs and physician relationships, and device safety. He was also contributed to the technology development strategy, including the assessment of acquisition and partnering opportunities.

Baim joined the company in 2006, leaving his post as professor of medicine at Harvard and as senior physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He had previously moved from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to Brigham in 2000, as reported by heartwire .

In a statement to heartwire in 2006, when he first left clinical medicine and academia, Baim called his move to industry, "a once-in-a-lifetime chance to use all of [my] skills and insights to work with a terrific and talented team there, literally helping to shape the next several generations of medical-device development. The more I have contemplated this opportunity over the past few months, the more I realized that I could actually make a bigger contribution to the field by moving to Boston Scientific than I ever could do by spending another five to 10 years in the path of my past 25."

At Brigham and Women's, Baim directed the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, a consortium of leading Boston teaching hospitals and engineering institutions developing medical devices.

During his academic career, Baim published nearly 300 scientific papers on interventional technology and edited a leading textbook, Grossman's Cardiac Catheterization, Angiography and Intervention, now in its seventh edition. He served as the principal investigator on dozens of interventional cardiology clinical trials and was a founder of or a key contributor to over 20 start-up companies and medical-device incubators. At TCT 2000, he was awarded the Career Achievement Award for his clinical, research, and educational contributions to the field.

Baim studied physics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and earned his MD from Yale University School of Medicine. He worked as a postgraduate at Stanford under Dr John Simpson, contributing to the early development of movable guidewire coronary angioplasty catheters, before going to Boston's Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) in 1981 to establish what would become one of the world's foremost interventional cardiology programs.

Memorial services will be held at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 475 Washington Street, Canton, MA on Monday, November 9 at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

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