Cleveland, OH - Dr Andrea Natale, a leading pioneer and advocate of AF ablation, is leaving the Cleveland Clinic. A spokesperson at the clinic told heart wire that on Friday, September 28, the Clinic "decided not to reappoint Dr Natale. His contract ends on Sunday. We consider this a personnel matter. We're not commenting further at this point."
At the Cleveland Clinic, Natale was the medical director for the Center for Atrial Fibrillation and the section head of pacing and electrophysiology. Natale was born in Siracusa, Italy and had been on the faculty of the Cleveland Clinic since 1999.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing hospital sources, reported on Saturday that Natale had performed procedures outside of Ohio "without the clinic's permission."
Further details were reported by the Plain Dealer on Tuesday. Sources at the Cleveland Clinic said that Natale's work at Sutter Health, a hospital network in California, had "caused friction at the clinic." The newspaper reported, and heart wire has confirmed independently, that Natale's work in California was "common knowledge." The Cleveland Clinic did not receive any fees for Natale's work in California.
Natale's group was also involved in providing electrophysiology services to Akron General Medical Center, according to the Plain Dealer. Under this arrangement, heartwire has learned, the Cleveland Clinic received a substantial fee from the Akron hospital.
In a statement published on his personal website (www.andreanatale.com), Natale wrote that "the decision to not renew my contract with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation [CCF] was not mine. . . . It was a result of a unilateral decision by the clinic. The apparent claim is that I provided services outside CCF without their permission. I have been providing training and mentorship to many young practitioners and programs all over the world since I started my career in electrophysiology—and in the majority of these situations, during my own vacation time."
In a statement to heart wire , Natale said that he was "shocked and deeply hurt by the sudden, unprovoked nature of the lack of appointment renewal after eight years of remarkable service and international leadership in my field."
"I always believed that I have a responsibility to share the knowledge and skills I have gained with those who need them, so the field of electrophysiology can serve as many communities as needed.
"I want you all to know that I will continue to practice what I believe is my mission, which is serving patients to the best of my ability either by delivering the care needed myself or by mentoring younger electrophysiologists so they can deliver this much-needed care wherever they practice.
"In the past few days, I have received many heartfelt messages of support from esteemed colleagues, fellows, and patients. I take this opportunity to sincerely thank them all."
Heartwire from Medscape © 2007
Cite this: Cleveland Clinic decides not to renew Andrea Natale's contract - Medscape - Oct 02, 2007.