Chris Chiames Appointed Executive Director to Lead the GW Cheney Cardiovascular Institute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 21, 2010 Contacts: Anne Banner 202-994-2261 Kathryn McGriff 202-741-3381

WASHINGTON, DC – Chris Chiames brings more than 25 years of experience and success in corporate, government, and non-profit management to The George Washington University Cheney Cardiovascular Institute. Chiames will start his new role at GW on June 21, 2010.

“We are excited to have Chris join the Institute. He brings a wealth of solid leadership experience and expertise in communications,” said Richard Katz, MD, director of the Institute at The George Washington University Medical Center and director of Cardiology at the GW Medical Faculty Associates.

Chiames began his career in Washington as press secretary to then-U.S. Congressman Tony Coelho (D-California), who served as Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He later held government relations and communications positions for the Air Transport Association, which represents the major U.S. airlines, which led to more than 15 years of work in the airline industry, culminating as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for US Airways, where he was responsible for government affairs, public relations, employee communications and community affairs.

In 2007, Chiames joined the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA), leading the organization from its start-up phase to quickly growing to become the leading public advocacy organization exclusively dedicated to sudden cardiac arrest awareness and prevention. Under his leadership, SCAA chartered nearly 50 chapters and affiliates, grew its grassroots membership by more than 600 percent, and build partnerships with more than 40 corporate and non-profit sponsors.

“Chris’s experience at SCAA will be a tremendous asset to the Institute’s ReStart DC program. ReStart DC was launched in June 2009 and has donated more than 50 automated external defibrillators (AED) to Washington, DC community organizations with a goal of donating 200 AEDs to greater DC by 2012,” said Jonathan Reiner, MD, board member of the Institute and professor of medicine at The George Washington University Medical Center. “Greater public access to AEDs is paramount to increasing survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest.”

Chiames grew up in California and earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from Fresno State University. He also holds a master of arts in political communication from the University of Maryland and master of public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

About The GW Cheney Cardiovascular Institute

The GW Cheney Cardiovascular Institute was established in 2006.  The Institute’s mission is to promote clinical research, education, patient care and community service with the goal of accelerating the pace of scientific discovery, reducing mortality and improving the quality of life of Americans with cardiovascular disease. For more information, please visit: