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Meet Dr. Christopher Overgaard: Southlake’s new Chief, Department of Cardiac Health

Wednesday May 22, 2024

Southlake Regional Health Centre is pleased to announce that leading cardiologist, Christopher Overgaard, MD, has been appointed as the organization’s first Chief, Department Cardiac Health. In this new role, Dr. Overgaard will elevate the regional Cardiac Care program, ensuring that patients in some of Ontario’s fastest growing communities have access to innovative, life-saving care when they need it most.

“It is an honour to help lead such an exceptional group of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals,” said Dr. Overgaard. “The Cardiac Care program at Southlake is an extremely strong and vibrant program that punches above its weight. Together, we will continue to make a difference in the field of cardiac health, while striving for excellence, innovation and compassion in everything we do.”

Over the past 17 years, Dr. Overgaard has gained extensive experience in cardiac care, research and innovation. His practice focuses on complex coronary interventional cardiology, a medical speciality that uses small tubes known as catheters to provide life-saving care without open-heart surgery. As a leader in his field, Dr. Overgaard is known for being the first physician in Canada to perform several procedures, some of which were done at Southlake. In 2017, Dr. Overgaard became the first doctor in Canada to successfully transplant a TandemHeart cardiac-assist device in a high-risk heart failure patient.

Since joining Southlake in 2019, Dr. Overgaard has served in a number of leadership roles, including as the Medical Director of the Chronic Total Occlusion and Coronary High Risk Indicated Procedures (CHIP) Program and the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. Prior to joining Southlake, he held multiple medical leadership roles at University Health Network. He continues to develop the next generation of healthcare professionals as a faculty member at the University of Toronto.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Overgaard has taken on this role to chart an exciting and new path forward for Southlake’s regional cardiac care program,” said Charmaine van Schaik, MD, Chief of Staff at Southlake. “Dr. Overgaard’s commitment to excellence and innovation will strengthen Southlake’s position as a leader in cardiac care and research, ensuring patients receive life-saving care now and for generations to come.”

Southlake’s Regional Cardiac Health Department is the fourth largest comprehensive heart program in Ontario, providing advanced cardiac care close to home to thousands of patients from York Region to Muskoka. More than 400 highly specialized staff work together to offer a wide range of cardiac services, including cardiac surgery, minimally invasive procedures and heart failure management. The program is known internationally, with many of Southlake’s physicians actively participating in ground-breaking research and being among the first to perform leading edge procedures.