Inside HCA’s Memorial Health with Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Chadwick W. Stouffer: His First 30 Days, Back Home In Savannah

Mollee D. Harper

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Georgia CEO presents this special profile on Chadwick W. Stouffer, MD, FACS who has returned home to Savannah and HCA’s Memorial Health bringing excitement and advanced techniques to solve complex medical conditions and keep the heart (and lungs) of Savannah beating strong. During our time, we learn of his fellowship and board-certification in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, his academic-focused year at Emory University School of Medicine, and achievement of the Kamal Mansour MD Teaching Award in cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Stouffer also shares why HCA’s mission of value and care for human life resonates with him, and highlights the latest, less-invasive cardiac and thoracic surgeries that are greatly impacting wellness in Savannah area patients, including those with atrial fibrillation, which affects millions of Americans today. 

Dr. Stouffer joined HCA’s Memorial Health University Physicians (MHUP) heading up the Cardiothoracic Surgery Division of Memorial Health University Medical Center’s Surgery Department on July 16, 2018. He treats patients with arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation (AFib), cancer, congestive heart defects, coronary artery disease (CAD), heart valve disease, lung disease and other heart and lung conditions. 

Half of Dr. Stouffer’s patients are referred to his practice at MHUP’s Heart Care Waters Ave office in the Memorial Outpatient & Wellness Center located at 4700 Waters Avenue, Suite 400 in Savannah. The other half of his patients come from inside the hospital, who are in need of emergency surgery and care. 

Coming Home to the Heart of Savannah 

Dr. Stouffer described, “I trained at the University of Florida and finished in 2010. My first job was in Knoxville for five years, before I moved to Savannah in 2015 and was here for 1.5 years. I had an opportunity at Emory University, which is a big academic institution. I left Memorial Health in May 2017 to serve at Emory for over a year.”

Dr. Stouffer continued, “When HCA bought Memorial, they reached out to me. The director of cardiothoracic services needed someone to take over the program. I knew from having been here before that all the people and the programs were in place, so it was really a no-brainer for me.”

“There were some aspects of living in Savannah my family and I really missed, and it was a great opportunity to move back. I had a very academic job at Emory, which I enjoyed. I learned a lot, and hopefully contributed the same. I am very proud to have won a teaching award while I was there.”

“The focus of the cardiothoracic surgery team is on the heart and the lungs. There are two of us right now in this specialty department, with a third joining us on October first.” 

Dr. Stouffer described, “Having HCA’s backing has given me the opportunity to focus on propelling the cardiothoracic program into 2019 and beyond with new treatment options such as robotic surgery specializing in lung and esophageal cancer treatments.” 

He offered, “My days are a little different from many physicians. I spend one day a week in the office and the rest I am in surgery. Surgeries usually take 3-6 hours, so I do maybe 2-3 a day. I also see patients in the clinic once a week, and see patients that had surgery or need to have surgery. 50% of my patients come from inside the hospital and need urgent or emergency surgery. The other half are more elective, so to speak.” 

“On the cardiac surgery side, we are replacing some traditional heart surgeries with operations that allow patients to recover and return to work in a much shorter amount of time. We have some different techniques that are less invasive allowing patients to recover much faster with much smaller incisions.” 

“We also offer a technique called ‘transcatheter,’ where we place a tube in the groin and replace or repair a heart valve without any chest incisions whatsoever.”  

“All the pieces are in place and we’re building up the team and getting the machine rolling. It’s an amazing opportunity.” 

“Looking to the future, we are always exploring less invasive options and techniques for all cardiothoracic surgery.” 

Dr. Stouffer explained, “Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a condition that affects millions of Americans. One treatment for AFib is surgical. We have a physician heading up the atrial fibrillation clinic that offers the full spectrum of treatments. This is another horizon that we are looking to expand.” 

“HCA’s mission statement has really resonated with me, from years ago. Our value proposition is that above all else, we value and care about human life. I think that really reflects how they care for their physicians, their staff and employees and their patients. Sometimes people get so busy and lose sight of what’s important. The HCA mission statement is why we do what we do.”  

“That’s why all of us come to work every day and do what we do, to benefit human life.” 

Dr. Stouffer concluded, “It is an incredibly exciting time to practice medicine. In just the first decade since I completed my training, the techniques have advanced so much and are so exciting. It’s actually a fun and rewarding time to practice cardiothoracic surgery. We have really seen truly amazing advances in medicine transforming traditional invasive surgeries to less invasive surgeries through keyhole incisions, restoring quality of life in patients in record time.”  

“While I’m not native to Savannah, I consider this my home. Returning here felt like returning to where I belong. My family and I are really happy in the culture here and the medical community.” 

More About Dr. Chadwick W. Stouffer

Stouffer earned his medical degree at Michigan State University and completed his fellowship training at the University of Florida. He completed his residency in general surgery at Michigan State University and is board certified in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Prior to his current post heading up the Cardiovascular Surgery Division of Savannah’s Memorial Health, Dr. Stouffer worked at Emory University School of Medicine where he earned the Kamal Mansour MD Teaching Award in cardiothoracic surgery for academic year 2017-2018.

More About Memorial Health 

Savannah’s Memorial Health is part of the HCA Healthcare family, the largest healthcare provider in the U.S. and U.K. Memorial Health provides the region’s only Level I trauma center for the most acute illness and injuries, and the only children’s hospital to serve a 35-county area through southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. Among its notable attributes are Memorial Health’s flagship hospital, which is a 612-bed academic medical center, a Level III neonatal intensive care nursery, and an extensive primary and specialty care physician’s network. 

For more information on Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, visit: