Surgeons named for GMC's open heart program



LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett Medical Center has announced the pair of physicians who will lead its much-awaited cardiac surgery program.

Drs. Alexander G. Justicz and David A. Langford -- who have nearly four decades of combined experience in cardiac and thoracic surgery -- have been named as the lead surgeons at GMC's Strickland Heart Center, which will officially begin offering open heart surgery in January.

"Our goal is to provide world-class cardiac care and these two nationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeons help us complete such services," GMC CEO Philip Wolfe said in a statement. "Through their experience and commitment to clinical excellence, we can further realize our organizational mission of providing quality outcomes to the community."

Langford, a graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine, practiced at Atlanta's St. Joseph's Hospital for nearly 20 years. He has been affiliated with Gwinnett's hospital system for about two years, serving in an administrative capacity as GMC's medical director for cardiovascular surgery.

Langford was "directly involved in all aspects" of the development of the hospital's open heart program.

"GMC has assembled an outstanding team of skilled professionals to complement the significant capital investment made in the Strickland Heart Center," Langford said. "We look forward to being a part of this sophisticated program."

He will be joined in that mission by Justicz, a graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine and Harvard University.

The move is a homecoming for Justicz, who recently spent two years as lead cardiac surgeon at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Prior to that, he worked in the Atlanta area for 15 years, including stints as Piedmont Hospital's chief of cardiac surgery and a lead surgeon for the 2002 launch of open heart surgery at Gainesville's Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

"Together, Dr. Langford and I draw upon 35 years of cardiac surgery experience, including involvement building other new heart and vascular programs," Justicz said. "We will rely upon this background to provide the community the superior quality program they deserve."

When the 40,000-square-foot Strickland Heart Center officially opens in January, Gwinnett will no longer be the nation's largest county without an open heart program.