Joseph D. Babb, MD, MSCAI, a past president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and an early adopter of coronary angioplasty in the United States, died recently. He was 79 years old.
Babb was president of SCAI from 2001 to 2002 and practiced medicine at East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina, where he also served as a clinical professor in the division of cardiology.
After a course with Andreas Gruentzig, MD, in Zurich, Babb conducted the first coronary angioplasty at The Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center in 1981. He also performed the first coronary angioplasty in the state of Connecticut upon assuming the role of chief of cardiology at The Bridgeport Hospital.
“Joe was truly one of the most genuine and passionate interventionalists to ever serve as SCAI president,” David A. Cox, MD, MSCAI, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Brookwood Baptist Health, a cardiologist at Cardiovascular Associates of the Southeast and current president of SCAI, said in a statement. “His dedication to SCAI as a leader in establishing our advocacy role at the state and federal level was matched by his continued commitment as an educator at multiple meetings while maintaining a busy clinical practice. He spearheaded our Ethics Committee at a time we needed to be sure interventionalists understood accountability and being sure we were doing the right procedure for our patients.”
At the request of Dr. Babb’s family, SCAI has established a fund to support SCAI fellows programming to improve the profession of CV interventions and promote the future strength of SCAI. All funds will be used to support fellows education and professional development.