Adena Physicians & Staff, Press Release

Expertise Meets Compassion

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Adena Health adds two cardiothoracic surgeons to open heart care team

CHILLICOTHE, OH (June 4, 2024) – Board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon Mark Tawil, MD, is no stranger to building an open heart program. 

With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Tawil came to Adena Health earlier this year as the program’s new medical director. Joining him is his former cardiothoracic surgeon colleague Jai Lee, MD. Both physicians see an opportunity to further the development of high-quality, trusted cardiac care and services close to home for patients across south central and southern Ohio. 

It’s a similar approach Dr. Tawil took when starting the open heart program at Marietta (OH) Memorial Hospital in 2020. In considering a move to Adena, he said a strong infrastructure already in place for the open heart program that could be further built upon was a deciding factor.

Dr. Tawil earned his medical degree from American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine in Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his residency at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C., and fellowship at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

Dr. Lee, meanwhile, brings expertise to the program gained over more than 30 years of experience in the field, much of it spent working across northeast Ohio. Board certified, he earned his medical degree from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from the University at Buffalo – State University of New York, where he also completed his residency. Dr. Lee completed his fellowship alongside Dr. Tawil at University Hospitals in Cleveland. 

The surgeons will each play key roles in expanding Adena’s cardiac services, including aortic aneurysm repair, carotid artery surgery, coronary bypass surgery, heart valve repair, heart valve replacement, maze procedure for atrial fibrillation, non-invasive repair of chest aneurysm, non-invasive repair of abdominal aneurysm, non-invasive aortic valve replacement, and off-pump bypass surgery.

Touting the experience of both existing physicians and staff and a talented group of new additions to the team, Dr. Tawil is excited about the direction of the open heart program and what it means for patients. That excitement comes from several months of work alongside a multidisciplinary team from across Adena Regional Medical Center, aggressive recruitment to find the right additions to the team, heart and vascular leadership changes, facility and equipment enhancements, comprehensive clinical education and on-site training with peers in Columbus, and recent mock run-throughs bringing together all disciplines involved in the cardiac surgery and recovery process to meticulously go over all possible scenarios they may face.

Every addition and adjustment to the program was made with the patient’s safety and overall experience at its very focus.

“It’s very important to have experience, and certainly the nurses have experience here, I have experience, anesthesia has experience, and the others involved in these procedures have experience,” Dr. Tawil said. “However, when you couple that with outstanding facilities, our patient-first approach, and the fact that patients and their families don’t have to travel far for their critical care or a follow-up appointment, all the components are in place for the best possible patient experience.” 

Patients will not only benefit from all of those factors, but also from Adena Regional Medical Center’s new hybrid operating room.

The presence of an advanced hybrid operating room allows Adena providers to perform surgery that provide a faster transition between diagnosis and treatment for patients, that can help speed up recovery and improve patient outcomes.

Having a seamless integration between different members of the care team in the new hybrid operating room saves patients the burden of undergoing separate procedures with separate recovery times. This means less time for patients spent in recovery at the hospital.

Our patients are truly at the center of what we do, Dr. Tawil noted, 

“That is why this team is here,” he said. “Patients don’t need to look far to find the care they need and deserve. It’s right here at Adena.”

Adena Health provides essential heart and vascular services, whether you need emergency care, treatment of a chronic condition, or treatment of something that simply does not feel right. For more about Adena’s cardiac care, its providers and full range of services, visit