Randal J. Thomas, M.D., carries out research studies aimed at cardiovascular disease prevention, with particular focus on studies involving rehabilitation and prevention therapies for individuals with known cardiovascular disease. While there is a growing array of therapies that help improve outcomes in patients with known cardiovascular disease, evidence suggests that only a minority of patients receive those therapies.
- Effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation. Dr. Thomas and colleagues have studied the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation — which is a systematic and organized approach to the delivery of rehabilitation and preventive therapies for patients with known cardiovascular disease. These studies have shown that cardiac rehabilitation is associated with improvements in survival rates for patients who have undergone heart procedures, such as percutaneous coronary intervention and stent placement, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, heart valve surgery, and heart transplantation. Other studies by Dr. Thomas and colleagues have shown that cardiac rehabilitation is associated with better adherence to lifesaving medications and also with lower rates of hospital readmission in patients with known cardiovascular disease.
- Quality improvement in cardiac rehabilitation. Dr. Thomas and colleagues have carried out studies focused on improving the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation to patients who need these important services. In addition, Dr. Thomas has worked with colleagues from around the world to help write scientific statements and guidelines related to cardiac rehabilitation that have been published in association with American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association. Ongoing work includes studies to identify new and improved methods for delivering cardiac rehabilitation to patients in the United States and in other countries around the world.
Significance to patient care
The goal of the research studies carried out by Dr. Thomas is to identify effective therapies and find ways to effectively implement those therapies so that patients with cardiovascular disease can recuperate and thrive.
- Medical director, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, 2004-present
- Chair, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association, 2017-2019
- Hood fellow and visiting professor, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 2018
- Recipient, Michael L. Pollock Established Investigator Award, AACVPR, 2017
- Master, AACVPR, 2016
- Recipient, L. Kent Smith Award of Excellence, AACVPR, 2015
- Director, Cardiovascular Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, 2004-2013
- President, Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, 2009-2010
- Fellow, American College of Cardiology, 2008
- Fellow, American Heart Association, 2001