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Bissells donate $5 million to Atrium Health Foundation

June 28. Atrium has announced a $5 million gift from a Charlotte real estate titan to the Atrium Health Foundation’s Giving Hope campaign. The gift from Margaret and Smoky Bissell will establish The Gragg Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and The Gragg Center for Cardiovascular Performance. Also being introduced is The Siverling Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery that was previously funded by a gift from Bissell Ballantyne.

Over the past two decades, Margaret and Smoky Bissell have sparked advancement and excellence in health care across Atrium Health, supporting Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital and the new David L. Conlan Center at Atrium Health Carolinas Rehabilitation.

“We are pleased to honor two fabulous physicians for the world class care received by members of our Bissell Ballantyne family,” said Smoky Bissell, whose wife’s family name, Gragg, and business partner Annette Siverling, are both recognized by the gift.

Dr. Frank Arko III, chief of vascular and endovascular surgery and co-director for the Center for Aortic Disease at Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, has been named the inaugural holder of the Siverling Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery. Arko was the first surgeon in the world to implant a branched stent graft specifically designed for branch vessel repair of a thoracic aortic aneurysm and is involved in some of the nation’s top clinical trials.

The first recipient of the Gragg Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine, Dr. Dermot Phelan, serves as Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute’s medical director of cardiovascular imaging, director of sports cardiology and co director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center. Although he cares for athletes of all skill levels and ages, he is renowned as the team cardiologist for the Carolina Panthers and the cardiology consultant to the National Football League’s annual scouting combine.



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