RENO — Following a collaborative recruitment between the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Carson Tahoe Health, Lorrel Toft, M.D., F.A.C.C., a cardiovascular critical care physician and researcher, has been recruited as an associate professor for UNR Med’s Department of Internal Medicine as well as a cardiologist on staff with Carson Tahoe Health.
Dr. Toft’s appointment comes as both healthcare partners collaborate to improve patient care and community well-being, as well as increase research opportunities for health professionals and scientists.
Toft will utilize her experience in clinical, educational and research settings while expanding community cardiac care. She will serve as a full-time faculty member at UNR Med while providing integrated clinical activities with the Carson Tahoe Health cardiology program. The collaborative appointment will benefit UNR Med, Carson Tahoe Health, and most of all the Northern Nevada community, by expanding access to an additional high-quality clinical cardiologist. The appointment will increase clinical cardiovascular research innovation that Toft will lead at UNR Med.
“Cardiovascular disease is a major problem in our community and in our nation,” said UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. “We’re extremely pleased to be partnering with Carson Tahoe Health to bring a physician of Dr. Toft’s expertise to our community. Toft will work alongside established cardiologists to help expand top cardiovascular care in the region, grow care in rural areas and give patients more choice in their health care. It’s extremely exciting to have Dr. Toft coming on board.”
In addition to being a critical care cardiologist, Toft is a leading national authority on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) education in U.S. schools. According to the American Heart Association, 38 states, including Nevada, have passed laws requiring CPR training before graduation. Toft directs a CPR training program called HEART CLASS, an interactive film-based training she produced for schools, offices and even homes.
Toft will bring a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to UNR Med to continue her work in using interactive digital media to teach CPR to high school students. The grant, facilitated through CORAM technologies, was awarded from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
As a cardiologist at Carson Tahoe Health, Toft will work with regional cardiology patients in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
“We are very pleased to have another high-caliber physician on staff at Carson Tahoe to accommodate the increasing number of patients in our community dealing with heart disease,” said Alan Garrett, president and CEO of Carson Tahoe Health. “We’re thrilled to see our partnership between Carson Tahoe Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine continue to grow, especially when it directly benefits our patients and community.”
“I’m extremely excited and feel privileged to be joining some incredible people at UNR Med and Carson Tahoe Health - and to be a part of the northern Nevada communities which they serve,” said Toft. “I look forward to making a difference in the health and wellness of our community through growing and advancing cardiology health care, while helping to train the next generation of physicians and medical researchers to ensure a healthy future.”
As an associate professor at UNR Med’s Department of Internal Medicine, Toft will teach, train and mentor future doctors and medical providers in cardiology, cardiovascular diseases and internal medicine about the importance of cardiac health across specialties. She will also foster partnerships with UNR Med’s community physicians specializing in cardiovascular diseases and help expand the school’s health care partnerships.
Toft brings over five years of cardiovascular critical care and research to northern Nevada. She is a nationally-recognized expert in cardiovascular medical education, and creator of a popular YouTube lecture series for medical students and residents, with over 430,000 views/downloads.
Most recently, she served as an assistant professor of medicine in the department of medicine, division of cardiology at the University of Louisville. Prior, she was a clinical instructor/assistant chief of service for the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Toft earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (summa cum laude) from the University of California, Irvine; her Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha), completed residency in internal medicine and a cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she won multiple awards for her clinical and educational endeavors
Toft’s professional affiliations are extensive, including serving with the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and speaking regionally and nationally on cardiovascular topics.