SAN FRANCISO,CA– Cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr. Junaid Khan was honored as the 2012 Heart of Gold Medical Honoree at the American Heart Associationâ€™s Heart of Gold Ball last month for his years of work to improve the heart health of the Bay Area community.
Several hundred people attended the Heart of Gold Ball where the American Heart Association and Pleasanton-based Ross Stores celebrated a 10-year partnership and the $18 million Ross has raised to fight heart disease and stroke, our nationâ€™s first and fourth killers. The Heart of Gold Ball raised more than $500,000 through corporate sponsorship, an auction and special appeal.
Dr. Khan is one of the physicians who led Californiaâ€™s battle to ban trans fats in restaurants. The law, passed in 2008 and effective in 2011, changed the way high-fat foods such as French fries and doughnuts were cooked and gave California the distinction of being the first state in the nation to ban trans fats in restaurants.
â€œCalifornia is always ahead of the curve,â€ Dr. Khan said at the time, in an article published in 2008 in the San Jose Mercury News. The new law did not stop the sale of unhealthy foods, only how they were cooked. â€œWeâ€™re not trying to outlaw chocolate here,â€ Dr. Khan added, noting that trans fats have been shown to increase levels of â€œbadâ€ cholesterol and decrease levels of â€œgoodâ€ cholesterol, and so have been linked to heart disease.
â€œI am humbled to be selected as the Honoree, particularly looking at the great pioneers who have received the honor before me,â€ said Dr. Khan. â€œThe American Heart Association gave me my start in 1982 with a Young Investigator award, which I used on a summer project at UCLA after my father, who was also a doctor, took me to watch cardiac surgery. I have enjoyed the privilege of contributing to the Heart Associationâ€™s mission to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States by 20 percent by 2020.â€
Dr. Khan arrived in the Bay Area in 1989 to begin his medical residency at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. He graduated cum laude from the University of California-Riverside and then graduated with honors from the Department of Surgery, at the University of California-Los Angeles. Dr. Khan performed his residency in both surgery and cardiac surgery at the UCSF Medical Center. He has served as staff surgeon for the San Francisco Veterans Affairs since 2010, and was assistant clinical professor at UCSF in 2011.
Since 1998, Dr. Khan has served as the managing partner of East Bay Cardiac Surgery in Oakland. In addition to his role as Thoracic Cardiac Surgery Services Chief with Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Dr. Khan serves as Vice President of the Summit Medical Staff, where he specializes in endoscopic (minimally invasive) valve repair surgery. He was president of the American Heart Association Board of Directors from 2006 to 2010, and still serves on the board today.
Dr. Khan, who lives in Orinda, coaches both his sons in baseball, basketball and football. He is currently working with the American Heart Association to install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at the sports fields in the Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda area.