By Jennifer Meek
Long before becoming the Chief of Cardiology at UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Allen Anderson’s first job was working at his grandparent’s chicken farm, where he developed an uncanny knack for identifying the best birds.
That led the hard-working middle schooler in rural southern Georgia to become a 4H champion poultry judge.
It’s not surprising for a man who has pursued excellence throughout his career, becoming a renowned cardiologist developing specialty programs to combat heart failure.
In November, Anderson came to UT Health San Antonio from Northwestern University, where he was a nationally recognized leader in heart failure and cardiac transplantation.
At Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, he built an acclaimed heart failure program and doubled the number of heart transplants performed.
“I’m proud of building two very good and successful heart failure programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University,” said Anderson.
He’s excited about the opportunities to collaborate with experts at UT Health San Antonio to find new and better ways to treat heart failure.
“Cardiology has become a team sport,” he said, explaining that a multidisciplinary and holistic approach leads to better outcomes for patients.
“I saw an incredible opportunity here. San Antonio and south Texas is the epicenter for cardiometabolic disease. This disease tends to be understudied in the Hispanic population, who are disproportionately affected by it. I’m excited about collaborating with specialists in diabetes and kidney disease, two very strong programs here,” he said.
What’s a guilty pleasure for Anderson? Great and diverse food, he admits.
A self-described foodie, he’s always looking for a unique dining experience and seeks culinary delights with Michelin stars on his travels, including a recent trip to France.
You also might find him firing up his grill or baking some treats – the exacting process and creativity of cooking inspire him.
So does solving a problem. He’s become an expert in obscure and complex cardiovascular conditions and likes the challenge of solving them.
He’ll continue his innovative work in this field as the Janey Briscoe Distinguished University Chair in Cardiovascular Research at UT Health San Antonio.