St. Joseph’s Health Welcomes Renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Bledi Zaku, MD

PATERSON, N.J. (November 23, 2022) — St. Joseph’s Health is pleased to announce that Bledi Zaku, MD, a renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon, has joined St. Joseph’s Heath, where he is assuming the role of Chief of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Zaku is a board certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He performs all aspects of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).  His other specialties include mitral valve repair and replacement, minimally invasive transcatheter valve repair and replacement (MitralClip, TAVR), and complex reconstructive surgery of the aorta.  This includes valve-sparing aortic root reconstruction, allowing patients to preserve their own native valve while replacing the diseased aorta around it, and aortic arch surgery, for the treatment of large aneurysms.

At St. Joseph’s Health, Dr. Zaku will provide leadership and oversight of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery services and functions across the St. Joseph’s Health system, including St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson and St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center in Wayne.

“As we continue to expand our surgical services throughout northern New Jersey, we are excited to welcome Dr. Zaku to the St. Joseph’s Health team,” said Mark Connolly, MD, Chairman of the Department of Surgery. “Dr. Zaku is an innovative surgeon who brings an impressive combination of clinical expertise, outstanding patient care and pioneering research to this important leadership position.  His collaborative style and ambitious vision will be key as he leads our program and maintains its prominent position as one of the best in the region.”

Dr. Zaku received his doctorate in medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont and completed his general surgery residency at Morristown Medical Center. While in Medical School, he dedicated one year to clinical research in cardiac surgery outcomes at Mount Sinai Hospital. He completed his cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at New York Presbyterian - Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“I’m delighted to be joining the St. Joseph’s team of experts in heart and vascular care,” said Dr. Zaku. “St. Joseph’s has a longstanding reputation for providing compassionate care while effectively treating heart disease, no matter how complex.  These are exciting times for cardiovascular and thoracic surgery as new techniques and innovative therapies will offer enhanced options and outcomes for patients.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Zaku, please call 973-754-2486.


Founded in 1867 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, St. Joseph’s Health is a world-class hospital and healthcare network supported by more than 5,000 leading and renowned physicians, nurses and care teams. From its humble beginnings, St. Joseph’s Health has become one of the premier health systems in the state, serving more than 1.5 million patients annually. The organization continues to evolve as the leading health resource in the community, the largest employer in Passaic County, and one of the largest providers of charity care in New Jersey.

The St. Joseph’s Health system is one of the leading clinical teaching and academic centers in the country, and has been recognized for its innovative programs and cutting-edge services. The health system operates a full continuum of care, including a regional tertiary care medical center (St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson), an acute care medical center (St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center, Wayne) a state-designated children’s hospital (St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Paterson), a rehabilitation and long-term care facility (St. Joseph’s Healthcare & Rehab Center, Cedar Grove), an outpatient facility (St. Joseph’s Totowa Health Campus, Totowa) comprehensive home care (Visiting Health Services of New Jersey), and multiple ambulatory care centers located throughout Northern New Jersey. The system is further supported by St. Joseph’s Health Medical Group, which operates more than 100 physician medical and specialty practices across northern New Jersey.

Among its awarding-winning specialties, St. Joseph’s is home to the nationally acclaimed Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) program; the first accredited Geriatric Emergency Department in New Jersey; and recognized by US News with a top nursing home award and a five-star rating. In addition, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is a five-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence, the profession’s highest honor

In September 2019, St. Joseph’s Health established a strategic and clinical partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health, one of New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health networks. Together, the two health systems operate a jointly-owned home health and hospice agency, serving patients and families across Bergen, Passaic and Morris Counties. In addition, St. Joseph’s and Hackensack Meridian have collaborated on clinical affiliations in acute rehabilitation (with the HMH JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute) and comprehensive oncology care (with the HMH John Theurer Cancer Center).  For more information, please visit


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