Nurse Practitioner Christine Kerr, left, confers with Drs. Chris and Connie Angellis in their clinic at the University of Louisville Physicians Outpatient Center. The Anggelises, both UofL School of Medicine alumni, recently returned to UofL to practice.

Thirty-four years after they met as students at the UofL School of Medicine, cardiologists Drs. Chris and Connie Anggelis have joined University of Louisville Physicians and the school’s faculty.

They started seeing patients in June at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center.

“I’m very excited about returning to the university,” said Connie. “We went to medical school here, and we’ve been practicing in Louisville since. We toured the medical school during a class reunion, and it brought back great memories. We’ve been talking about doing this for a number of years.”

Chris said their return to the university “allows us to maintain our focus on patient care while giving something back to the community.” He said he enjoys teaching young doctors, “and hopefully some of them will stay in this community.”

For he and Connie, patient care is paramount. “It’s more about quality rather than the number of patients you see,” said Connie. “I think doctors need to be able to spend adequate time with their patients. It allows us to educate them about cardiac issues. We also want to teach students to always put the patient first.”

Chris said their goal is to be available and responsive to  patients’ needs.

“We’re going to have multiple offices in different areas to accommodate them,” he said.

In addition to downtown at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center, they will be seeing patients at offices in eastern Jefferson County (Jewish East and Jewish Northeast) and in Hillview in Bullitt County, where they have practiced in the past. They will also see patients at Jewish Hospital downtown.

“If a patient needs to be seen, we will see them when the referring doctor wants them seen,” Chris said.

Chris focuses on interventional cardiology and Connie on non-invasive cardiology, and both are passionate about preventive care, guiding patients on how to achieve health goals and do the little things to prevent big problems with their hearts later.

“An ounce of prevention can go a long way,” Connie said. “You would much rather see me before an event occurs, rather than after. I do my best to educate my patients.”

She said the combination of heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, and better education and prevention is needed.

“We have a long way to go in respect to prevention in Kentucky,” she said. “It’s about getting people to want to change their lifestyle. Preventive care can improve the quantity and quality of life.”

Medicine in the family

After meeting as students at the UofL School of Medicine, Chris and Connie double matched for their residencies in internal medicine at Wake Forest and for fellowships in cardiovascular disease at Emory.

After their training was finished in 1990, they returned to Louisville. For them, it was returning home. But after 25 years in private practice together, they felt it was time to return to UofL.

“We received our medical education from UofL, and raised our children in this community,” Chris said.

All three of the Anggelis’ children are in health care: Their son, Nick, just finished dental school at UofL; one daughter, Lauren, is in the doctoral program for clinical neuropsychology at UofL; and another daughter, Emily, is in medical school at the University of Kentucky.

“We love our state and it is so nice to be back at UofL, where it all began for us,” said Connie.