Charles Fisch


School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (1979)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1944


In 1953, Dr. Charles Fisch was the founding director of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology, known then as the Robert M Moore Heart Clinic established by Mr. And Mrs. Herman C. Krannert. He was also the director of the IU School of Medicine's cardiology division, appointed in 1961, which he held until retirement in 1990. During his time at Krannert Institute, Dr. Fisch led research in clinical and basic electrophysiology (disorders of heart rhythm), which is still a primary focus at the center.

Dr. Fisch attended Indiana University for his undergraduate and medical degrees, graduating with his M.D. in 1944. He underwent his internship, residency, and fellowship in Indianapolis and was hired as an assistant in medicine at IU in 1951. He became a full professor in 1964. During his time there, he directed the U.S. Public Health training programs from 1965 to 1990. After his retirement, his former colleagues, students, and friends came together and endowed the Charles Fisch Chair in Cardiology at IUSM.

In addition, Dr. Fisch was President of the Indiana Heart Association from 1962 to 1963. He was a leader in the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He was ACC Governor for Indiana from 1963 to 1966 and a member of its Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1981. Dr. Fisch is the only ACC President to have served two terms, from 1975 to 1977. One of his most important contributions to the ACC and to the AHA was the landmark ACC-AHA Joint Task Force on the Assessment of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Cardiovascular Procedures,better known as "Guidelines." Under his leadership, this task force played a significant role in the evolution of clinical guidelines so important in enhancing quality, not only in the practice of cardiology but in all of medicine. Among his numerous leadership roles was the chairmanship of the Publications Committee, 1988 to 1994, and the guest editorship of the inaugural issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 1983. Dr. Fisch served the National Institutes of Health (NIH), beginning in 1974 with the chairmanship of its committee to select speciahzed centers for research in ischemia. By the 1990s, Dr. Fisch had participated on 14 NIH
committees and policy and data monitoring boards, involving research in atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, manpower, lipid centers, and in an investigation comparing angioplasty and revascularization. He was a member of an HEW-FDA Cardiovascular and Renal Advisory Committee and a WHO-ISC Task Force on Electrocardiography.