Richard L. Prager, M.D.

Founding Director, Frankel Cardiovascular Center

Michigan Medicine Cardiac Surgeon Richard Prager MD
Richard Prager, M.D.

Richard and Norma Sarns Research Professor of Cardiac Surgery

Richard L. Prager, M.D. is the Richard and Norma Sarns Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Michigan and Founding Director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.  Dr. Prager received his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1967 and his medical degree in 1971 from State University of New York Downstate.  His general surgery and thoracic surgery residencies were at the University of Michigan from 1971-1978, including a research year in the thoracic surgical laboratories.  Dr. Prager began his cardiac and thoracic surgical career at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery returning to Ann Arbor in 1983 to join the Cardiac and Thoracic Surgical Group at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.  Dr. Prager was the Medical Director of the HCFA Demonstration Project at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and the Head of the Section of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery.  In 1999, he moved to the University of Michigan as Professor of Surgery and Head of the Section of Adult Cardiac Surgery.

Dr. Prager leads the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative initiative and is a Director of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center.  He is the Past President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Past President of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.

 Educational focus:  Dr. Prager is committed to the education of residents and fellows in Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery and is the former program director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency and Integrated Thoracic Residency at the University of Michigan, and held this position between 2009-20015.  He remains active in resident education.

Health Services Research:  Dr. Prager’s ongoing interests are focused clinically in adult cardiac surgery and utilizing outcomes in all areas of adult cardiac surgery to create the platform for opportunities for improvement. This has led to utilizing the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Adult Cardiac Surgery Database and other data sources as resources for furthering understandings and with this approach, the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative was initiated in 2001. The Collaborative has utilized a wide variety of clinical data sources and data analyses to improve outcomes in the state of Michigan and share improvement approaches throughout Michigan, as well as throughout the country.


Gorav Ailawadi, M.D.

Kim Eagle, M.D., M.A.C.C.

David J. Pinsky, M.D.

Thomas W. Wakefield, M.D.

Founding Directors

Richard L. Prager, M.D.

James Stanley, M.D.