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About the Founder

Bio, Interview and Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Adib has 35 years of experience as a cardiothoracic surgeon and educator and 11 years of experience in stress and wellness consulting. He is a certified Stress and Wellness Consultant (SWC) with extensive formal training at The Canadian Institute of Stress. He is the recipient of numerous medical and surgical quality awards and enjoys one of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the country. He has served in many leadership roles including the boards of Meriter Health Services and Meriter Foundation and has done significant pioneering work in areas of preventive health clinics, cost control, quality improvement, medical staff governance and cardiac centers of excellence.


Dr. Adib has given numerous presentations, courses and workshops on stress, wellness and vitality topics. His longtime vision is health preservation by eliminating the root causes of chronic stress and illness.


2014 interview by a health journalist


How did you get into this business?

Early in my practice I sadly lost two colleagues. One who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery and in spite of being a very intelligent doctor, never quit smoking even after his heart operation. He died of lung cancer later on. Another, a bright radiologist who frequently examined X-rays of patients with lung cancer, tragically and ironically died of advanced lung cancer from heavy smoking. On a happier note, a third patient who I didn't know beforehand, a young otherwise healthy and athletic professional with no apparent risk factors, suffered a near-fatal heart attack. He underwent emergency surgery and did very well. Later on I found out he was exposed to unmanaged stressors for a few weeks prior to his heart attack.


Obviously chronic stressors made my two colleagues and numerous others continue to smoke or engage in other risky behaviors. Most self-destructive habits are rooted in unmanaged stress. But when I learned that even acute stress, such as the kind that caused the young man’s heart problems and his brush with death, could also be fatal, it really got my attention. That was even before "broken heart syndrome" was scientifically proven. The rest is history!


So you were doing preventive medicine as well as surgery?

Yes, I pioneered a preventive medicine clinic at Meriter Hospital. It had limited scope and I couldn’t reach enough people that way. It was eventually closed due to lack of funding. That’s when I thought of creating my own company so I could reach out to more people.


How are we doing nationwide in preventing illness and preserving health?

Very poorly. According to British researchers Ellen Nolte and Martin McKee, we are the absolute worst among 19 industrialized nations they studied. The British didn’t fare much better. They were number 15!


Who are the best?

France, Japan & Australia in that order.


What is our healthcare system doing about it?

Effective means of health preservation is virtually non-existing.  Although we are obsessed with taking care of the sick, we have not done much to preserve well-being. 


Why do you think that is?

Primary health preservation is difficult. It is time and labor consuming, it requires knowledge of stress and many psychological factors, and it does not pay! “Healthcare”, really “sick care”, on the other hand is a three trillion dollar business. Medical establishments do not make money by keeping people healthy. Employers on the other hand, who end up footing the medical and disability bills, have a much greater incentive to keep their employees from becoming ill and disabled.


So stress is the big deal?

It is actually not the stress but how people handle it. Stress is nothing but a normal and necessary physiological function. It’s what you do with it that makes all the difference. This is a skill that needs to be learned because humans are not naturally wired that way.


I’m kind of confused now! Didn’t you mention stress causes risky behavior, cancers and heart attacks?

Research has shown that acute short-term stress energy actually makes you healthier and younger if it is used in activities that bring you satisfaction and senses of fulfillment, achievement, and control.  Chronic or sometimes even acute stresses with no satisfaction make you age faster and become ill; same physiology, different outcomes. It's all about personal return on stress energy invested. A poor return leads to illness. A good return makes you more vital . Over 80% of all illnesses have been attributed to chronic unmanaged or incorrectly managed stress. You've probably heard it before, life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to what happens.


That is now starting to make sense. Thanks!  



Curriculum Vitæ

Khosro (Ed) Adib, MD, SWC (C)


Present and past positions and certifications:

  • Founder, president & CEO of VitalOrganization, LLC

  • Founder and president, PreventionCare, LLC

  • Certified Stress and Wellness Consultant (SWC, C), Canadian Institute of Stress / Hans Selye Foundation

  • Cardiothoracic surgeon, Meriter Heart Hospital / University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Director, Meriter Hospital Cardiovascular Prevention Clinic, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Graduate of University of Wisconsin General Surgery residency and Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship

  • Board Certified, Cardiothoracic Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery

  • Board Certified, General Surgery, American Board of Surgery

  • Fellow, American Institute of Stress

  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons

  • Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians

  • Member, Society of Thoracic Surgeons

  • Member, Wisconsin Surgical Society

  • Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin

  • Chairman, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Meriter Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Surgical Director, Meriter Heart Hospital

  • Medical Director, Meriter Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery

  • Chairman, Meriter Foundation Board

  • Chairman, Meriter Foundation Research and Education Committee

  • Member, Regional Advisory Council, Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation

  • President, Meriter Hospital Medical Staff, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Director, Meriter Foundation

  • Chairman, Surgery Practice Committee, Meriter Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Chairman, Interventional Vascular Practice Committee, Meriter Hospital

  • Chairman, Department of Surgery, Methodist Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Chief, Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Jackson Clinic, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Medical Director, Intensive Care Unit, Methodist Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Director, Cardiovascular Laser Program, Methodist Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Cardiovascular Quality Improvement Champion, Meriter Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin

  • Founder and member, Meriter Cardiovascular Cost Analysis task Force, Madison, Wisconsin (Recipient of State of Wisconsin Achievement Award)

  • Member, Meriter/PPMG Heart Center Executive Committee

  • Member, Meriter Hospital HCFA project team

  • Founder and member, Meriter Cardiovascular Surgery Operating Room Improvement Project

  • Chairman, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Physicians Plus Medical Group, Madison, Wisconsin


Awards and recognitions:

  • America’s Top Surgeons (CRCA)

  • America’s Top Physicians (CRCA)

  • Dane county’s best doctors

  • Madison’s best doctors

  • American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award

  • American Heart Association Outstanding Achievement Award

  • Meriter Pinnacle (patient recognition) awards (X6)

  • Intern of the year ward, McNeal Memorial Hospital, Berwyn, Illinois

  • FAA Wings Award

  • Symons Wave Memorial Award (high-altitude soaring)



  • Flying: Commercial certificates in airplane single and multi-engine land and single engine sea, instrument rating, advanced ground instructor (AGI).

  • Soaring: Commercial certificate, past glider instructor (CFIG)

  • Volunteer pilot, field trips for Edgewood High School Aviation Classes

  • Volunteer mentor and pilot, AOPA's Project Pilot Mentor Program

  • Volunteer pilot, EAA's Young Eagles Program

  • Volunteer lecturer and director, Stress and Wellness Courses for staff of healthcare organizations

  • Volunteer instructor, Meriter nurse residency program

  • Volunteer Driver, RSVP, Madison, Wisconsin

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