After seven years of fundraising, the Steven M. Gootter Foundation has created an endowed chair at the University of Arizona for the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death.

Dr. Jil C. Tardiff, who was named to the new post, spent the last 25 years in New York City developing new approaches to alter the natural history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She is now a professor in the UA College of Medicine.

Tardiff’s future plans include establishing a clinic that focuses on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients, since it’s one of the most common genetic causes of sudden cardiac death.

The Gootter Foundation, which partners with the UA’s Sarver Heart Center, was formed by the friends and family of 42-year-old Steven Gootter, who died of sudden cardiac death while on a jog in 2005. The foundation’s mission is to save lives by defeating sudden cardiac death through increased awareness, education and scientific research.

Sudden cardiac arrest claims 325,000 lives per year, often in people who seem healthy and have no known history of heart problems.

For more information on Sudden Cardiac Death and the Steven M. Gootter Foundation, visit the website at