Member of Sevens passes

Dr. Charles H. Sackett, renowned cardiologist, dies peacefully at age 86

The University Chapel bells chimed seven times on the seventh dissonant chord at seven-second intervals Oct. 7, indicating a member of the University's Seven Society had passed away.

Dr. Charles H. Sackett was the member of the secret society commemorated by Thursday's signal on the seventh week after his death Aug. 13, according to University media relations. Members of the society are revealed posthumously.

Sackett, 86, passed away peacefully in his home. As a University undergraduate during World War II, Sackett served in the U.S. Navy's V-12 program with two years' service in the Pacific. Sackett continued his education at the University's Medical School and received honors in addition to being named valedictorian of his graduating class. He later became a renowned cardiologist and family physician, practicing in Lynchburg, Va. from 1956 to 1996 after completing his residency in Internal Medicine at the University and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.

During his career, Sackett endeavored to improve health services in Lynchburg, creating coronary care centers in Lynchburg General and Virginia Baptist Hospitals and eventually merging the two hospitals in 1987 to create Centra Health. Sackett also played a role in the openings of several heart specialization centers, including the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center in 1977, the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories in 1987 and the Cardiac Surgical Program in 1989.

His contributions to heart health did not go unnoticed. In 1998, he was recognized with the Sackett Heart Fund and biannual Sackett Heart Ball, which was established "in honor of Dr. Charles Sackett, The 'Father of Cardiology' for the Greater Lynchburg Community, whose service, dedication and commitment to excellence laid the foundation for the Stroobants Heart Center of Virginia."\nRobert Fetherston, an 81-year-old Lynchburg resident and Sackett's former patient, expressed his condolences.

"The surgeries and the wonderful care I received, I believe, [were] an outgrowth of Dr. Sackett's wonderful ground work in making such thorough and important heart care available in this city," he said.

Despite the Chapel tolls, the Seven Society had not released any information as of press time.

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