A Message from Robert E. Michler MD and Mario J. Garcia MD
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A Message from Robert E. Michler MD and Mario J. Garcia MD

Robert Michler, MD discusses the current growth of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular CareMario Garcia, MD discusses the current growth of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care

The past year was a very productive and positive one for the Center for Heart & Vascular Care. In 2012 we provided heart and vascular care to more patients than in any other year in the history of our institution. We believe this extraordinary growth is largely attributable to our terrific physician recruits and our ever-expanding range of services and procedures.

The region's burgeoning cardiovascular demands make physician recruitment a top priority for our program. This year, we welcomed the following cardiologists to our ranks: Jessica Peña, MD, MPH; Hernando Orjuela, MD, FACC; Luigi DiBiase, MD, PhD, FHRS; and Anna Bortnick, MD, PhD. In addition, we welcomed the following vascular surgeons: Jennifer Stableford, MD; Charles Sticco, MD; and Jeffrey Kirk, MD. These talented physicians bring unparalleled experience and expertise to our program. They will help us expand our outreach efforts to the North and South Bronx, Yonkers, Westchester County and southern Connecticut.

Our ability to offer patients a renewed life continues to expand, especially with the availability of novel treatment options that were not obtainable only a few years ago. Our transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program offers a less invasive technique for individuals with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for conventional open heart surgery. The prevalence of hypertension in the community recently led us to partner with Montefiore's Division of Nephrology to participate in the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 clinical trial. This controlled trial seeks to determine whether renal denervation treatment is a safe and effective option to lower blood pressure for certain patients with uncontrolled hypertension. We continue to be national leaders in enrollment in the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI) mitral valve repair trials, the atrial fibrillation trial and the stem cell/left ventricular assist device trial. As leaders in the research community, we are helping to design and participate in clinical trials for cardiac stem cell and gene therapies in heart attack and heart failure, novel options for risk reduction in TAVR, and the use of fractional flow reserve (FFR)–guided coronary artery bypass surgery.

Our success in this dynamic field can be attributed to our fierce pursuit of innovation combined with strong, visionary leadership. For a third consecutive year, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons awarded the heart surgery program the prestigious three-star rating. This is an exciting time for the Center for Heart and Vascular Care. We look forward to working with you to ensure that your patients reap every benefit of the world's most advanced heart care. Thank you again for your continued loyalty.

Sincerely,

 signature of Dr. Robert Michler   signature of Dr. Mario Garcia
Robert E. Michler, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief,
Professor and Chairman,
Department of Cardiovascular and
Thoracic Surgery and the
Department of Surgery
Samuel I. Belkin Chair
Co-Director, Montefiore Einstein 
Center for Heart and Vascular Care
  Mario J. Garcia, MD
Professor and Chief,
Division of Cardiology
Pauline Levitt Chair in Medicine
Co-Director, Montefiore Einstein
Center for Heart and Vascular Care