The Bronx is one of the poorest urban counties in the United States and presents physicians with many challenges, from the medical and behavioral to socioeconomic and cultural barriers. Those who choose to practice at Montefiore are highly dedicated individuals who embrace the idea that their skills do indeed make a difference in the lives of their patients, many of them living with complex cardiovascular disease and co-morbidities such as diabetes or obesity.
"When we recruit physicians, we look for people who are exceedingly talented and who understand the importance of blending compassion and creativity into their work," says Mario J. Garcia, MD, Professor and Chief, Division of Cardiology, Pauline Levitt Chair in Medicine, and Co-Director, Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care. "I believe we have found that balance in our most recent additions."
"What attracted me to Montefiore was its established team of surgeons, interventionalists and imagers," says Dr. Bortnick, Associate Director, Structural and Valvular Heart Disease, Montefiore Medical Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The opportunity to bring new technology and options to a community in need appealed to me."
Dr. Bortnick joins the Division of Cardiology from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she recently completed fellowships in both interventional and general cardiology. She earned her medical degree and doctorate from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and she completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
At Montefiore, Dr. Bortnick, who is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology, draws upon her expertise in minimally invasive surgery to provide patients with alternatives to open-heart surgery. She possesses significant experience in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) through her participation in the groundbreaking placement of aortic transcatheter valves (PARTNER) trial and will help Montefiore expand its own TAVR program.
Dr. Bortnick will see patients at Montefiore Hospital and Weiler Hospital.
"I'm looking forward to contributing to Montefiore's outreach programs and to serving the Spanish-speaking population," says Dr. Orjuela, Outreach Cardiologist, Montefiore Medical Center, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Orjuela joins Montefiore after 12 years in private practice. He earned his medical degree at Montemorelos University School of Medicine in Mexico, and he completed his internal medicine residency at Cabrini Medical Center in New York and a cardiology fellowship at Cabrini and The Mount Sinai Hospital, also in New York.
Dr. Orjuela – who specializes in clinical cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and non-interventional invasive procedures – provides clinical consultation, general cardiology and nuclear cardiology services as well as diagnostic cardiac catheterization, esophageal and minimally invasive echocardiography, and other procedures at Montefiore.
He is board certified in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and internal medicine, with a subspecialty in adult cardiovascular diseases, and he has conducted research in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology.
Dr. Orjuela will see patients three days a week at the Medalliance Health Services and Urban Health clinic locations.
"I was drawn to Montefiore because of the diversity of the patient population, and the leadership of Dr. Mario Garcia," says Dr. Peña, Outreach Cardiologist, Montefiore Medical Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "I hope to conduct research in the community, make clinical trials available to Montefiore patients, and help develop a robust, culturally sensitive outpatient cardiology practice."
At Montefiore, Dr. Peña, who is fluent in Spanish and provides a full range of noninvasive cardiology services, will focus her research on preventive cardiology—including the cardiovascular effects of statins and psychosocial stress. She will also conduct clinical trials to test the inflammatory hypothesis of atherosclerosis.
Dr. Peña served as principal investigator on the JUPITER trial, which explored statin therapy and the risks of atrial fibrillation, and she participated in the Dallas Heart Study, which examined left ventricular mass and wall thickness.
Dr. Peña joins Montefiore from her research fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She earned her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and completed her residency in internal medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology and adult echocardiography.
Dr. Peña will see patients primarily in outreach clinics.
"I look forward to helping build Montefiore's cardiology practice through dedicated clinical practice in conjunction with cutting-edge clinical research," says Dr. DiBiase, Attending Electrophysiologist, Montefiore Medical Center, and Associate Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "By combining my expertise in atrial fibrillation with new technologies, I hope to help Montefiore become a center of care for this condition."
Dr. DiBiase joins Montefiore from the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute in Austin, where he served as senior researcher. There, he conducted clinical trials in ablation approaches to atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.
At Montefiore, Dr. DiBiase will provide cardiology and electrophysiology treatments, including catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias and treatment of heart failure with cardiac resynchronization therapy devices.
Dr. DiBiase earned his medical degree and completed a cardiology residency at the University of Bari, Italy. He holds a doctorate in cardiovascular and respiratory physiopathology, and he has completed research fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center and the University of Texas Medical School Branch, and electrophysiology and pacing fellowships in both Italy and Austria.
Dr. DiBiase will see patients at Weiler Hospital.