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Friday, June 15, 2012 - COVENANT HEALTH: ALL HEART: Innovative valve centers offer specialty cardiovascular care locally

Even the most complex cardiovascular problems can now be treated in Knoxville.

Covenant Health is debuting “valve cen­ters” at Parkwest Medi­cal Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and Methodist Medical Center.

 “The opening of the valve centers mean that a certain population of patients who used to be referred to places such as Vanderbilt or the Cleveland Clinic can receive their specialty care here,” said Jim VanderSteeg, execu­tive vice president of hospital opera­tions for Covenant Health.

 Valve centers will be staffed by experi­enced cardiovascu­lar surgeons, cardi­ologists, nurses and other professional medical staff who are educated in the latest protocols ex­pertly trained in the latest procedures.”

 “If you have a heart problem, we can treat it,” said Dr. Mike Ayres, cardiolo­gist. “When it comes to cardiac care, Covenant Health is ‘all heart.’ What patients want is better outcomes, fewer compli­cations and higher sur­vival rates, and the com­prehensive coordination of care made possible by the valve centers help us deliver.”

 A new $2.6 million hybrid operating room which opened this spring at Parkwest is part of the plan. It is used primarily for cardiac and vascular procedures performed by members of multiple Covenant Health medical staffs.

Parkwest is one of only 140 sites in the nation to offer Trans Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), an innovative procedure to replace diseased aor­tic valves. It is the first Knoxville hospital to have this capability.

For more information about the valve centers of Covenant Health, visit www.covenanthealth.com/heartcare or call 541-4500.