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Health First Valve Team Performs 100 TAVR procedures

Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center’s Hybrid Operating Room (OR) Serves as Setting for Open-Heart Surgery Alternative

MELBOURNE, FL (August 14, 2017) — Two years after successfully completing its first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), the Health First Valve team is celebrating performing its 100th procedure.

The minimally invasive procedure provides critically ill aortic stenosis (AS) patients an option to traditional open-heart aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery.

TAVR implants a new valve in place of a diseased one, designed for patients with severe calcified aortic valve disease who are too ill for traditional surgery. TAVR procedures are performed in the Hybrid OR at Holmes Regional Medical Center.

“Introducing TAVR to Health First has provided our patients a full range of surgical options for valve replacement,” said Aaron Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Community Hospitals, and Service Line Executive, Heart & Vascular Services. “Instead of sending our sickest patients across the state for treatment, they can receive the high-quality care they need, just minutes from home.”

The Valve Clinic is an expansion of Health First’s premiere cardiac services and specialties, which focuses on providing patients with aortic valve disease with the specific care they need.

The Health First structural heart multidisciplinary team pairs cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists, who work in tandem to evaluate patients, review cases as a group, make a recommendation on whether a surgical or less-invasive treatment is appropriate, and then perform the procedures. The team is comprised of interventional cardiologists Dr. Cesar Jara and Dr. Norberto Schechtmann, Dr. Rakesh Patel and Dr. Dinesh Patel, and cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Tamim Antaki, Dr. Matthew Campbell and Dr. Ulfur Gudjonsson.

For more information about the Health First Valve Clinic, call 321.434.VALV (8258).

About Health First
Founded in 1995, Health First is Brevard County’s not-for-profit, community healthcare system. The fully integrated delivery network (IDN) includes health insurance plans, hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group and outpatient and wellness services. As a locally owned, not-for-profit organization, Health First is committed to investing in our community. In 2016, Health First provided more than $158 million in community support. To learn more about Health First and how we're giving back to our community, please visit