Heart Surgeon To Join Beebe Medical Center
Beebe Medical Center announces that Cardiac Surgeon Fernando M. Garzia, MD, FACS, will be the Medical Director of the new Cardiac Surgery Program at Beebe Medical Center. The program, scheduled to begin in early February, is in affiliation with Christiana Care Health System.
Dr. Garzia recently became a member of the Christiana Care Cardiac Surgery group, which is associated with Christiana Care Health System, a teaching hospital recognized for its excellence in cardiovascular programs. HealthGrades, a leading healthcare rating organization, for 2007 ranked Christiana Care in the nation's top 10 percent of hospitals for cardiac surgery, pulmonary, stroke and critical care services. This also is the fourth consecutive year that Christiana Care ranks No. 1 in Delaware for overall critical care and cardiac services.
Dr. Garzia has served as Associate Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg, Bethlehem, PA, for the past four years. He brings to the Beebe Medical Center community more than14 years of experience as a cardiothoracic surgeon. His professional experience as a cardiothoracic surgeon and a medical center leader include research articles published in medical journals and presentations to medical communities on advanced and minimally invasive techniques used in open-heart surgery.
Between 1993 and 2002, he served as a staff surgeon in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery programs at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, PA, and at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio.
Dr. Garzia has become known for his successes in establishing a new cardiac program. Lehigh Valley Hospital, a medical center based in Allentown, PA, recognized for its cardiac program, recruited Dr. Garzia in 2002 to begin an open-heart surgery program at its Muhlenberg campus in Bethlehem, 12 miles from the main location.
With Dr. Garzia at the helm, the Muhlenberg campus instituted a program focused on excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction. He helped design a new and dedicated open-heart operating room and assisted in the design and implementation of a new universal care open-heart and thoracic unit that opened in 2005.
He recruited personnel, established a collaborative rounding team, developed policy and procedures with protocol-driven care and clinical pathways and directed a patient satisfaction oversight committee.
In 2006, U.S. News and World Report named Lehigh Valley Hospital one of the nation's top hospitals for heart care and heart surgery.
Dr. Garzia plans to introduce several initiatives from that Lehigh Valley Hospital program to Beebe Medical Center, including the collaborative rounding and the use of less-invasive surgical techniques such as endoscopic vein harvesting and stentless heart valve replacements.
In collaborative rounding, a multidisciplinary team that includes the surgeon, a physician, a nurse, a pharmacist, a respiratory therapist and often a caseworker visit each cardiac patient every morning. This team approach improves communication and supports Beebe Medical Center's focus on quality care. The use of less invasive techniques whenever possible has been proven to shorten the time a patient needs to recover.
"The focus is to improve patient care and to make the experience easier on the patient," said Dr. Garzia. "Cardiac surgery is complex, and we want to simplify it when we can."
Dr. Garzia also said he is looking forward to relocating to Lewes. "I am impressed with Beebe Medical Center's commitment to establishing a quality cardiac surgery program and I look forward to the opportunity to become part of that effort."
Dr. Garzia is a member of the American Board of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Society of General Surgeons, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is Board certified in Thoracic Surgery and General Surgery. He earned his medical degree from Ohio State University, and completed residency training in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus and general surgery residency at the State University of New York, Brooklyn.
"We are looking forward to working with Dr. Garzia and having him lead our cardiac surgery team," said Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, President and CEO of Beebe Medical Center. "We are excited to have a surgeon of his caliber. His knowledge, experience and expertise will support our effort to bring a quality cardiac surgery program to Beebe Medical Center and to the communities that we serve. Now, people will no longer have to leave the area to access advanced comprehensive cardiac care - including open heart surgery. The start up of this new program represents the culmination of many months of planning and a wonderful relationship that we have developed with Christiana Care Health Services."
The Cardiac Surgery program will be offered under the direction of Dr. Garzia through the affiliation with Christiana Care Health System. As part of the affiliation, Christiana Care Health System will provide Beebe Medical Center with a full-time resident cardiac surgeon.
For nearly two years, Beebe Medical Center has prepared for the expansion of its cardiac program and for the start-up of the interventional and surgical services. Two new operating rooms specially designed for open-heart surgery have been built, post-operative units geared to care for the heart patient have been created, and new technologies have been purchased. Additional staff experienced in cardiac surgery programs has been hired. Christiana Care's Center for Heart & Vascular Health also has worked closely with Beebe Medical Center in the training of the staff members who will care for the cardiac surgery patients.
The Center for Heart & Vascular Health at Christiana Hospital is one of the mid-Atlantic's largest, most experienced cardiovascular programs. Its renowned cardiovascular surgery team performed Delaware's first open-heart surgery in 1986. Today, its team performs almost 700 open-heart procedures a year.
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community medical center with a mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health with the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebemed.org.