Beebe Medical Center Director of Cardiac Surgery Speaks to Lewes Chamber
Cardiac Surgeon Fernando M. Garzia, M.D., Director of the Cardiac Surgery Program at Beebe Medical Center, told more than 60 people attending the Lewes Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Thursday, February 22, how much he had looked forward to bringing an open heart surgery program to the community.
"What intrigued me when I visited the area was that there was nowhere in Sussex County to have either an open-heart surgery or an angioplasty," he recalled. "I knew that starting a program at Beebe Medical Center would really make an impact."
He also said that following his presentation he would return to Beebe Medical Center to perform the fourth open-heart surgery that he has done at the hospital since the Cardiac Surgery program began February 5.
Dr. Garzia, who is a member of the Christiana Care Cardiac Surgery group, recalled how Christiana Care Health System President and CEO Robert J. Laskowski, M.D., approached him about joining Christiana Care Health System in the affiliation with Beebe Medical Center. The Cardiac Surgery Program at Beebe is part of a clinical affiliation with Christiana Care Health System. The Center for Heart & Vascular Health at Christiana Hospital is ranked #1 in Delaware for cardiac services and in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for cardiac surgery by HealthGrades
"When we came down here to visit, my wife and I fell in love with the community," Dr. Garzia said.
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.
"Muhlenberg is similar in size to Beebe," Dr. Garzia told chamber members. "And it taught me that, because of advances in technology, a small hospital can offer better care than a large institution."
During the question-and-answer period, Dr. Garzia said that bypass surgeries today are ten times safer than when they were developed in the late 1960s. He also supported the belief that exercise is critical in the prevention of heart disease.
"It was a pleasure to have him speak," said Bob Lore, President of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Vice President, Wilmington Trust. "We are thrilled to have someone of his quality here to serve our community. We know that time is critical when it comes to heart care, and we feel that it is wonderful to have this new program at Beebe Medical Center."
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