January 19, 2012
Dear Friend of the Texas Heart Institute,
For many years, valvular heart disease—that is, disease that affects the heart valves—has been relegated to the back burner while heart attacks, heart failure and arrhythmia hold center stage. That is changing as the population ages and people, including millions of Baby Boomers, are living longer. Along with an increase in the disease come significantly greater costs of treating it.
One study showed that about 5 million Americans have moderate or severe heart valve disease. No small number.
These are among the reasons the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is tackling this significant problem by establishing its Center for Heart Valve Disease.
Under the theory that some of our brightest minds should tackle our worst problems, the Center is under the direction of Dr. Blase Carabello and co-director, Dr. R. David Fish. It is focusing on all aspects of valvular heart disease, including improved replacement procedures with less invasive technology, and the use of adult stem cell therapy. Visit the website.
Soon, we will be announcing a new clinic to be opened by the Center here at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital to treat patients with the disease.
I am also pleased to announce that Dr. Carabello has been named chief of cardiology for both the Texas Heart Institute and St. Luke's. Read the news release.
Dr. Carabello is an internationally recognized expert in valvular heart disease. He is, in fact, one of the world's most experienced and capable people in this field, which has been a major focus for him for many years. As St. Luke's CEO, Margaret Van Bree, DrPH, pointed out, Dr. Carabello's extensive expertise will greatly benefit our patients from around the globe.
That is the bottom line. Valvular disease is now very much on the front burner.
With great respect,
James T. Willerson, MD
President and Medical Director
Contact Dr. Willerson
Read previous issues of Heart to Heart in the archives.
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