UVA Valve Program Expansion: The Advanced Cardiac Valve Program at UVA, under the leadership of Drs. Scott Lim and Gorav Ailawadi, has had a dynamic year with significant growth and innovation. The program welcomed the addition of new Structural and Interventional faculty, Dr. Nishtha Sodhi, to the team. In January of 2020, the team increased the number of procedure days per week to 3 and launched a formalized inpatient Valve Consultative Service. This expansion has translated into a 53% growth in procedural volume, 100% growth in inpatient consultation volume, and 30% growth in outpatient referrals and clinic volume compared to the prior fiscal year. Additionally, the Valve Program has pioneered quality initiatives such as a post-procedural PACU pathway to avoid unnecessary ICU admissions and a shift towards conscious sedation over general anesthesia during procedures. These quality initiatives have decreased overall hospital length of stay and increased patient satisfaction tremendously. Finally, the UVA Valve Program has continued to be at the international forefront of new innovation offering unique clinical trials for the tricuspid valve, for heart failure patients, advanced pre-procedural imaging with the implementation of 3Mensio software, amongst other niche structural devices and technologies offered at only select institutions worldwide. It is truly an exciting time in the Valve Program with the highest growth and expansion seen to date while maintaining excellence in patient-focused care.
UVA Valve Program Community Outreach: Through the “Every Heartbeat Matters Grant,” awarded by Edwards Lifesciences, the UVA Valve Program partnered with Health Wagon to provide cardiology and echocardiographic screening to the underserved population of Wise, Virginia. Most recently in March 2020, Dr. Nishtha Sodhi, Mercedes Armstrong NP, Marissa Donatelle, Heather Laramy, and Angelica Ricotta evaluated over close to 50 patients. Those patients that screened for severe valvular heart disease were subsequently brought to UVA for their coronary intervention and TAVR procedures. The Grant has made a remarkable impact on these patients’ lives who otherwise have limited resources and access to health-care. The next mission trip will take place in the Summer/Fall of 2020 led by Dr. Michael Ragosta.
UVA Valve Program Innovation: As a tertiary referral center, the UVA valve team takes care of some of the most complex valvular, structural, and cardiac cases. Drs. Nishtha Sodhi and Kenan Yount recently performed complex PCI and TAVR on an ECMO patient. He is the oldest living patient in the world to have successfully weaned from ECMO and is now 7 months post-procedure and back to his life and doing well. Under the leadership of Drs. Lim, Ragosta, Ailawadi, and Kern, the program has pioneered a true Heart Team approach to find creative solutions in complex anatomies.