Section: Barnabas Health Heart Center News

Increasing Access to TAVR Barnabas Health Valve Center Expands to Ocean and Monmouth Counties


Residents in central and southern New Jersey can now be evaluated close to home by the cardiac specialists at the Barnabas Health Valve Center. The new Valve Center offices at the Barnabas Health Heart and Lung Specialty Center in Toms River and Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch provide patients with access to the entire spectrum of therapies for heart valve disease including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), one of the most advanced heart valve procedures available.

The human heart has four valves that open and close on every heart beat. When you consider that in a 70-year lifetime, the average heart valve opens and closes more than 2.5 billion times, it is not surprising that those valves may stiffen or weaken over the years. According to the American Heart Association, about 5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease each year. Aortic stenosis, the most common valve disease, reduces the ability of the heart’s main valve to open and close completely which can cause severe shortness of breath, chest pain and weakness. Until recently, the only treatment for aortic stenosis was open heart surgery.

Barnabas Health Heart Centers are among a select group of centers in the nation approved to replace the aortic valve using the minimally invasive TAVR technique. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, a synthetic valve is threaded to the heart on the tip of a catheter. Once it is precisely placed, the new SAPIEN valve is expanded and begins to function immediately. The SAPIEN valve is the only catheter-based treatment option for people with severe aortic valve disease. Originally approved by the FDA in 2011 for treatment only in patients who could not undergo open heart surgery due to other medical conditions or risks, the success of the procedure has resulted in broader FDA approval that now allows physicians to use this non-surgical approach in a wider population of patients with aortic stenosis.

Team Approach to TAVR
“TAVR requires a deeply experienced, multidisciplinary team of cardiac interventionalists and cardiac surgeons to perform it,” said Marc Cohen, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Cohen performs TAVR procedures alongside other leaders of the TAVR team that include Bruce Haik, MD, Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Barnabas Health; Paul Burns, MD, Vice Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Barnabas Health; Craig Saunders MD, Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Barnabas Health; Chunguang Chen, MD, Director of the Non-Invasive Cardiac Lab at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Mark Russo, MD, Director of the Center for Aortic Diseases; Cindy Sturt, MD, Vascular Surgeon; and Patti Panfile, ANP-C, Valve Center Coordinator.

“Combining catheter-based and open surgical procedures is the next step in the evolution of cardiac and vascular care,” said Dr. Cohen, who is internationally respected for his expertise in the field of interventional cardiology. “The more sophisticated procedures such as TAVR require cardiologists and surgeons to work side by side.”

Valve Disease Evaluation Close to Home
People with all types of heart valve disease can be evaluated at the new Barnabas Health Valve Center offices in Toms River and Long Branch. Each patient’s evaluation begins with a multidisciplinary team of specialists and all the cardiac testing and visits with the cardiac team can be performed at Community Medical Center or Monmouth Medical Center. Following a treatment procedure, which is performed at the Barnabas Health Heart Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center or Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, patients can also schedule their follow-up visits at one of the Ocean or Monmouth County office locations.

The Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel is nationally known for the treatment of patients with complex and high-risk conditions. In addition, the TAVR program is one of the largest in the US with outstanding success rates that exceed the national average. The Heart Center is home to the largest adult heart transplant program on the East Coast, the largest ventricular assist device (implantable heart pumps that support a failing heart) program in New Jersey that is also among the largest in the US, as well as New Jersey’s most comprehensive pediatric cardiac program which includes pediatric cardiac surgery.

For more information, contact the Barnabas Health Valve Center at 1-888-NJ-VALV-1 (1-888-658-2581) or visit

About Barnabas Health Heart Centers
The Barnabas Health Heart Centers offer a single comprehensive adult and pediatric cardiac program with locations throughout New Jersey. Our network of cardiac specialists treats patients close to home with advanced technologies and the benefits of cutting-edge cardiac research.

Barnabas Health Heart Centers are located at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Heart and Lung Specialty Center at Toms River, Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Saint Barnabas Heart Center at Hackettstown, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Bayonne, and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey Pediatric Specialty Center at Edison.

Date: April 9, 2013

Caren Malone
Director, Public Relations and Marketing
Barnabas Health Heart Center

Categories: Heart,Press Releases