Section: Barnabas Health Heart Center News

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Heart Transplant Surgeon Begins Series at Liberty Science Center


Margarita Camacho, MD, Surgical Director of Heart Transplant and Mechanical Assist Devices at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, will be featured in Liberty Science Center’s Live From Cardiac Surgery program in 2014. Beginning at 9:00 am on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 and continuing two days per month through June, Dr. Camacho will be discussing heart transplant surgery, implantable ventricular assist devices (VADs) and the importance of adopting heart-healthy habits early in life. More than 250 high school students from New Jersey and New York are scheduled to attend the first program in the series.

Dr. Camacho will narrate video footage of actual heart transplant and VAD implant surgeries and highlight various stages of these complex procedures used to treat people with end-stage heart failure. She will discuss the causes and symptoms of heart failure as well as the improvements in quality of life that are experienced by people who undergo these treatments. The two-hour presentation will also include remarks from Samantha Denti, a 28-year-old woman who had a VAD implanted prior to her heart transplant performed by Dr. Camacho in 2013. It is the first time that Liberty Science Center has offered this up-close and personal view of heart transplantation.

Nationally respected by her peers, Dr. Camacho, is a highly accomplished cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical director of the East Coast’s largest heart transplant program that has achieved survival rates that consistently exceed national benchmarks. Dr. Camacho is one of only a handful of women in the field of cardiac surgery and even fewer who perform heart transplantation. For the past two years, she performed more heart transplants than any other cardiac surgeon in the US.

Beyond her extraordinary medical judgment and technical acumen, Dr. Camacho’s compassion and humility leave a lasting impression on her patients and their families. Her reverence for the organ donors and families who make the ultimate gift of life is evident in her commitment to personally recover every heart she ultimately transplants to ensure the best possible care for each precious organ.

Early in her career, Dr. Camacho understood that the number of hearts donated each year could never meet the demand for transplant and she focused on mechanical support devices as a way to give patients a better quality of life. She believed that those early clunky heart pumps would improve with smaller and more durable designs. Dr. Camacho continues to work directly with the device manufacturers to help design increasingly better and more reliable devices. Thanks in large part to her efforts, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center offers the largest and most comprehensive selection of VADs that can be used as a bridge to transplant or destination therapy.

Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, NJ, has a distinguished history in the field of cardiology. Its pioneering physicians performed the first early coronary bypass procedures as well as the first heart transplant in New Jersey. Their work in the development and use of pacemakers is world renowned. Building on that legacy, Newark Beth’s nationally respected cardiac physicians, surgeons and researchers continue to make significant advances in cardiac care.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is ranked one of the Region’s Best Hospitals in Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S News & World Report 2012-2014. Its adult heart transplant program is the largest on the East Coast with outstanding long-term survival rates that consistently meet or exceed national benchmarks. Highly specialized care includes minimally invasive and robotic-assisted cardiac procedures, and the latest generation of ventricular assist devices designed to take over the pumping action for a diseased heart. The Valve Center, Atrial Fibrillation Center and Center for Aortic Diseases are at the forefront of new and emerging approaches to complex cardiac conditions. Working in concert, adult and pediatric cardiologists and surgeons provide lifelong care for all types of congenital heart conditions in teens, adults and seniors.

About Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center ( is a 300,000-square-foot learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, the nation’s largest IMAX Dome Theater, live simulcast surgeries, tornado and hurricane-force wind simulators, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs. More than half a million students, teachers, and parents visit the Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participate in the Center’s offsite and online programs. LSC is the most visited museum in New Jersey and the largest interactive science center in the New York metropolitan area.

Contact: Caren Malone
Public Relations Department
Barnabas Health

Categories: Press Releases