Clark, NJ – Tony Martin, NP, Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Coordinator, Newark Beth
Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, recently received
a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Consortium of Circulatory
Assist Clinicians (ICCAC) at its annual meeting held in Washington, DC.
As one of the first VAD Coordinators in the United States, in 2007 Martin
created the ICCAC with the goal of creating the blueprint for the care
of patients with the device and a core curriculum for the training of
VAD professionals. He served as the organization’s president from
its inception through 2010.
The mission of the ICCAC has expanded, as has its membership – from
10 to more than 200 members internationally – to include the sharing
of information, education and support to individuals in the field so that
optimal outcomes are achieved for patients requiring mechanical circulatory
support. It is now one of the primary resources for VAD-related matters
and is recognized as a key thought-leading organization by The Joint Commission
and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Since 2005, Martin has been working with patients at NBIMC who receive
VADs – innovative battery-powered devices that help take over pumping
action of a diseased heart.
According to Mark J. Zucker, MD, JD, Director of Heart Failure Treatment
and Transplant at NBIMC, patients who receive a VAD have a small pump
located inside his/her body that is connected to a power source located
outside the body. “The patient carries batteries that power the
implanted VAD in a waist or shoulder pack,” explains Dr. Zucker.
“The VAD is quiet, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand
and may perform for up to 10 years or more.”
Some patients rely on a VAD until a donor heart is identified for transplantation,
while others who may not be eligible for a heart transplant due to other
non-cardiac health concerns, live successfully with them for many years
– returning to work, travel, exercise and other activities they
were unable to enjoy prior to implantation of the VAD.
“As home to New Jersey’s first VAD implantation in 1993, we
are extremely proud of the work Tony has done to enhance the care of VAD
patients, not only at NBIMC, but internationally,” shared Darrell
K. Terry, President and Chief Executive Officer, NBIMC and Children’s
Hospital of New Jersey.
Martin earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Nursing from Kean
University in Union, NJ, and attended graduate school at the University
of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ, where he earned a master’s
of science degree and is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
“I am honored to be part of a program that is respected and valued
by so many patients and professionals,” says Martin, who has worked
with colleagues at NBIMC since 1997, when he joined the heart failure
and transplant team – one of the nation’s most experienced
and active VAD implant centers and. “Being part of a multidisciplinary
team and helping patients navigate through the process of VAD implantation
and living with the device, as well as having the opportunity to participate
in clinical research and improvement of this life-saving technology, is
truly an honor and a privilege.”