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News Releases
Illustration of TAVR aortic valve replacement
Illustration of TAVR aortic valve replacement
TAVR Tea unites recipients of innovative heart valve implant (Photo) - 05/18/17

More than a dozen recipients of the innovative new "TAVR" heart valve will come together Saturday May 20th at a special "TAVR Tea" to celebrate their healthy outcomes. Tea will be served beginning at 10 a.m. in the Firstenburg Tower lobby at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, WA. Attendees will include TAVR patients, family members, and the cardiologists and medical teams that provided their care.

TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) is a minimally invasive procedure for patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis who are not good candidates for open-heart surgery. Until recently, aortic valve replacement via open-heart surgery was the only effective treatment available to aortic stenosis patients, many of whom were considered inoperable due to co-existing medical conditions. As a result, up to 40% of patients with severe aortic stenosis did not have access to aortic valve replacement. TAVR is changing that, and PeaceHealth Southwest is the only hospital in southwest Washington providing this innovative cardiac procedure.

"It has been just over one year since we performed the first-ever TAVR heart valve implant in Southwest Washington," said Mario Fabris, Director of cardiac services at PeaceHealth Southwest. "Our program has been a tremendous success. TAVR is a game-changing procedure that has enhanced the lives of more than 50 people in our community. We expect an even greater positive health impact in the coming year. We're proud to partner with cardiologists at PeaceHealth, OHSU, and The Vancouver Clinic to provide this excellent new procedure in our community."

"TAVR improves longevity and quality of life for patients with severe aortic valve stenosis," said PeaceHealth interventional cardiologist Maen Nusair, MD. "The TAVR procedure can show immediate and impressive results. Because TAVR is minimally invasive, patients are usually ambulatory hours after the procedure, and are back home in just one to two days. The combination of TAVR's effectiveness and minimally invasive nature translates into patients feeling dramatic improvement shortly after the procedure."

The TAVR tea is an invitation-only event, but news media is invited to attend to meet TAVR patients and hear their stories.

When: Saturday, May 20th from 10am-11am
Where: PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center -- Firstenburg Tower Lobby; 400 NE Mother Joseph Place, Vancouver WA
Contact: Kate Minyard BSN/RN; Valve Coordinator 360-514-3919 kminyard@peacehealth.org

About Severe Aortic Stenosis
Severe aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening to prevent normal blood flow. It can be caused by a birth defect, rheumatic fever or radiation therapy, or can be related to age. Up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis (AS) and about 500,000 of those suffer from severe AS.

About TAVR
The TAVR procedure allows for the placement of a balloon-expandable aortic heart valve into the body using catheters rather than traditional surgery methods. The procedure is performed through a small incision in the femoral artery near the groin. Once in place, the replacement valve functions like a normal, healthy valve with proper blood flow. The TAVR procedure is performed in PeaceHealth Southwest's state-of-the-art hybrid operating room by a multidisciplinary team that includes cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and cardiac anesthesia. For more information about the TAVR program at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, visit:
https://www.peacehealth.org/southwest-services-tavr

About PeaceHealth
PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest.

About PeaceHealth Southwest
The region's health care leader and steward for 155 years, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is a community-owned, not-for-profit, 450-bed, medical institution located in Vancouver, Washington. Repeatedly recognized nationally as a 100 Top Hospital, PeaceHealth Southwest provides a full range of outpatient and inpatient diagnostic, medical, and surgical services to Clark County residents. PeaceHealth Southwest is also one of Clark County's largest employers with 3,400 employees and 600 active medical staff members that help support dozens of medical specialty services and programs, including cancer, heart, emergency, trauma, neuro-musculoskeletal, family birth, and primary care. For more information visit http://www.peacehealth.org/southwest.

Wayne Van Hamme, RN, accepts
Wayne Van Hamme, RN, accepts
PeaceHealth St. John Honors Nurses for Excellence (Photo) - 05/16/17

The 2017 PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center Nursing Excellence Awards were presented Wednesday, May 10th in a ceremony honoring the enduring contributions nurses make to patients, families, and the communities they serve. The ceremony highlights the celebration of National Nurses Week, which extends from National Registered Nurses (RN) Day on May 6 through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing.

PeaceHealth St. John's 2017 Nursing Excellence Award winners are (by category):

Nurse as ADVOCATE: Jodie Mason, BSN, RN-BC -- Emergency Department
Nurse who consistently works on another's behalf and represents the concerns, fears and goals of patients and families.

Nurse as CLINICIAN: Tessa Makaiwi, RN -- Vascular Lab
Nurse who consistently demonstrates clinical knowledge and skill to understand the total situation and employ the nursing process.

Nurse as COLLABORATOR: Jeff Johnson, RN -- Employee Health
Nurse who works with others to provide and encourage each person's contributions to achieve optimal and realistic goals, involving interdisciplinary colleagues and the community.

Nurse as EDUCATOR: Tamara Wheeldon, BSN, RN, CEN -- Emergency Department
This award is for a nurse who has the ability to facilitate self, staff, patient and family learning.

Nurse as INNOVATOR: Wayne Van Hamme, BSN, RN, CEN -- Emergency Department
Nurse who questions and evaluates nursing practices to optimize existing or potential healthcare outcomes.

Nurse as LEADER: Karla Houk, BSN, RN, OCN -- Cancer Program
Nurse who leads the charge in providing safe, caring, environment by drawing upon the basic standards of nursing practice.

Debbie Luttman, MN, RN, CENP, Chief Nursing Officer was joined by Val Baciarelli, System Vice President of Operations & System Services and Interim Chief Administrative Officer at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center, along with members of the Nursing Leadership team, members of the Executive team and the Regional Management team to honor the nursing staff, the nominees, and the award recipients.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center is a community-owned, not-for-profit, 193-bed acute care hospital and Level III trauma center located in Longview, Washington. Recognized nationally as a Top 100 Hospital, PeaceHealth St. John provides a full range of outpatient and inpatient diagnostic, medical, and surgical services. The region's health care leader for more than 70 years, PeaceHealth St. John is one of nine medical centers in the PeaceHealth System.