Categorized | Featured

Tennova Heart Institute
Turkey Creek Medical Center

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure (CHF), remain the greatest threat to life for East Tennesseans.

Tennova Heart Institute copyBut “take heart” – heart diseases can be predicted and prevented. Early detection is our best weapon.  The expert team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at Tennova’s Turkey Creek Medical Center is ready to treat any heart condition, from irregular heart rhythms to blockages and heart attacks. In addition to treating heart disease, Turkey Creek Medical Center is a center for world-class research where results from clinical trials are being used to develop breakthrough drugs and devices.

We are proud to feature one such landmark study in this month’s edition that gained national attention on an episode of the ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy. The Parachute IV clinical trial, a minimally invasive treatment for congestive heart failure, offers an estimated six million Americans the promise of a brighter and healthier future. The procedure was performed for the first time in Tennessee and only the third time nationally by the Tennova Heart Institute’s Director of Clinical Research, Malcolm Foster, MD. Dr. Foster, along with Turkey Creek Medical Center CEO, Lance Jones, recently sat down with Everything Knoxville to talk about this exciting program.

EK: Lance, can you tell us a little about the Tennova Heart Institute at Turkey Creek? How many physicians and other medical professionals make up the Institute?

Lance: Turkey Creek Medical Center offers a complete range of cardiac services, including open heart surgery. Most of our cardiologists are with East Tennessee Heart Consultants, the same physicians who were part of the nationally recognized Baptist Heart Institute. Most recently two additional cardiologists with more than 60 years combined experience joined the team, with one having served as a former co-founder of an award-winning cardiac program. Our heart surgeons are board-certified and have extensive experience in open heart surgery. And, of course, we are extremely proud of the worldwide clinical research being performed by this stellar group.

EK: Dr. Foster, let’s talk about the Parachute IV trial and, more specifically, your patient, 47-year-old Gregg Fruchtnicht.

Dr. Foster: Mr. Fruchtnicht came to us with the classic symptoms of congestive heart failure – shortness of breath, fatigue, and a rapid heartbeat. He could barely walk up stairs or even across the room. We determined he was an excellent candidate for the Parachute, a device inserted through a catheter into the heart. The parachute-shaped device is deployed and allows remodeling of the enlarged heart muscle into a healthy shape, thus improving its function. You can see today that Mr. Fruchtnicht’s quality of life has changed significantly for the better.

EK: You described the Parachute device as “elegantly simple.” Why?

Dr. Foster: The Parachute device has a very simple design with a frame of hooks and wires and an umbrella-like barrier that protects the damaged heart muscle from pressure and strain. The Parachute is inserted using a small catheter with no incision.

EK: Where is the Parachute IV in trials, and who is a candidate for this device?

Dr. Foster: Parachute IV is a Phase 2 Clinical trial, enrolling up to 475 patients with apical LV dysfunction, an LV Ejection Fraction of <35%, and Class III-IV symptoms of heart failure. EK: Mr. Fruchtnicht described his almost instantaneous feeling of enhanced vitality in recovery almost immediately after the procedure was performed. You’ve described how you are often able to observe a patient’s improved well-being even while a cardiac procedure is being performed. This must be gratifying.

Dr. Foster: Absolutely. In the Catheterization Lab, we see people get better right before our eyes. It’s truly gratifying!

EK: Lance, how important is the Tennova Heart Institute to patients living in the Farragut, West Knox, and surrounding areas?

Lance: To know this level of cardiac care and research is available right here in the Turkey Creek area is amazing. Patients do not have to travel anywhere else to get heart care on par with some of the biggest cardiac programs in the country. We are so fortunate to have this group of physicians serving our campus.

EK: Dr. Foster, what other advances are taking place at Turkey Creek’s Tennova Heart Institute amongst your colleagues?

Dr. Foster: We have a very close relationship with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Our Emergency Department has instituted the ER Extra Program. Nursing and Cardiac Rehabilitation promote outstanding care and recovery. Many of our patients remain with us for long-term wellness programs.

EK: In closing, do you have anything further you would like to tell our readers?

Dr. Foster: Turkey Creek Medical Center is a very special place. We draw on years of experience from the Baptist Heart Institute and deliver world-class care in a comfortable new facility with state-of-the-art technology. I cannot imagine a better place to work or receive care.

Tennova Heart Institute
Turkey Creek Medical Center

10820 Parkside Drive
Knoxville, TN 37934
855.TENNOVA (toll-free)

Our Newest Cardiac Specialists

Chuck Dugal, MD
Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery

Specializing in open-heart to minimally invasive procedures, including robotic surgery, and the latest surgical options to treat cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, cardiac arrhythmia surgeries, including defibrillator and pacemaker implantation, heart valve repair and replacement, and minimally invasive vein harvesting.

Nilam Patel, MD
Cardiac Electrophysiologist

Specializing in the care of patients having difficulty with the heart’s rhythm and electrical signaling, including atrial fibrillation ablation, atrial flutter, bradycardia (bradyarrhythmia), catheter ablation pacemakers/defibrillators, supraventricular arrhythmia, and ventricular fibrillation.

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