“More than 58 million Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease, and many more are at risk for developing it,” states a brochure provided by Brandon Regional Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center, drawing attention to its continued commitment and goal of providing services and patient care in the Brandon community.
There is little doubt that with more than a million suffering heart attacks each year and another 780,000 experiencing strokes, hospitals and medical centers will continue to focus on the care they currently give and are hoping to provide in the future.
It appears that BRH has done just that.  With such grim statistics as well as future growth in mind, BRH was pleased to announce the strengthening of its staff having added a number of new cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons to its heart surgical unit.
An event in July welcomed the staff and included surgeons, doctors, nurses, guests and the media in order to meet Gary H. Dworkin, M.D. and Ignacio G. Duarte, M.D., both of whom will become full-time staff members of the hospital’s heart unit as well as Leah A. Teekell-Taylor, M.D., who will provide her expertise on an on–call basis at BRH.
“Brandon Regional is demonstrating a real can-do attitude of continued high quality programs which, of course, ultimately benefits the patients,” said Dworkin, who brings 17 years of experience to the center as a heart surgeon.
Duarte, with eight years of surgical experience, was also pleased with having the opportunity to be a part of BRH.
“This is a new venture for our group,” Duarte said, adding, “We have recognized the growth and the need in Brandon and are happy to offer our services.” 
The “group” Duarte was talking about is CSA (Cardiac Surgical Associates), now the country’s largest private surgical practice which is currently caring for patients at three other West Florida HCA hospitals: Largo, Northside and Osceola.
While impressed by the incoming surgeons’ clinical performance, the changes they have produced and confident of the improvements their presence will bring to the hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center, Brandon Regional Hospital CEO Michael Fencel was thankful for the hard work performed by the center’s former surgeons.
“We are grateful for the services provided by them which have earned the hospital its reputation for excellence for the past six years,” Fencel said.
Fencel also explained that the hospital’s contract with CSA begins August 1, and by the end of November, all five (two on staff and three backup) surgeons will be aboard.
According to BRH Director of Cardiovascular Services Jill Benford, one of the changes benefiting the hospital as well as providing positive results for both the patients and the nurses is the training given by the new surgeons through in-services and  the like which will allow patients to leave the Intensive Care Unit post surgery sooner while opening rooms for new patients in need of immediate care.
For more information about the Heart and Vascular Center at BRH, please visit www.brandonhospital.com or call 681-5551.

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