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Ojai Resident Receives Life-Saving Procedure With World-Class Care at St. John’s Regional Medical Center

St. John's cardiac surgeons are able to replace diseased heart valves in patients who are at high-risk for open-heart surgery

OXNARD, CA – (April 9, 2019) – St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), a Dignity Health hospital, is excited to announce that the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program has successfully achieved best patient outcomes for all those who have undergone the new procedure. SJRMC is among the few hospitals in the nation to offer the program with the most experienced cardiac team in Ventura County. There is no need to travel miles for this minimally invasive technique, more local patients from Camarillo, Oxnard, Ojai, and Ventura can take advantage of this life-saving procedure, closer to home.

Marie Maier, an 89-year-old Ojai resident, underwent the TAVR procedure on Monday, March 25. The day after the procedure, she was smiling and alert in her hospital bed. “The people are so great. It’s been a beautiful experience. Not that I encourage you to be sick, but if you have to be sick, this is the place to be,” said Maier, as she praised St. John’s cardiac team. Maier has since been discharged to recover in the comfort of her own home.

Prior to the FDA’s approval of TAVR in 2011, patients with narrowed aortic valves that were considered to be at high risk for surgery had limited options. Traditional open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve involves cutting open the chest, but TAVR provides a much less invasive option, with no opening of the chest necessary. The procedure uses a catheter to deliver a collapsible replacement valve to the site of the narrowed valve. When the new valve has been expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way, and the new valve takes over regulating blood flow.

“Community members needing this potentially life-saving procedure can now receive unsurpassed cardiac care close to home, without the need to travel outside the area,” said Darren W. Lee, President and CEO, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital and St. John’s Regional Medical Center. “Only a few select hospitals have the capability to perform this leading-edge procedure, and this is yet another example of our continued commitment to providing our patients the highest level of quality, safety, and service.”

SJRMC’s state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab, along with its multidisciplinary cardiac team consisting of Surgeons, Cardiologists, Anesthesiologists, Radiologists, and Nurses, made TAVR procedures possible for its patients. The cardiac catheterization lab delivers the latest in high-tech imaging, computer and diagnostic equipment, and surgical capabilities. To learn more about the TAVR procedure at SJRMC visit, or call (805) 216-0502.

If any member of the media would like to schedule an interview or requires additional information, please contact Arrate Zavala in the Marketing Communications Department at (805) 988-2751.


About Dignity Health - St. John’s Regional Medical Center

St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard is a recipient of the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence (2012-2015) and is rated among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care for five consecutive years. St. John’s Regional Medical Center’s cardiac program offers effective treatment for heart disease as a STEMI Receiving Center, world- class clinical research trials, a certified primary stroke center, and recently became the first hospital in California to offer the world’s smallest leadless pacemaker for patients with bradycardia – slow heart rate. In addition, St. John’s was the first and only hospital in Ventura County to perform cryoablation, an innovative procedure to treat atrial fibrilation – a common heart rhythm disorder. St. John’s Cancer Program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers a lung cancer program recognized as the only Center of Excellence in Ventura County. The 16-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. John’s provides family centered care for newborns requiring highly specialized attention. Learn more about other classes, events and support groups here.

Publish date: 

Tuesday, April 09, 2019