Hot Topics I

The hottest topic out there right now in cardiac surgery is the FDA approval of trans-catheter aortic valve replacement surgery.  You can read all about it by clicking on the blue box to the right or going to  By hitting that link, you will be simply re-directed to my web page on trans-catheter valve surgery.

Lehigh Valley Health Network was indeed the first hospital to perform this procedure successfully in our region --meaning in Lehigh Valley and Northampton Counties.  The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania was one of the "investigational sites" and our colleagues at Penn have been very gracious in helping us to launch our own program at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

After we received extensive training on the procedure, we performed 5 cases with an experienced proctor.  Now we are an independent program.  Below is an essay that wrote in The Morning Call shortly after we had performed the first procedure in this region.

I have always had a fascination with the history of medicine and in particular, the history of surgical procedures.  In this essay, I talk about a relatively unknown surgeon named and how his ideas from the 1940's are similar to the new trans-catheter technologies of today!Dr. Horace Smithy

Above is a picture of Dr. Horace Smith, circa 1948.  He was an extraordinary young surgeon who tragically died of Rheumatic Heart Disease --the same disease he was trying to cure!

My essay appeared in The Morning Call on Sunday, June 10, 2012:


One of the most important topics, of course, is how to care for your heart. Barbara Walters hosted a 20/20 ABC News special which she talked about her own heart valve surgery. I wrote a nice essay about her show and more importantly, the message that Ms. Walters was trying to deliver to her audience, particular to women.

I was interviewed by Eve Tannery from WFMZ Channel 69 regarding Barbara Walter's surgery.  It was really fun to be on TV.  I was hoping this would have led to my becoming the next Dr. Oz but so far that hasn't worked out.

Women's health is an important topic to me, especially having two daughters.  I was honored to speak at the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Luncheon at DeSales University on May 1, 2012.  Ironically, I was introduced once again by Eve Tannery from WFMZ Channel 69 News.  Eve is truly a great news person who cares a lot about our community. Here is the video of my talk:

Health care reform are desperately needed in our country.  Prior to the November 2008 election, I published an Op Ed piece on this complex subject.  Keep in mind, this essay was written even before President Barack Obama was selected as the Democratic Candidate.  In fact, in this essay, I referenced a TV commercial that Primary Candidate Hilary Clinton used against Primary Candidate Obama.  You can read more about health care reform here

Advertising and hospital statistics in medicine are hot topics.  Below is an editorial I wrote that addresses these important issues.

Tim Russert and Bill Clinton have more in common than you may think.  First, they were both successful in their careers. But perhaps more significantly, they are typical of many baby boomers with regards to their being over-achievers on the one hand, yet paying a price for their health on the other.  I wrote the following essay after Russert's death. I only wish I could take my own advice!  

Speaking of baby boomers, there are 78 million baby boomers who are coming of age.  The first of these baby boomers turn 60 in 2006.  The impact on healthcare over the next 15 years will be enormous.  Below is an editorial that I wrote on this important topic.

Click the image to read a larger version: