New Providence center focuses on treating valve disorders

June 23, 2011

Father Freddy Ocun, pastoral services, brings a smile to those attending the blessing and open house for the Providence Valve Center. Noting the excellence of care at PSVMC, he said, “If someone passes away at this hospital, it truly must be that person’s time.” Also pictured are, from left: Todd Caulfield, M.D., medical director of the new center;, Janice Burger, PSVMC chief executive; and Peter Cotuna, chaplain.

Providence Heart and Vascular Institute has launched a new program to provide the latest treatments and best outcomes for patients with advanced heart valve disease. Providence Valve Center opened  June 1 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. A blessing ceremony drew more than 50 people, including physicians, surgeons, hospital and program administrators, and Providence foundations supporters.

The center, the first of its kind in Oregon, takes a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, combining broad clinical expertise with advanced technologies. 

“As our population ages, we’re seeing a rise in valve conditions such as aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the aortic valve that impedes blood flow,” says Todd Caulfield, M.D., the center’s medical director. “These are complex cases that may ultimately require surgery. But studies have shown that older patients with severe cases are less likely to be referred to specialists with expertise in valve repair or replacement.”

In addition to surgery and medication management, the center specializes in minimally invasive procedures.

“Going forward, we hope to become an instrumental site for valve research,” Dr. Caulfield says. “Our first step will be educational outreach to the medical community and the public.”