BayCare Opens New Satellite Heart Surgery Center at St. Anthony's Hospital

February 23, 2016

Program Expands Access to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (MitraClip) and Other High-Quality Advanced Cardiac Surgery Services in St. Petersburg and south Pinellas

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (February 23, 2016) -- To improve access to high-quality, advanced  cardiac surgery services in St. Petersburg and south Pinellas County,  BayCare Health System  has opened a BayCare Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery office at St. Anthony’s Hospital. 

Staffed by BayCare’s leading board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons, the outpatient heart surgery clinic will be staffed by highly trained physicians who specialize in some of the most advanced heart treatments including minimally invasive surgery for complex valve disease including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) or Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVr). Morton Plant Hospital has completed almost 500 TAVR procedures and more than 60 MitraClip procedures to date. As a result of the quality and outcomes of the program, Morton Plant’s heart team physicians have access to all available valve products and many investigational and research trials.

BayCare cardiovascular surgeons are available to evaluate patients at the St. Petersburg office on the campus of BayCare’s St. Anthony’s Hospital. A nurse navigator will be available to help guide patients and families through the process of evaluation, testing and surgery, if needed. Surgical procedures will be performed by the multidisciplinary structural heart team at Morton Plant Hospital.

“We believe this is the best of both worlds for our patients and their families,” said Bill Ulbricht, president of St. Anthony’s Hospital. “Patients will be able to see their surgeon and have testing close to home; while still being cared for by some of the top minimally invasive heart valve surgeons in the country.”

Cardiovascular surgeons Liberato Chapa, MD, FACS; Blaine Heric, MD, FACS;  John Ofenloch, MD, FACS; Joshua Rovin, MD, FACS and Derek Williams, MD will participate in the care of patients at the heart surgery clinic at St. Anthony’s. These physicians are part of the nationally-recognized cardiac surgery program and the Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care at Morton Plant Hospital. “We are fortunate to be able to connect the St. Petersburg community to this nationally-recognized resource. As the first multidisciplinary center of its kind in the region, the Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care at Morton Plant Hospital has brought new options to patients previously considered to be inoperable,” said Ulbricht. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the country to be recognized 14 times as a Truven Health Analytics Top 50 Hospital for cardiovascular care.

“Treating complex heart valve diseases with the TAVR and TMVr procedures, requires the combined expertise and teamwork of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, and other cardiac care specialists,” said Joshua Rovin, MD, FACS, cardiovascular surgeon and one of the founding members of the Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care team. “We work together to provide customized treatment plans for patients who may not have any other options available to improve their quality of life.” Many of the procedures are considered cutting edge and the team is regularly invited to participate in national clinical trials for the minimally invasive treatment of heart disease.

In addition to transcatheter valve therapy, the surgical team provides complex surgical treatment including aortic aneurysm therapy, coronary revascularization (CABG), repeat heart surgery and minimally invasive valve repair and replacement procedures: 

  • Aortic Surgery including both open and endovascular treatment for thoracic and abdominal aortic disease including aneurysms and dissections (TEVAR and EVAR)
  • Minimally invasive Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement Therapy
  • Surgical Aortic Valve Repair or Aortic Valve replacement
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) Surgery-On-Pump and Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) Surgery-Off-Pump
  • Surgical treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
In addition to BayCare’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery office, St. Anthony’s Hospital’s heart services include a digital cardiac catheterization lab for diagnostic and potentially life-saving interventional procedures, an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram (EKG/ECHO) unit to test for heart abnormalities, cardiac stress testing lab with nuclear medicine testing, cardiac rehabilitation, and education and support groups.

For more information on the BayCare Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery program at St. Anthony’s or to make a referral or request a consultation, please call (727) 446-2273.

About Morton Plant Hospital’s Cardiovascular Services
The first hospital in Tampa Bay to perform open heart surgery 40 years ago, Morton Plant Hospital is a Level II cardiac surgery program. Along with being recognized 14 times as a Truven Health Analytics Top 50 Hospital for cardiovascular care, Morton Plant has also received the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s highest level of recognition, a three-star rating.

About St. Anthony’s Hospital
St. Anthony’s Hospital is a 393-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and was the first faith-based hospital in Pinellas County. Celebrating its 85th year in 2016, St. Anthony’s continues its rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, innovative and compassionate care. St. Anthony’s has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement award.  St. Anthony’s Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center has received accreditation from both the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the American College of Radiology. For more information on St. Anthony’s, call (727) 953-6993 or go to

About BayCare
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care.  For more information visit