February has already featured plenty of news on the Central Pa. health care front.
York County has a new fertility clinic; UPMC is offering a new heart value repair procedure; and WellSpan has appointed a new chairman of the WellSpan Central Regional Board of Directors.
Shady Grove Fertility has opened a practice in partnership with WellSpan medical group at 2200 S. George St., between York Hospital and Apple Hill Medical Center. The practice, which provides fertility care for patients in southcentral Pennsylvania, is a founding partner practice of US Fertility, Shady Grove said.
The Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC in Central Pa. recently became the first in the state to utilize the new Edwards PASCAL Precision transcatheter valve repair system, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment of mitral valve regurgitation or leaky heart valve.
Mitral valve regurgitation is a common condition in which a valve connecting two chambers of the heart does not fully close, allowing blood to leak backward in the valve and impairing blood flow, UPMC said. The condition makes it difficult for the heart to move blood through to the rest of the heart efficiently. It may make one feel tired or out of breath, and it may cause an overall decrease in one’s quality of life.
“A leaky heart valve puts extra strain on the heart, causing symptoms or even heart failure if not treated,” said Dr. Hemal Gada, president of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC in Central Pa. “One of the biggest assets that the Edwards PASCAL Precision system brings is the added option to treat patients in a minimally invasive fashion. This fosters a return to better quality of life for our patients, not just in the long-term but in the short-term as well.”
The primary treatment for severe mitral valve regurgitation cases has been open-heart surgery to repair or replace the damaged valve. In recent years, as an alternative to surgery, doctors have turned to valve-repair devices that can be delivered less invasively, inserted by catheter through a vein in or near the groin.
Until the FDA approved the Edwards PASCAL Precision system, there was only one device that had this capability in the U.S.
The Edwards PASCAL Precision system enables safe and effective treatment for patients with degenerative mitral valve disease. The system is designed for maneuverability and stability for precise navigation and implant delivery, UPMC said.
WellSpan Health appointed York County attorney Neil Slenker chair of the WellSpan Central Regional Board of Directors, which serves as the Board of Directors for WellSpan Hospital and WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital.
“Neil’s prior leadership as vice chair has positioned him well to guide our board as we navigate priorities for the York area and ensure the safe, high-quality care our communities deserve,” said Victoria Diamond, senior vice president for the central region of WellSpan Health and president, WellSpan York Hospital.
The WellSpan Central Region Board of Directors is a volunteer governing board, with members elected to three-year terms and officers serving a one-year term.
Slenker has practiced law for almost 30 years at Stock and Leader in York. He serves as the chair of the Business Group and is a member of the management committee. Slenker also serves on the Board of Directors of the York County History Center.