This mission was CardioStart’s 5th adult cardiac surgery mission to Clinica Corozonas Unidos, in Santo Domingo.  HeartCare Dominicana, Inc. facilitated the team’ presence during the week and arranged for patients to be seen for this humanitarian surgical program.   Several complex valve repairs/replacements were performed with intensive involvement with the local team.  Unique to this hospital, two Off Pump Coronary Artery Bypass cases were done.  One Atrial Septal Defect repair was carried out using an Amplatz device.   All cases were successful.


Name Age Surgical Procedure Outcome
B.D.R.P. 62 Coronary Artery Bypass X3 off pump Satisfactory
C.C.R. 40 Mitral Valve Repair Satisfactory
J.C.A. 65 Coronary Artery Bypass x3 off pump Satisfactory
F.H. 40 Mitral and Aortic valve replacements

Tricuspid Repair

E.M.A. 49 Redo Mitral Valve Replacement Satisfactory
R.E.G. 20 Redo aortic Valve Replacement- Satisfactory
B.J. 49 Atrial Septal Defect Amplatz device Satisfactory
E.E.V. 80 Aortic Valve Replacement Satisfactory
F.S.R. 65 Defibrillator Implantation Satisfactory
N.B. 41 Generator change Satisfactory
L.E.S.D.L.S. 26 Defibrillator Implantation Satisfactory
O.O. 41 Defibrillator Implantation Satisfactory


A cardiology clinic was held in Constanza, Dominican Republic.  This community is a 2-hour drive inland from Santa Domingo.  Patients were lined up 2-hours before the team was to arrive. 

In two days, two medical providers, an echo tech and medical student translators evaluated and treated 162 patients for medical conditions with a primary focus on cardiac disorders.

Referrals:  Five patients needing cardiac surgery were discovered and referred for surgical intervention.  Thirty-one echocardiograms were indicated and performed.  Collaborative care was provided in all areas.


On every CardioStart mission, education of local practitioners is priority.

This emphasis continued in the OR and ICU.  Bedside teaching during collaborative care took place throughout the mission.  Protocols and order sets were reviewed with local staff as they provide ongoing care.


After 5 years of missions to this Hospital, CardioStart in conjunction with local staff has done over 40 surgical procedures on adults and children.  CardioStart Cardiologist Tom Cocke, echo tech Tracy Ferreira and research collator Tyler Thorne saw 40 patients for physical exam and follow-up echocardiograms.  Three patients will be referred for further assessment.  This follow up is very important to the research database CardioStart carries out in each country.

It not only documents care provided but also quality of life and survival after cardiac surgery in a developing country.  We are thankful for these patients for taking the time to come to the city for evaluation.


Mariano Brizzio, MD Adult CV Surgeon Mission Director New Jersey, USA
Charles Grima, CCP Perfusion Perfusionist Malta
Jeff Levine, MD Adult CV Anesthesia Anesthesiologist New Jersey, USA
Yvonne Lai, MD Anesthesiology/Intensive Care Intensivist Boston MA, USA
Alicia Smith, RN Operating Room Nurse Scrub Nurse New Jersey, USA
Elaine Kletsman, PA Physician Assistant Physician Assistant New Jersey, USA
Tom Cocke, MD Interventional Cardiology Interventional Cardiologist New Jersey, USA
Nazeli Leake, RN Adult CV ICU Nurse Charge Nurse New Jersey, USA
Mary Gregory, RN Adult CV ICU Nurse Adult CV ICU Nurse New Jersey, USA
Erin Acker, RN Adult CV ICU Nurse Adult CV ICU Nurse New Jersey, USA
Leah Silver, RN Adult CV ICU Nurse Adult CV ICU Nurse Seattle WA, USA
Tracy Ferreira, RDCS Echocardiologist Echocardiologist New Jersey, USA
Tyler Thorne Medical Student Database researcher Hawaii, USA
Janine Henson, RN Adult CV ICU Nurse & VP CardioStart Mission Coordinator Minnesota USA


CardioStart gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following:

  • Valley Hospital, Ridgewood New Jersey USA.
  • St. Jude Medical Minneapolis, MN USA.
  • Heartcare Dominicana Inc. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Clinica Corazones Unidos, Santo Domingo.
  • Amy Lauth Foundation, Georgia, USA (Logistics and suitcase donation items).
  • Medtronic USA, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • Essential Pharma, Inc, USA.
  • Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club, Oregon, USA (Equipment donations & Logistics – Matt and Amanda Adams & colleagues)
  • United Methodist Church, Lake Oswego, OR, USA) (Patient heart pillow gifts)
  • Maxine Rodgers- Hygiene Care Kits for patients, Chico, CA, USA.