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Valve Clinic Opens in FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center

| Date Posted: 4/30/2013

Steven J. Filby, M.D.

Steven J. Filby, M.D.
Dona Baker, R.N.

Dona Baker, R.N.

PINEHURST – The human heart has four chambers, each with a valve that directs the forward flow of blood and prevents backward leakage.

When a valve doesn’t work properly – when there isn’t an opening for blood to flow through or if it leaks, for example, a person may experience symptoms ranging from weakness or dizziness to palpitations to chest discomfort. Treatment will depend on the type and/or severity of the problem.

An interventional cardiologist and two heart surgeons with the FirstHealth Valve Clinic have developed a team approach to care that includes prompt evaluations and expert treatment options for patients with valve disorders.

“By choosing our program, patients get care in a unique environment – a state-of-the-art facility that has a small-town feel to it,” says interventional cardiologist Steven J. Filby, M.D. “They come to one central location and get personalized care.”

When patients are referred to what is essentially a “one-stop” Valve Clinic, specialized testing is centrally located for patient convenience and all requests for previous diagnostic tests and subspecialty appointments are arranged for them. As a result, most patients spend only an afternoon consulting with Valve Clinic physicians.

The multidisciplinary professional team then meets to evaluate test and examination results and to recommend a treatment plan that is specific to the patient.

Treatment options may include medical management, conventional surgery or the latest minimally invasive options for disorders such as aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, pulmonary stenosis, mitral stenosis and mitral regurgitation.

“We want to encourage patients to explore the full spectrum of therapeutic options,” Dr. Filby says. “Our goal is to provide the very best treatment strategy for each individual patient.”

The Valve Clinic team includes cardiothoracic surgeons Peter I. Ellman, M.D., and Art T. Edgerton, M.D., as well as Dr. Filby.

Dr. Filby earned his M.D. from the Louisiana State University Medical School. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.; a general cardiology fellowship at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill; and a two-year interventional cardiovascular and endovascular fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Dr. Ellman earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Virginia and his cardiothoracic training at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Dr. Edgerton earned his medical degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, and completed a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

As coordinator of the Valve Clinic, Dona Baker, R.N., BSN, coordinates patient appointments with physicians as well as the procedures that are required for a patient evaluation. She also serves as the central contact for patients and families.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, she previously worked as a registered nurse in the Cardiac Cath Lab at Moore Regional Hospital.

For more information on referrals to the FirstHealth Valve Clinic, visit or call (800) 213-3284.

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