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Dr. Fred St. Goar

Ideal Innovation Conditions Lead to Heart Care Breakthrough

Dr. Fred St. Goar never thought he would be associated with a revolutionary device and procedure that would reframe patient care. Thanks to innovative thinking, collaboration and the nurturing environment at El Camino Hospital, the MitraClip® procedure is giving patients a new lease on life by addressing mitral regurgitation, a condition which causes a leaky heart valve.

The MitraClip device and procedure were first implemented at El Camino Hospital in 2009. Dr. St. Goar developed the procedure out of a desire to decrease morbidity through a less-invasive surgical procedure. “At the time, open heart surgery was the traditional solution to repair valves. Unfortunately, not all patients were eligible for the procedure,” Dr. St. Goar recalls. “So if you can create a procedure where you don’t have to stop the heart, that opens up opportunity in terms of eligible patients.” As a result, many of those who wouldn’t be candidates for open heart surgery now have an option that can lead to positive health outcomes.

El Camino Hospital, with its culture of innovation, embraced Dr. St. Goar’s vision. It’s that vibrant attitude that he values so much as a cardiologist. He explains, “What we do at El Camino Hospital is bring to patients therapies and ideas that are on the forefront of medical therapeutics. Embracing ideas and concepts that can have a global impact right here in our backyard is something the El Camino Hospital administration takes very seriously. I appreciate that El Camino Hospital and the Fogarty Institute for Innovation actively support this process.”

The Fogarty Institute for Innovation (FII) is a catalyst for medical device innovations. Housed on El Camino Hospital’s Mountain View campus, FII facilitates collaboration among physicians, engineers and other innovators in the medical industry. Dr. St. Goar, Vice Chairman of Fogarty Institute for Innovation Board of Directors, shares the expertise he has gained from the MitraClip experience with the various projects presently being incubated at the institute.

Dr. St. Goar is proud to be part of such a life-changing breakthrough in heart care that is now available around the world. It is not lost on him the breath of the impact: “The most important benefits of the MitraClip procedure are the 40,000 patients who not only have increased their lifespans, but more importantly, have increased their ability to live well.”