Heart Program Returns to GMH


Guam – Two members of a team of California-based doctors began seeing patients today as part of a program that has provided advanced cardiac care –including open-heart surgeries –on Guam for half a decade.

Cardiologist John Merillat, MD FACC, and Interventional Cardiologist Dat Do, MD, of Valley Heart Associates in Modesto, Calif., will hold in-patient and out-patient consultations through Aug. 27 at Guam Memorial Hospital in Tamuning. They will return to Guam in September and October, joined by Cardiothoracic Surgeon Noel Concepcion, MD FACS, and Cardiologists Marlon Ramilo, MD, and Shewit Weldetensae, MD, to conduct procedures including cardiac catheterizations and open-heart surgeries. For the first time, the team this visit also plans to perform automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) implantations.

During the last Heart Program in March 2010, 11 patients received open-heart surgeries. Since its inception in 2005, 69 open-heart surgeries, 520 cardiac catheterizations and 1,819 cardiology consultations have been conducted at GMH as part of the Heart Program.

The program has allowed Guam residents to receive advanced cardiac care without leaving island since Dr. Concepcion, a Guam native now practicing at Valley Heart Associates, first brought the team here five years ago. During their visits Dr. Concepcion and his colleagues also have conducted training for
GMH nurses and other staff in cardiac care, allowing them to further their professional development as they provide more advanced care for patients.

Local doctors have been notified in advance of the team’s visit and were asked to begin patient referrals, but those needing more information may contact the Hospital’s Special Services Department at 647-2488/2018.