Bob Santos shares how TAVR helped defeat his aortic stenosis and saved his life — in more ways than one

Bob Santos, TAVR patient

Bob Santos at home, 2018.

Pancakes for breakfast the next day. Your results may vary, but that’s what Bob Santos had for breakfast the very next day after his transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery (TAVR). Maybe we shouldn’t remind his interventional cardiologist, NCMA’s Dr. Patrick S. Coleman, about that.

If a rich, indulgent breakfast one day later sounds a bit out of the norm for a senior man that just had a major heart intervention, you’re right. But it does help underscore just how different a TAVR procedure can be from the more traditional open-heart (sternotomy) procedure.

Bob, himself, is a bit out of the norm, as far as heart patients go. At the time of his TAVR surgery, Bob was a robust 83 years old and, remarkably, “had never spent a night in the hospital” before. It’s not like Bob was an avoider of healthcare, either. He’s a medical man — a retired pediatric dentist of 40 years.

As Bob says, “I’ve just been so fortunate for so many years.” But that changed in mid-2017. After Bob’s remarkable run of good health, he began 2018 with three significant medical procedures during the span of five months. “I have really had a bit much,” he added.

As significant as Bob’s TAVR surgery was, it was perhaps the least taxing of the three in terms of recovery. He was diagnosed a few years back with aortic stenosis which is a progressive narrowing of his aortic heart valve that eventually would kill him if not corrected. In August of last year, his condition had progressed to the point where he was advised by Dr. Coleman to proceed with a screening process for transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery.

After a bit of a delay due to the October wildfires, Bob completed his diagnostic scans in December and January. Says Bob: “The workup for the TAVR was really extensive — a lot of scans, a lot of pulmonary tests, and other different kinds of tests.”

“Frailty” was a concern. There was concern that Bob was too healthy — he needed to be deemed “frail enough” to qualify for Medicare to cover the TAVR procedure. As luck would have it, the extensive scans Bob endured in preparation for his TAVR surgery may have saved his life — in an unanticipated way.

“When they did the original … abdominal CT scan on me, they found a small cancerous tumor on my liver.” Bob explains, “That was a surprise for everyone. They were hopeful that it would be a hemangioma, which is a benign entity. They couldn’t verify that with the sonogram. They actually had to do a liver biopsy, which was an incredibly complex procedure. Because they have to go through your lung to get to this puppy.” Unfortunately, the scan revealed it was not a benign entity but a malignant tumor.

Fortunately, the tumor had not metastasized and was localized to about five percent of Bob’s liver. Dr. Brendan C. Visser of Stanford University Medical Center committed to perform a liver resection surgery on Bob. This meant two things: Bob now was “frail” enough to qualify for Medicare to cover the TAVR surgery. And he was about to need another major surgery — but it was going to have to wait. Bob’s narrowed heart valve presented too much of risk for liver surgery. His heart needed to be fixed before his cancer could be addressed. Bob’s liver resection would be the third of the three surgeries he was now facing.

Things kicked into high gear in February. “I had chemoembolization on February 6th. I had the TAVR procedure on February 14th.” That’s fast, but it was necessary to get Bob’s health needs addressed.

“After those two procedures, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. It was mostly the chemo that was really … I can’t speak as much as I would like to be able to about TAVR [alone]. It was complicated by the other procedure. [I was on] Plavix (clopidogrel) for two months. Then in mid-April, I had the resection of the tumor from the liver.”

After Bob’s difficult late-winter and spring, he’s got a new perspective on life. “Really, it’s serendipitous. They came up with the tumor diagnosis. If it had proceeded — particularly with organs like the liver and the pancreas — in 12 to 24 months I’d be toast. I mean talk about a lucky guy. I’m so fortunate. Because I am now cancer-free. I have a new heart valve. I can do so many things that I was not able to do.”

Which is good news for Riley.

Riley, Bob and Julia’s Sheltie of several years, was accustomed to a lot of daily “Bob” time. Before Bob’s aortic stenosis worsened, that usually consisted of morning walks of considerable length. Unfortunately, Bob’s aortic stenosis was cutting into Riley and Bob’s time. The walks got shorter and shorter, until they became too much.

“The significant [issue] with stenosis is being out of breath,” Bob explained. “There is just a demand on the large muscles, particularly in the legs, where they’re not getting enough oxygen.” This also meant Bob’s golfing buddies were about as unhappy as Riley.

Bob’s been an inveterate golfer since the age of 18 back in his days at Stanford University. “That became a limitation too. We went from 18 to playing nine. But when we’d play nine, we would pretty much walk and [carry clubs]. Eventually, we had to get into a cart. But even then, it was just too much demand.”

And after TAVR?

“[Things] changed dramatically, with TAVR. With this valve in place and with the ability for that left ventricle to pump blood into that aorta that gets to the rest of my body — it was just night and day. It’s just a whole different experience. It’s almost immediate, too. It’s not like it takes months for this to come into play. It is a very noticeable difference and change. This buys me some time.”

Bob’s enthusiasm for TAVR might be matched by his appreciation and understanding of the technical aspects of the procedure. He says, “I just can’t say enough about it. The approach is through the femoral arteries — just amazing technology. To go up, and make that curve, and to be able to place that valve, and the sizing of the valves and the placement of the valve are the key issues. … But they’re working with fluoroscopy. They know where they are. There is no guesswork here. It’s on a screen. It’s just absolutely incredible.

“They have two interventional cardiologists because the procedure is so technically demanding. [NCMA cardiologist Dr. Vishal] Patel works together with Dr. Coleman to safely deliver the stent. [NCMA cardiovascular surgeon Dr.] Keith Korver was there, who is the traditional surgeon in the event somehow this didn’t work out and they had to open me up. They have to be in one of these hybrid operatories so they can go from the catheter approach to a traditional surgical approach.”

In addition to making this successful series of three surgical procedures possible for Bob, the ability to recover and experience results quickly is what he values the most. For Bob, the symptoms of his aortic stenosis condition are now history after undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

“The symptoms pass almost immediately. I spent one night in the ICU. Pat thought perhaps I should spend one more night. We talked about it. … Some of the people that are having this procedure are perhaps even older, or more frail, with other medical situations, like diabetes. I didn’t have any of these other complications.”

Bob went home on the second day. “They stay at least two nights in the hospital to be sure they’re stable. But … I just can’t say enough about the whole combination of things. It has given me a new lease on life, really. I mean this has really bought me some time.

“I’m just a lucky guy — the right place and right time.”

Learn more

Here’s what you should know when you talk with your doctor about heart valve repair/replacement options: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement explained.


Get a free vein screening at NCMA Vein Center in Santa Rosa

Tired of achy legs & varicose veins?

For a limited time, you can get a free vein screening at NCMA Vein Center in Santa Rosa

legs of a mature woman with varicose veinsIf you’ve experienced leg discomfort, swelling or varicose veins, you may be at risk for venous reflux disease. NCMA Vein Center is here to help with screening and non-surgical treatment options for vein disorders.

We offer treatments that can have you feeling better quickly!

  • Office-based treatments
  • Rapid recovery
  • Covered by Medicare and most other insurance providers.

Call today for an appointment: 707-573-6199.


About NCMA Vein Center

NCMA’s Vein Center offers symptomatic venous disease treatment without hospitalization or surgery. Led by cardiologist Dr. Vishal Patel, we use the latest minimally invasive techniques and treat a full spectrum of venous disorders from varicose veins to severe venous stasis disease and ulcerations.

Learn more about our services online at NCMA Vein Center.

NCMA Vein Center

3536 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 200
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
707-573-6166 main
707-573-6199 scheduling
Fax: 707-573-6165

Elizabeth Cedars, MD, joins Northern California Medical Associates’ Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery / Ear, Nose & Throat practice

Dr. Cedars to specialize in voice & swallowing disorders, facial plastic & reconstructive surgery, and more

Elizabeth Cedars, MD
Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 1, 2018 — Otolaryngologist Elizabeth Cedars, MD, joins Northern California Medical Associates. NCMA’s newest physician, Dr. Cedars practices the full breadth of otolaryngology ─ head and neck surgery, with particular interest in voice and swallowing disorders, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, nasal and sinus disease, thyroid surgery and sleep surgery. Additionally, she has an interest in the study of patient safety and improvement in quality of care, incorporating these areas into her practice.

“We are very pleased to bring Dr. Elizabeth Cedars to our otolaryngology practice,” said Dr. Stefan Zechowy, MD, and director for NCMA Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery / Ear, Nose & Throat. “Coming from UCSF, Dr. Cedars is well-trained in all aspects of the field. She will bring a breadth of cutting edge experience, and we feel fortunate to have such a highly sought-after physician come to our community.”

Dr. Cedars will see patients at NCMA’s Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery / Ear, Nose & Throat practice, located at 1701 Fourth Street, Suite 120 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

About Dr. Elizabeth Cedars

Originally from the Bay Area, Dr. Cedars attended Columbia University (New York) for her undergraduate education, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in biological sciences and philosophy. After graduation, she worked for two years at Rockefeller University (New York) studying neurobiology before she began medical school at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She then completed her internship and residency in Otolaryngology ─ Head and Neck Surgery at UCSF.

While at UCSF, Dr. Cedars spearheaded work in patient education, patient safety and quality improvement practices within otolaryngology. She previously spent two years performing basic science research into brain plasticity in the lab of Nobel Laureate, Dr. Paul Greengard.

Dr. Cedars performed research in multiple areas of otolaryngology, including pediatric hearing loss, thyroid cancer, free flap surgery, and head and neck cancer prevention, and received awards for work on pediatric hearing screenings. She has a passion for community health and has served in a clinic for the San Francisco homeless population, and participated in substance abuse prevention education for children and pediatric hearing screenings projects.

About Northern California Medical Associates

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) has been a leading partnership of medical practitioners in the North Bay Area since 1975, when Cardiology Associates of Santa Rosa, Inc. first opened its doors. NCMA remains committed to expanding its expertise and scope of care by continuing to merge with private practices to better serve our patients in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties. NCMA’s specialties include: cardiology, TAVR surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, endocrinology, ENT / otolaryngology / head & neck surgery, family medicine, foot & ankle medicine / podiatry, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopaedics, osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine, pulmonary / sleep medicine, rheumatology, urology and vein disorder treatment. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About NCMA’s Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery / Ear, Nose & Throat practice

NCMA’s Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery / Ear, Nose & Throat practice offers expertise in the medical and surgical treatment of patients with a wide variety of disorders of the head and neck, including: hearing and balance problems, nasal/sinus disease, snoring, voice disorders and swallowing problems. NCMA ENT physicians have expertise in the management of cancers of the nose, mouth, throat, neck, facial skin and thyroid. Our doctors have trained extensively in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the face and neck. Learn more about these services at


If you would like more information about Dr. Elizabeth Cedars or Northern California Medical Associates, please contact NCMA Marketing Director Julian Rogers at 707-569-3227 or email

Ali Yassen, MD, joins Northern California Medical Associates’ Fountaingrove Cardiology practice

Dr. Yassen to specialize in interventional cardiology (radial/femoral cardiac catheterization, percutaneous coronary intervention) & cardiovascular disease

Ali Yassen, MD, interventional cardiologist

Santa Rosa, Calif., Sept. 7, 2018 — Northern California Medical Associates is pleased to welcome Ali Yassen, MD, to its Fountaingrove Cardiology practice in Santa Rosa.

Dr. Ali Yassen is a board-certified cardiologist specializing in performing cardiac catheterization procedures through both the wrist (radial) and groin (femoral) approach. He has completed extensive training in coronary interventions, including complex interventions and placement/management of temporary mechanical support devices for high-risk coronary procedures. He is also fully trained in all aspects of both non-invasive as well as invasive cardiovascular care.

“Dr. Yassen joins us from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he was involved in cutting-edge research and development of the latest cardiac and structural heart interventions,” said Patrick Coleman, MD, director of Fountaingrove Cardiology. “He brings the latest skills and techniques and adds to and expands the capabilities of our interventional cardiology specialists. This allows us to treat a broader range of patients with state-of-the-art techniques and strategies here in Santa Rosa. His presence will have an immediate and tremendous impact on the cardiovascular health of our community.”

Dr. Yassen is now seeing patients at NCMA’s Fountaingrove Cardiology practice, located at 3536 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 200 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

About Dr. Ali Yassen

Dr. Yassen received his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, graduating with an honors degree. He went on to complete residency training in internal medicine followed by fellowship training in cardiovascular disease at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. He then completed further advanced subspecialty training in interventional cardiology at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center / Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

About Northern California Medical Associates

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) has been a leading partnership of medical practitioners in the North Bay Area since 1975, when Cardiology Associates of Santa Rosa, Inc. first opened its doors. NCMA remains committed to expanding its expertise and scope of care by continuing to merge with private practices to better serve our patients in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties. NCMA’s specialties include: cardiology, TAVR surgery, dermatology, endocrinology, ENT / otolaryngology / head & neck surgery, family medicine, foot & ankle medicine / podiatry, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopaedics, osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine, pulmonary / sleep medicine, rheumatology, urology and vein disorder treatment. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About NCMA Fountaingrove Cardiology

NCMA’s Fountaingrove Cardiology practice is one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective cardiology healthcare groups in the nation. From cardiac catheterization to open-heart surgery, from electrophysiology to rehabilitation and prevention, to new breakthroughs in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), the Northern California Medical Associates cardiovascular services team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care and the best patient results.

Since 1975, the group has focused on sub specialization within cardiovascular health to provide services by the most highly trained and experienced physicians and staff. We provide cardiac care in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, with offices located in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma and Fort Bragg.

Learn more about these services at


If you would like more information about Dr. Ali Yassen or Northern California Medical Associates, please contact NCMA Marketing Director Julian Rogers at 707-569-3227 or email

What to expect during your sleep study

Having trouble sleeping? If your doctor has ordered a sleep study, here is what you can expect.

by James Marco Steele, MD

young Hispanic woman sleeping

A good night’s sleep is as important as healthy eating and getting proper exercise. If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping, we may schedule a sleep study for you after an initial evaluation. There are several different types of sleep studies that can be conducted to assess your sleep condition. You may be a candidate for a sleep study if your evaluation reveals possible sleep apnea symptoms, such as:

  • Chronic snoring.
  • Pauses or gasps during sleep.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times.
  • Trouble falling asleep.

What are the different types of clinical sleep studies?

If you have been recommended for a sleep study, a polysomnogram (PSG) is likely to be ordered. A PSG is an overnight sleep study that records brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, body movement and more.

Your polysomnogram may include three different types of “in-clinic” studies and/or a home study, based on your insurance and physician’s recommendations.


  • This event may be one or two nights. On the first night, you’ll have general monitoring and diagnostic evaluation. If sleep apnea is discovered, you’ll come back for a second night to determine the right air pressure.

CPAP titration

  • If brought back for a second overnight, your sleep tech will determine the right air pressure for you. During this event, you will sleep with a CPAP machine on for the entire stay.

Split-night PSG with CPAP titration

  • This study can be approved either by your doctor’s recommendations and/or your insurance provider’s requirements (if sleep apnea is discovered or strongly suspected during the first part of the night’s study). The second half of the night is used to determine the CPAP pressure needed to offset apnea.

What is a home study?

Some insurance providers require patients to do a home study instead of an in-clinic study. At NCMA Sleep Centers, an in-clinic appointment will be scheduled, where a NCMA sleep tech will fit a modified version of the monitor onto the patient. Afterward, the patient will sleep overnight at home with the monitor. Data will be retrieved afterward to be reviewed by your doctor. Sometimes, there are issues that prevent collecting all the data we need from a home study. If there are two “failed” studies with the at-home device, we then will perform an “in-clinic” stay.

What can I expect after my sleep study is done?

Studies typically take between two to three weeks for data to be transmitted and read by a doctor. Your results may come back sooner. Our front office staff will contact you regarding next steps at the soonest availability.

If a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is recommended, our staff will work to get you set up with a durable medical equipment (DME) company that provides and services safe, reliable CPAP equipment.

Patients using a CPAP machine are typically required to have a one-year compliance check with their doctor. Our office and your DME company will review compliance regulations and keep you informed.

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. With the data from a sleep study, you and your doctor will be able to work out a plan to get you back to more successful sleeping habits.

Questions? Visit us on the web to learn more about NCMA Sleep Center services or call us at 707-525-3786.

Join NCMA at AHA’s 2018 Sonoma County Heart Walk

AHA Sonoma County Heart Walk NCMA

Join Northern California Medical Associates teams at the American Heart Association’s 2018 Sonoma County Heart Walk, Sunday, Sept. 23 at Howarth Park.

We’re proud to be part of this wonderful annual community event to support healthy hearts in Sonoma County and beyond. Adults, kids, dogs on leash, and strollers are all welcome. Teams are forming now and it’s not too late to join!

Pick your NCMA team

  • Fountaingrove Cardiology (team leader: Debra Esposti) 707-569-7865
  • Fountaingrove scheduling / front office (team leader: Kaitlynn Wills) 707-573-6199
  • Spring Creek Family Medicine (team leader: Alicia Brophy) 707-544-3811
  • NCMA Rheumatology, suite 300 (team leader: Renee Briggs) 707-573-6942
  • The Heart Beats (team leader: Tina Chavez) 707-569-3226

Event info

  • Registration and expo opens at 8 a.m.
  • Warm up begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • Walk begins at 9 a.m.
  • Event ends at 12 p.m.

Visit the AHA’s 2018 Sonoma County Heart Walk site for more info.

AHA Sonoma County Heart Walk NCMA 2018

NCMA Cardiology — Sonoma Valley welcomes Sheryl A. Garrett, MD

More doctors. Better heart health in Sonoma.

Welcome, Dr. Sheryl Garrett, to Sonoma Cardiology

NCMA Cardiology — Sonoma Valley in Sonoma, Calif., is pleased to announce Dr. Sheryl A. Garrett has joined our practice. Dr. Garrett, who already practices at Petaluma Cardiology, now joins NCMA’s Dr. Thomas E. Dunlap at our 377 Perkins Street offices.

Dr. Garrett was delighted to join NCMA Cardiology in Petaluma and now in Sonoma Valley. As a cardiologist with years of experience at Georgetown University, Stanford University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, she believes in treating the whole person and looks forward to partnering with patients for their cardiac health throughout Sonoma County.

As part of NCMA Cardiology, Dr. Garrett and Dr. Dunlap are part of the North Bay’s leading team to offer comprehensive cardiovascular services, including:

  • nuclear cardiology,
  • electrophysiology,
  • prevention services,
  • interventional cardiovascular services,
  • thoracic surgery,
  • cardiac/peripheral vascular evaluations,
  • EKGs,
  • treadmill stress testing
  • echocardiography and
  • nuclear medicine studies.

Visit our cardiology services page to learn more about our expert physicians and heart health services. For scheduling at NCMA Cardiology — Sonoma Valley please call 707-573-6199.

NCMA cardiologists Patrick Coleman and Keith Korver update TAVR progress in Sonoma County

Earlier this year, NCMA’s Patrick Coleman, MD, helped make Sonoma County healthcare history by participating in the area’s first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure with colleagues at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. TAVR is a less invasive option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who may otherwise not receive adequate treatment due to their high risk for open heart surgery.

As a leading expert in in TAVR procedures (also referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation [TAVI]), Coleman and Keith Korver, MD, spoke as part of a panel titled “Update on TAVR” at NCMA’s 2018 Physician Regional Symposium in Santa Rosa. Dr. Coleman’s presentation covered structural heart disease, valvular heart disease, structural modifications to minimize risk, and critical aortic stenosis factors.

Please view the embedded video above to learn more about TAVR from Drs. Coleman and Korver.

About the NCMA Physician Regional Symposium

Northern California Medical Associates, along with St. Joseph Health, held the annual Regional Primary Care Spring Symposium on March 24, 2018 in Santa Rosa. This well-attended conference plays a vital role in the local medical community, offering physicians and healthcare providers an opportunity to learn about cutting edge treatments, to collaborate, share research and gain fresh perspectives.

At this year’s event, physicians from a variety of backgrounds and fields of practice gave hot-topic educational lectures to an audience of healthcare providers that included; internal medicine and primary care physicians, emergency physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, staff RNs, and medical assistants; all from the northern California region. This event gives doctors the opportunity to also earn continuing medical education credits (CMEs) for their attendance.

Programs highlighted during the symposium gave in-depth overviews of the current state of healthcare, and included advanced treatments and new technologies from the experts as they continue to improve patient outcomes and provide exceptional patient experience in the process.

See all of the videos on NCMA’s YouTube channel

Complete episodes of these timely lectures are available online via NCMA’s YouTube channel. All videos are free and open to the public. This educational program is provided by Northern California Medical Associates and St. Joseph Health, Santa Rosa Memorial.

NCMA ENT Dr. Stephanie Su Huang invites donations to support rural Zimbabwe project

Dr. Stephanie Su Huang, Northern California Medical Associates Otolaryngologist (ENT) was originally part of a volunteer medical team led by Dr. Jim Palleschi to work at Chidamoyo hospital in June of 2017. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital is a remote hospital serving a rural poor population in northwest Zimbabwe. Despite many challenges and with the help of international volunteers, it has become a full-service hospital that serves approximately 70,000 patients a year through its in-patient and out-patient services.

Dr. Huang says she served patients at the Chidamoyo hospital for just two weeks, and the experience was life changing. “I watched firsthand countless patients walking in the dark from remote villages (some 200km away), and with no complaint, these patients waited patiently for hours to days to be seen. The resilience they exhibited left me speechless. Something magical happened on that trip, and from that moment, I knew that I had to return.  In April of this year my sons, Lucas and Julian, joined me on a second trip to help those less privileged.” Dr. Huang and her two sons have since set up a fundraiser with the goal of reaching $40,000 in donations with funds going toward the purchase of a new ambulance for the beleaguered community.

“The Chidamoyo Hospital is desperately in need of a new ambulance,” explains Dr. Huang. “The current ambulance is 12 years old and has traveled 273,570 miles on unpaved dirt rocky roads full of potholes that only continue to get worse every year.  And the only paved portion of the road has not been serviced or maintained in over 37 years. The ambulance is utilized about eight times per week and covers a range up to 200 miles per trip. On its most recent journey, two windows fell off, one on the poor patient (who fortunately was not harmed), and the other on the dirt road.“

*Photos courtesy of Kathy McCarty FNP

Zimbabwe is a country of around 13 million with over 90 percent unemployment leaving most people to live a life of poverty and struggle. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital has been in operation for more than 50 year and receives no funding or support from the Zimbabwe government. The hospital, clinic, outreach programs, and HIV research projects rely heavily on the lifelong dedication and support of Kathy McCarty. Kathy a Nurse Practitioner who has been working at the rural mission hospital for 38 years. She serves as chief medical officer and won the Pediatric Nursing Association’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2008 for her work with the rural poor children of Zimbabwe. Prior award winners include Paul Newman and former First Lady, Roslyn Carter.

“Please join us to help these poor and needy patients and give them a chance to receive the medical care that could save their lives by making a donation to the Chidamoyo hospital.” To make a donation visit the Help Chidamoyo Christian Hospital Purchase a New Ambulance page on the YouCaring network (or follow the Donate Now button below). Donations have so far exceeded $9,000 of the $40,000 goal. All donations are tax-deductible.

More about Chidamoyo hospital:
Excerpts from New York Times Article 12/19/2010 By CELIA W. DUGGER

Here in this rustic outpost with no phone service and often no electricity, the Chidamoyo hospital and the people who rely on it have entered an unwritten pact to resist the tide of death that has carried away so many. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, plagued by AIDS and poverty, has fallen to 47 years from 61 years over the past quarter century.

Patients provide the crops they grow and the animals they raise — food that feeds the thousands of patients who use the hospital — and the hospital tends to their wounds, treats their illnesses and delivers their babies. Its two doctors and 15 nurses see about 6,000 patients a month and have put 2,000 people with AIDS on life-saving antiretroviral medicines.

Short of cash like the people it serves, the hospital practices a level of thrift unheard of in the United States. Workers and volunteers steam latex gloves to sterilize them for reuse, filling the fingers with water to ensure against leaks. They remove the cotton balls from thousands of pill bottles to swab patients’ arms before injections. And they collect the tissue-thin pages of instructions from the same bottles for use as toilet paper.

Additional resources:

Friends of Chidamoyo Facebook Page

Chidamoyo Hospital in Zimbabwe

NCMA Welcomes John D. Hollander DPM and the new Foot and Ankle Center

Dr. Hollander and Dr. Korves

John D. Hollander DPM along with his well-established practice of more than 25 years joins Northern California Medical Associates to create the new NCMA Foot and Ankle Center.

Dr. John D. Hollander graduated from California College of Podiatric Medicine and specializes in podiatry, orthotics, diabetic wound care and limb salvage, biomechanics and sports medicine, and shockwave therapy. He is a board-certified foot surgeon and fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He is the director of the foot and ankle clinic at Sonoma County Indian Health and a consultant to the medical board for the State of California. Dr. Hollander is also a Qualified Medical Evaluator for the State of California to perform QME and AME exams.

Joining Dr. Hollander and the NCMA Foot and Ankle Program is Ashleigh Korves, DPM. Dr. Korves is originally from Annapolis, Maryland where she practiced for 7 years after completing a comprehensive foot and ankle surgical residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. She completed her doctorate of podiatric medicine at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Korves also has a BA in mathematics with a minor in chemistry from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Dr. Korves specialties include conservative and surgical treatment of common foot and ankle problems such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet, foot and ankle trauma and sports injuries, wound care and limb salvage, and pediatric conditions.

About the NCMA Foot and Ankle Center

NCMA’s Foot and Ankle program emphasizes the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the lower limb and focuses on the use of scientific principles for the treatment of adults, children, diabetics and sports enthusiasts. NCMA’s Foot and Ankle provides conservative and surgical treatment of the foot and ankle as well as preventative diabetic foot care. Services offered include custom foot orthotics, wound care and other treatments for common food problems and conditions including;

  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Nail Fungal Infection
  • Foot Odor & Sweating
  • Warts
  • Bunions
  • Calluses and Corns
  • Hammer Toe
  • Neuromas
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Foot Ulcers
  • Charcot Foot
  • Gout
  • Heel Pain

Dr. Hollander’s practice is recognized in Northern California as specialists in Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, which is used to end heel pain. They also incorporate the latest technology available with laser treatments to treat tough fungal nail infections and warts. And, while diagnosis and treatment are only the first steps toward feet that feel great the NCMA Foot and Ankle Program offers Wine Country Foot Spa which is available for routine pedicures and relaxing spa treatments.

About NCMA Healthcare

At Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA), innovative medicine and patient care is more than just a profession; it’s a calling. As one of the leading medical associations in the North Bay, NCMA takes pride in offering a highly diversified, professional staff and comprehensive health services to patients. No matter the level of medical expertise a patient may require, the professionals at NCMA will deliver expert care with respect and compassion.

The NCMA Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Hollander and Dr. Korves are available by appointment. The practice is located in Santa Rosa at 990 Sonoma Ave., STE 18. To learn more, visit the NCMA website or, and call 707-578-1222 to schedule an appointment.