In a few weeks we will be hosting the What the Clip!! Echo Symposium at Bethesda Memorial Hospital. This week we would like to introduce you to one of the speakers, Dr. Christina Michael. She is the Medical Director of the echocardiography lab at Bethesda Memorial Hospital and is a member of the MitraClip Cardiovascular Team.
Dr. Christina Michael is known to me personally, and has impressed me with her commitment to excellence, her drive for delivering superior care, her competence and her compassion. Just the other week, our own team member Joanne Ryan had a family friend that needed surgical clearance. He had a history of heart disease and Joanne was really worried for him. She reached out to Dr. Michael and Dr. Michael went the extra mile to take care of this patient and provide him with a correct diagnosis that had been previously missed. Was this VIP treatment? Absolutely…because ALL of Dr. Christina Michael’s patients are treated as VIPs.
In medical school I fell in love with hemodynamics! I’ve always loved math and cardiac physiology made sense. I remember as a cardiology fellow, observing how many decisions were made based upon the echo interpretation. We were making decisions about whether someone should have valve surgery or get an ICD based on an echo. Therefore, I decided to spend the last year of my fellowship concentrating on echo because I wanted to master it.
I completed an additional fellowship in advanced heart failure and I have a special interest in valvular heart disease, heart failure, and women’s heart disease.
Dr. Daniel and I are involved in the Dream-HF study which provides stem cell therapy to heart failure patients.
Within our practice, we perform strain which allows us to detect early signs of cardio-toxicity for patients receiving cardio toxic chemotherapy. Cardio-oncology is a team based approach involving cardiologists and oncologists working together to help prevent, detect and manage cardiovascular disease in cancer patients during chemotherapy and survivorship. By implementing strain into the echo screenings we can detect changes to the left ventricular function before the ejection fraction drops and report this back to the oncologist to make team based decisions on how to best treat the patient. The goal is to lower the number of cancer survivors that suffer from heart failure induced by chemotherapy.
I have the opportunity to do many of the pre-op echocardiograms that get referred to Dr. Daniel’s team. This allows us to objectively measure and evaluate the MR and provide the Valve Team some of the information needed to make the best decision about whether the valve should be fixed and whether surgery or MitraClip would be best for the patient. This includes performing 2D and 3D Transesophageal Echocardiograms (TEE).
On my off time I love to spend time with my family, (my husband Paul, an Interventional cardiologist, and my two boys Mark and Matthew).
I will cover the must-see views required during a TEE prescreening of patients that are being considered for the MitraClip procedure. It is important to understand what views, measurements and values are needed when the Valve Team meets to discuss potential cases. I will also sit in on the mock valve clinic panel, as we review three potential studies. It will be a great opportunity for those attending to have a better understanding of the decision making process and what makes a patient a good candidate for the MitraClip procedure.
Dr. Christina Michael is a board certified cardiologist with additional training in advanced heart failure and heart transplant. She also has advanced training in cardiovascular imaging and is board certified in echocardiography (NBE). She sees patients with all stages of cardiovascular disease and has special interest in heart failure, valvular heart disease and preventive cardiology.
Dr. Christina Michael is affiliated with Bethesda Hospital East and West and belongs to Bethesda Health Physician Group, located at Bethesda Health City in Boynton.
Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE