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Okyanos Heart Institute

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Gretchen Dezelick Joins Okyanos Heart Institute as Director of Nursing

Licensed Health Care Risk Manager and Certified Peri-Operative Nurse Brings More Than 25 Years of Experience to Facility Providing Cardiac Cell Therapy Treatments

Freeport, Bahamas, The, April 27, 2012 --( Okyanos Heart Institute (, which brings a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with “no-option” coronary artery disease (CAD), utilizing a European Union-approved cell processing device where adult stem cells are injected into the heart via a catheter, has announced Gretchen Dezelick, RN, BSN, CNOR, LHCRM, has been hired as director of nursing for the institute. In this position, Dezelick will serve as the most senior nurse, overseeing the care delivery for all patients, and will represent the nursing team as a member of the senior leadership team. Dezelick will be responsible for establishing effective systems, ensuring high safety standards, and continually improving patient care at Okyanos Heart Institute, where patients receive cardiac cell therapy treatments and coronary artery disease surgeries.

With more than 25 years of nursing experience progressing from bedside nursing to administrative and management positions in a variety of healthcare settings, Dezelick was a Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) for more than 20 years and has been a Certified Peri-Operative Nurse (CNOR) for three years. She obtained her Licensed Healthcare Risk Manager (LHCRM) credentials in the state of Florida in 2009. Prior to her position at Okyanos Heart Institute, Dezelick was risk manager and patient safety officer at Laser Spine Institute, the leader in endoscopic spine surgery, where she was responsible for ensuring compliance with standards of practice to meet regulatory and accreditation requirements for licensure and certification for three ambulatory surgery centers, including the oversight of risk management, performance improvement and the patient safety program.

“Gretchen brings a vast amount of nursing experience to Okyanos Heart Institute, ranging from superior bedside care to healthcare management and administration,” said Howard T. Walpole Jr., M.D., MBA, FACC, FACAI, and chief medical officer at Okyanos Heart Institute. “I’m sure that Gretchen will be both an asset to our patients and to our senior leadership team. I look forward to seeing her successes.”

- Dezelick has received multiple service awards as an outstanding employee and leader. She maintains professional memberships in American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Association for Professionals in Infection Control, Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses, Florida Society of Healthcare Risk Managers, American Society for Healthcare Risk Management and Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.

- Dezelick studied agricultural business at Illinois State University and earned her nursing degree from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Lancaster, Pa. in 1983 and a BSN in nursing from Millersville State University in Millersville, Pa. in 1984.

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About Okyanos Heart Institute:
Based in Freeport, The Bahamas, the Okyanos Heart Institute is a Center of Excellence (CoE) adhering to U.S. surgical center standards and led by Chief Medical Officer Howard Walpole Jr., M.D., MBA, FACC, FACAI, a leader of the American College of Cardiology for many years. The mission of the Okyanos Heart Institute is to bring a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with “no-option” coronary artery disease (CAD), utilizing a European Union-approved cell processing device where adult stem cells are injected into the heart via a catheter. The Greek god of rivers, “Okyanos” symbolizes the primary mechanism of action that these adult stem cells have on ischemic (lack of blood flow) heart tissue, the result of the plaque deposits in the coronary arteries. The stem cells, derived from a person’s adipose (fat) tissue, create new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. These cells facilitate blood flow in the heart and intake and use of oxygen, as measured by a rigorous clinical trial known as the PRECISE trial, as well as cardiac cell-therapy trials at leading research institutions. For more information, visit

Anjelica Cummings
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600
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Okyanos Heart Institute
Patty Briguglio

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