Okyanos Heart Institute Announces Facility Groundbreaking

Healthcare Facility Providing Cardiac Cell Therapy Treatments Celebrates Momentous Occasion

Freeport, Bahamas, The, May 04, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Okyanos Heart Institute (http://www.okyanos.com/), which brings a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with “no-option” coronary artery disease (CAD) via cardiac stem cell therapy, has announced its facility groundbreaking on its campus located at the First Commercial Centre, Ste #4 East Mall Drive, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.

Okyanos Heart Institute was co-founded by CEO Matthew Feshbach to provide CAD patients with cardiac stem cell therapy when they have exhausted all available options from the current standard of care. Stem cells are those with the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body. According to research, a patient’s own body fat is the most abundant source of stem cells. Medically known as adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells (ADRCs), these stem cells have been used safely and effectively in several thousand patients, both in rigorous clinical trials and clinical settings. ADRCs have been found to “re-vascularize” tissue that lacks blood flow.

“The groundbreaking for Okyanos Heart Institute is a milestone we greatly look forward to celebrating,” said Feshbach. “We have worked very hard to see this day come, and we are proud and excited to open a health care institution with the goal of improving the lives of countless patients suffering from coronary artery disease who will come here to the Bahamas from all over the globe to receive cardiac stem cell therapy.”

“Today marks an important step in making Freeport a worldwide healthcare destination for patients and their families looking for innovative medical treatments based on rigorous science and positive clinical trials,” said Ian Rolle, President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority. “Okyanos Heart Institute is bringing a new standard of care and a better quality of life, using cardiac stem cell therapy, to patients with chronic coronary artery disease. They are making a significant investment in their Center of Excellence, as well as bringing new permanent jobs to our community. The Grand Bahama Port Authority welcomes Okyanos.”

“Okyanos Heart Institute will provide valuable health care services to coronary artery disease patients from all over the United States and the world,” said John Rood, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas and member of Okyanos board of directors. “As the groundbreaking and construction of the Okyanos Heart Institute commences, it will make a positive impact on the economy of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas through the creation of related jobs and opportunities for the Bahamian people.”

- Howard T. Walpole Jr., M.D., MBA, FACC, FACAI, FSCAI, the organization’s chief medical officer and interventional cardiologist, is a prominent cardiologist from the United States who in his 25 years of practice as a patient-centric physician has completed approximately 5,000 catheter-based interventions and 12,000 diagnostic catheterizations, as well as myocardial biopsies. Previously, Dr. Walpole served as the chief of cardiac sciences at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., a medical center with 3,300 employees and a service population of approximately 2 million across three states. He led the strategy and operations of the cardiac sciences division, which included 37 cardiologists, five cardiac surgeons and nine cardiac anesthesiologists. Prior to that, Walpole was the managing partner of The Heart Group, PLLC, where he directed an operating budget of more than $20 million and led the growth strategy which expanded the practice from seven cardiologists to 37 and developed 15 new clinic locations in middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky.

- A longtime member of the American Heart Association, Walpole served two terms as the president of the Davidson County, Tennessee Chapter from 1996-1997 and 2009-2010. Besides his present duties on the board of trustees through 2017, his participation in the American College of Cardiology includes working on the board of governors chair-elect nominating committee, co-chairing the “Evolving Models of Clinical Practice” from 2009-2010 and chairing the “Cardiovascular Care Summit” for 2012. Walpole received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia, his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia and his MBA from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University in Georgia.

New Media Content:
Okyanos LinkedIn Home page

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 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 via cardiac stem cell therapy. 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 http://www.okyanos.com/.

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