Hispanic Heritage Month: Bronx cardiologist looks to bridge the gap in cardiac care in Dominican Republic
One Bronx cardiologist is focused on helping bring improved cardiac care to residents of the Dominican Republic and bridge the gap between their care and ours in the United States.
Dr. Mario Garcia, chief cardiologist at Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care, makes eight to 10 trips to the Dominican Republic each year, bringing new technology to heart patients in need.
“We’re always going to have patients that will die of heart disease the same way that they die of cancer,” said Garcia. “But what we hope is that they live longer.”
Garcia was pivotal in the first-of-its-kind heart center in the Dominican Republic, where he trains young cardiologists and helps patients pro bono.
“With a limited expected survival, they’re now living practically a normal life,” said Garcia. “Those are obviously very rewarding.”
The cardiologist’s work has even made it to the big screen in “Corazon.” Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir plays Garcia as he treats a young woman who doesn’t have access to care while volunteering in Santo Domingo.