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Honoring America’s Bravest: Dr. Heather Currier

This week, Lexington Medical Center is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Stephen Siller South Carolina Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk, scheduled for Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia’s Vista. This race is named for New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life while trying to save others on September 11, 2001. It honors all first responders and military members for their service and sacrifice.

Several Lexington Medical Center physicians have served in the military, including Heather Currier, MD, FACCP, cardiothoracic surgeon with Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. Dr. Currier retired from the United States Army this year after 24 years of distinguished military service.

Dr. Currier’s military career began when she attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I wanted to go to school with people who were smart and also honorable,” she said. “I liked being around people who wanted to serve our country.”

She earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry with honors there and then received her medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland where she was awarded with outstanding performance distinction in surgery.

She completed a general surgery residency at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

During her career, Dr. Currier deployed for combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. There, she worked as a trauma surgeon for military service members injured in battle. She treated soldiers with overwhelmingly catastrophic injuries and loss of limbs.

Her job titles in combat included Chief of Surgery, Deputy Commander of Surgical Services and Chief of Surgery.

At the conclusion of Dr. Currier’s deployments, the United States awarded her with the Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal and the National Defense Service Ribbon.

Dr. Currier retired as a colonel from the United States Army earlier this year, while serving as the chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, Georgia and Charlie Norwood Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. She started working at Lexington Medical Center in February.

Dr. Heather Currier

Each year around the time of the Tunnel to Towers race, Dr. Currier thinks about the patients she treated in combat and of the team of clinicians who helped save the lives of America’s Bravest.

“We were all willing to die for a cause we believed in,” she said. “And that makes me proud.”

If you’d like to run or walk in this year’s Tunnel to Towers race, register by going to www.T2TRunSC.org.

Lexington Medical Center Performs First-of-its-Kind Heart Valve Replacement in South Carolina

This month, Lexington Medical Center’s heart program reached a new milestone in its work to provide patients with the most advanced technology in cardiovascular care. Doctors implanted the first LOTUS Edge™ aortic valve system in South Carolina. This device represents the latest generation of valve replacement for patients with severe aortic stenosis.

“The LOTUS Edge is the newest FDA-approved aortic valve replacement. It

LOTUS Edge. Courtesy: Boston Scientific

has several advantages over other valves in terms of safety and effectiveness. We’re excited to be the first in South Carolina to offer this technology to our patients,” said Robert A. Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Severe aortic stenosis is significant narrowing of the aortic valve opening that can restrict blood flow out of the heart. It makes the heart work harder to move the blood throughout the body and can ultimately lead to heart failure.

The LOTUS Edge is implanted through transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. In this procedure, doctors replace the aortic valve with a catheter instead of open heart surgery. The artificial valve is compressed into a catheter that travels through a large blood vessel in the body to the diseased aortic valve. Doctors deploy the artificial valve over the patient’s valve. The new valve begins functioning immediately, restoring normal blood flow to the heart.

Lotus Edge. Courtesy: Boston Scientific

The LOTUS Edge is unique because it’s the only replacement valve on the market that allows doctors to reposition the new valve into an optimal position within the heart. It also has a seal that has been proven to reduce leakage of blood around the outside of the valve.

“This milestone showcases the incredible benefit of a truly integrated heart valve team. It benefits the patients to have cardiologists and surgeons working together,” said Jeffrey A. Travis, MD, heart surgeon at Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Dr. Leonardi and Dr. Travis performed the procedure together inside the cardiac catherization lab at Lexington Medical Center.

Lexington Medical Center has consistently demonstrated leadership in heart care. The hospital has the most experienced TAVR team in the Midlands and has performed the first fully percutaneous and first awake TAVR procedures in South Carolina. Patients typically go home the next day.

Lexington Medical Center began its comprehensive cardiovascular program in 2012 and has continued to expand its heart services to meet the needs of the community. The program is affiliated with Duke Health and has earned a three-star rating – the highest rating possible – from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Lexington Family Practice White Knoll Welcomes Thomas “Bo” Bryan, MD

Lexington Medical Center is pleased to welcome Thomas “Bo” Bryan, MD, to the hospital’s network of care at Lexington Family Practice White Knoll. The practice’s board-certified physicians and staff provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages.

Thomas “Bo” Bryan, MD

Dr. Bryan graduated cum laude from Wofford College in Spartanburg with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. He then completed his family medicine residency at Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood, serving as co-chief resident. He also completed a primary care sports medicine fellowship at Self Regional Healthcare.

Dr. Bryan is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine with additional certifications in advanced trauma and cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and advanced life support in obstetrics.

He most recently provided emergency and urgent care at Self Regional Healthcare and served as the team physician for Greenwood High School, Lander University and YMCA Gymnastics. He also assisted the football sideline physicians for Wofford College.

In addition to well visits and same-day appointments, Lexington Family Practice White Knoll offers on-site bone density exams, X-ray and laboratory services and echocardiograms.

Dr. Bryan is accepting new patients.

Lexington Family Practice White Knoll
5535 Platt Springs Road
Lexington, SC 29073
(803) 951 – 1880
LFPWhiteKnoll.com