Global Tech Company Commends Health First Heart & Vascular Clinicians’ Expertise

By  //  June 7, 2021

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HEART & VASCULAR SURGICAL TEAM MEMBERS Chad Miker (left) and Joshua Michaelman (right), longtime cardiothoracic Operating Room (OR) clinicians, were honored for performing endoscopic vein harvesting procedures by global tech leader Getinge Group, which presented them their President’s Circle of Excellence awards.

A surgical innovator recognizes members of the Heart & Vascular team at Holmes Regional Medical Center for their successful experiences in completing minimally invasive bypass grafts.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The biggest complaint patients have after having a coronary artery bypass surgery? The aftermath of the vein harvesting part of the procedure, in which tissue is taken from the thigh to be grafted to arterial structures at the crown of the heart.

Health First’s Heart & Vascular Services recognize that and have been offering an option for several years that’s not only minimally invasive but yielding great results – endoscopic vein harvesting (EVH), a procedure enabled by German-based Maquet, a subsidiary of the Getinge Group.

And Heart & Vascular surgical team members Joshua Michaelman and Chad Miker, longtime cardiothoracic Operating Room (OR) clinicians, have been honored for their lengthy track records with the company’s President’s Circle of Excellence awards.

Michaelman, a physician assistant, was awarded Platinum status for leading more than 1,500 EVHs, while Miker, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), was honored with the group’s highest-tier Diamond level for assisting in more than 2,000 procedures.

A coronary artery bypass procedure is one of the most intricate operations a hospital performs, and the best invest and train in new technology to make it safer and more successful than ever.

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“This procedure was not available to any patient receiving a coronary artery bypass operation in Brevard County prior to 2013, when Chad brought it here,” said Dr. Matthew Campbell, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

EVH extrudes healthy venous tissue through a tiny incision in the thigh. That tissue is then grafted to arterial structures at the crown of the heart in a bypass. Before this technology was available, Dr. Campbell said, vein harvesting was patients’ main complaint and difficulty following bypass surgery.

Hard-Earned Expertise

These procedures are the standard of care in bypass surgeries, but their success depends on hard-earned expertise and experience. EVH is the technique associated with lower incidence of complications, according to published medical studies, and shortened patient recuperation. Health First adopted EVH in order to raise quality outcomes higher than they have ever been for heart bypass patients in Brevard County.

“They are easily in the top 5% of operators in the country,” Campbell revealed. “Josh and Chad have helped thousands of Brevard residents get through heart bypass surgeries with better outcomes and easier recoveries,” says Brett Esrock, CEO of Hospital Services.

“It’s another example of how Health First is leading the way in heart and vascular expertise for Brevard County — to ensure our community receives world-class care in their own backyard.”

To learn more about Health First’s full suite of heart and vascular services, or to take a quick quiz to find out if you are at risk for heart disease, visit

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