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Tampa Community Hospital is Growing to Serve the Community with an Additional Cardiac Service

Tampa Community Hospital October 28, 2015

Tampa Community Hospital Now Offers a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Program

Tampa Community Hospital is pleased to announce that it now offers a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Program. For patients experiencing a heart attack, this means that Tampa Community Hospital is specially prepared to open the blocked artery with the goal of restoring blood flow to the heart muscle within 60 minutes of a patient's arrival to the hospital.

Commonly known as angioplasty, PCTA or balloon/stent angioplasty, PCI is a therapeutic procedure to treat narrowed arteries related to coronary heart disease, or a build-up of fat and cholesterol called plaque deposits. These deposits may cause chest pain, heart attacks and other serious problems.

Tampa Community Hospital offers a specialized Cardiac Catheterization Suite, where cardiologists perform PCI procedures to increase the size of the narrowed arteries and create a wider channel of blood flow. The Tampa Community Hospital staff received at least 500 hours of specialized training at PCI facilities that have open heart surgeries.

"This is a fantastic development for Tampa Community Hospital and the local residents in our community, said hospital CEO Jake Fisher. " The addition of PCI services will save lives and further allows us to carry out our mission to enhance the lives in our community, one patient at a time," he added.


The program is supported by state-of-the-art diagnostic technology that helps physicians detect heart disease with pinpoint accuracy. Tampa Community Hospital's advanced diagnostic testing capabilities include:

  • 64-slice CT scanner
  • Nuclear medicine imaging
  • Echocardiography
  • Stress testing
  • EKG
  • Halter monitoring
  • Smallest implantable event monitor in the market

Tampa Community Hospital also provides services for patients with irregular heartbeats, including implantations and management of pacemakers and automatic implantable cardiac defibrillators (AICDs).


The cardiac catheterization lab is under the direction of Michael Cauger, who came to Tampa Community Hospital from Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte where he also served as Director of Cardiovascular Business Development for both Fawcett and Englewood Hospitals. He has considerable years of experience in cardiology and has been responsible for all phases of cardiac clinical applications, training, and management in obtaining the PCI and open heart programs at Fawcett Memorial.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise physiology (cardiac science a specialty) from the University of South Florida. He is a certified cardiographic technician and a cardiac invasive specialist from the Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

"My decision to move to the Tampa area was very easily decided when I saw the need for a PCI program in this community, coupled with the extreme compassion and dedication of all workers at Tampa Community Hospital," said Mike Cauger. "Heart disease is the number one killer in America and by offering a service to compliment the diagnosis of heart disease it is a true winner for the community. In the past, our physicians and staff were very diligent about finding and treating heart disease as best as could be possible. Now with the ability to fully treat those critical conditions of blockage in the arteries, survivability is increased dramatically. The staff and professionals at Tampa Community Hospital are very excited about being able to assist in treatment during the critical time of someone having a heart attack. 'Time = muscle' is a statement backed by statistics showing for every minute saved by opening a blocked artery and getting blood flow to the muscle, the chance of surviving a heart attack and having muscle damage minimalized is increased exponentially."


The Cardiac Catheterization Lab is under the medical direction of Alejandro I. Michel, MD, who is certified in interventional cardiology, certified in cardiovascular diseases and certified in internal medicine, all by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Michel completed a cardiology fellowship and interventional cardiology fellowship at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Michel also completed residencies in internal medicine at Instituto de Investigaciones Medicas Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires where he served as Chief Medical Resident from 1984 - 1985. Dr. Michel received his medical degree from the same university.

"It is an exciting time for Tampa Community Hospital," said Dr. Michel, "as we prepare to set up the Coronary Intervention Program that will expand the armamentarium of excellent services available, providing the local residents with the needed additional care to avoid transfers to more distant institutions in the city."

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