Stories of Impact

Jeremiah Depta's Story

Some of Dr. Jeremiah Depta’s earliest memories are in hospitals. Born with a cleft palate, he recalls spending weeks in surgical recovery, where he would run around “seeing patients,” playing at the nurses’ stations, and studying stethoscopes. This is where his love of medicine was born.

His journey to joining Rochester Regional Health is peppered with the names of some the nation’s greatest medical establishments: Cleveland Clinic, Washington University in St. Louis, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. After four years of medical school and nine years in residency/fellowship, Dr. Depta circled back to what had touched him as a child, what had been the spark of it all: his own patient experience. How could he exercise his clinical excellence, utilize his leadership skills, and still have enough time with patients to develop deep, meaningful bonds? He found the answer in interventional cardiology, an exciting, emerging field.

With his résumé and unique training experiences, Dr. Depta could have chosen anywhere in the country to call home, but says “Rochester General Hospital was unique in the fact that it’s both a community-based hospital primarily serving the population right in our own region, but also has a rich history of cardiac surgery and cardiology and is one of the highest volume cardiac centers in the State of New York. There was no comparison. Plus, the administration was incredibly motivated to start a Structural Heart Disease program and I knew I'd have the opportunity to get started right away.”

Dr. Depta began assembling a world-class Structural Heart Disease team to serve the local population. In November of 2015, the first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure at Rochester General Hospital was performed. More recently, he performed the area’s first Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (MitraClip) procedure. Both procedures are non-surgical minimally invasive options for patients.

“Interventional cardiology is leading a total paradigm shift in medicine,” explains Dr. Depta. “Before, open heart surgery was the only option to replace a heart valve. Now, the impact on the patient has been significantly reduced in terms of actual time spent undergoing the procedure as well as the recovery time. The risks are also much lower. The pre-surgical work-up takes a little longer, but this gives me the chance to know my patients and establish a solid relationship. I enjoy that part of my job and am very glad to have found an area that offers this opportunity.”

Dr. Depta has found his niche, a way to translate his childhood-born love of medicine into a tangible reality. “Patients are not only surviving, but they are thriving. They are living!” he beams. Today, over 125 life-saving TAVR procedures have been completed at Rochester Regional Health’s Sands-Constellation Heart Institute.

More About TAVR
A Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a procedure done via catheter through the groin, utilizing a stent-mounted valve. Patients are under general anesthesia or conscious sedation, feel little to no discomfort, do not require post-operative Intensive Care, are generally up and walking in 4-6 hours and discharged in 1-2 days.

Because Care Matters
It is because of people like Dr. Depta, that Rochester Regional Health can provide exceptional care to our community and realize our vision to give every person the resources to live a better, healthier life. To learn more about how you can contribute to the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute, please call 585.922.4800.

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