Matters of the Heart
The expert surgeons and physicians of Crozer-Keystone Health System ensure patients’ cardiovascular health with state-of-the-art technology and techniques
by Jill Lupine

A longtime leader in cardiovascular medicine, Crozer-Keystone continues to build on that foundation. With new treatments, new providers and new facilities, as well as a growing focus on the concept of total cardiac care, the health system has committed to ongoing innovation.

“It’s well known that Delaware County Memorial Hospital and Crozer-Chester Medical Center have been top performers in bypass surgery and general cardiac care for many years,” says Edward LaPorta, M.D., chief of the Section of Cardiology at Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), who also sees patients at Springfield Hospital and Crozer-Chester Medical Center. “But we’re not content to rest on our laurels. We continue to expand and improve our services and offerings across the system.”

It was the health system’s reputation for excellence that attracted new cardiothoracic surgeon Charles M. Geller, M.D., who will serve as chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Geller, who has joined the practice of respected Crozer surgeon Karl Grunewald, M.D., specializes in adult cardiac surgery and is known for complex aortic surgery., state-of-the-art mitral valve repairs and multi-arterial coronary revascularization. He will also be developing a clinical research program at Crozer. “I’m extremely excited to join this team to provide world-class care in Delaware County,” he says.

Dr. Geller joins Crozer-Keystone from Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City, where he served as an attending physician for 16 years.

Interventional cardiologist Muhammad Raza, M.D., comes to Crozer-Keystone from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Uniontown. Trained at Hahnemann University Hospital/Drexel University College of Medicine, Dr. Raza specializes in interventional cardiology procedures such as coronary artery stenting and percutaneous repair of adult congenital heart defects. He has a special interest in endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, as well as limb salvage for critical limb ischemia in peripheral vascular disease. “There has been a need in Delaware County for these kinds of procedures, and I embraced the opportunity to provide it,” he says.

The health system expanded its vascular surgery capabilities as well, with the addition of Alan Graham, M.D., chair of Surgery for Crozer-Keystone Health System. “I’m looking forward to widening our scope with regard to vascular surgery while recruiting more talent,” says Dr. Graham, who specializes in the treatment of complex aortic issues, and comes to Crozer from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J. Dr. Graham joins fellow Crozer-Keystone vascular surgeons Gregory Domer, M.D., chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, and Tal Bash, M.D.

In addition to new personnel, the health system has invested in cardiovascular facilities and technology. The recently renovated electrophysiology lab at Crozer includes a state-of-the-art imaging system, subcutaneous ICD placement capability and additional transesophageal echocardiogram, as well as radiofrequency catheter ablation, pacemaker and intracardiac defibrillator insertions and tilt-table testing. “We have superb imaging, giving our electrophysiologists the ability to visualize structures in greater detail so they can find the source of arrhythmias and effectively treat them with ablation,” says Ancil Jones, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiology at Crozer.

A highly coordinated system of care means that patients from Crozer, Taylor, Springfield and DCMH have access to this resource, in addition to the catheterization lab at Crozer, especially in the case of a cardiac emergency. With the assistance of Emergency Medical Services and cross-facility protocols, Crozer-Keystone ensures fast and efficient service that saves lives.

That coordination is just one aspect of the total cardiac care concept. Complex cardiovascular disease demands collaboration from across disciplines. “When treating heart patients, we need to synthesize vast amounts of information and make sure that all of the care management options are easily understandable,” Dr. Geller says. “Our goal is to promote the idea of the truly comprehensive heart team. We want to encourage shared decision-making among the primary cardiologist, the interventional cardiologist, the cardiac surgeons, patients and their families.”

Crozer-Keystone’s total cardiac care covers the whole spectrum of patients and the treatments they might need, says Samuel Ruby, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiology at Taylor Hospital. “It means that you have your daily cardiology services, acute interventions, high-end heart failure therapies and new surgical techniques all under one umbrella—and we’re adding more all the time. You don’t need to go anywhere else.”

Learn more about Crozer-Keystone’s cardiovascular services, and find a physician who’s right for you, by visiting

Photograph by Vince Massa