Dr. Richard Proia Participates in Mission Trip

Dr. Richard Proia, along with 8 team members from North Florida Regional, joined their efforts with Heart to Heart Mission and headed to the Dominican Republic to perform 12 heart surgeries on some of the indigent population of the Dominican Republic. Along with their time, companies donated all the supplies, valves and equipment needed to perform these life changing surgeries.

The “Heart To Heart” philanthropic cardiac surgical mission to Santiago, Dominican Republic was started by a cardiothoracic surgeon of Fort Myers, Florida. Since September 2002, their teams have orchestrated three mission trips annually, having operated on 340 patients since the mission began.

The patients were mostly young individuals with valvular heart disease. When not treated with antibiotics rheumatic fever can result in rheumatic heart disease affecting the valves of the heart. The aortic and mitral valves are mostly affected and need replacement. This disease process while still endemic in the DR is almost not existent in the United States.

This was an all-volunteer mission.