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Meet Your Valve Disease Team

Adventist Health St. Helena is well-known as one of the region’s most active and historic innovators in cardiac care, and the Valve Clinic continues that tradition by bringing together the most advanced technology and some of the most recognized providers in the field into a single resource. The Valve Clinic’s greatest strength isn’t in its cutting-edge technology, however, but instead rests in the hands of its team of talented, accomplished, and dedicated surgeons, cardiologists, and specialist providers, working with nurses and technicians who are experienced specialists in cardiovascular care. Together, they offer a full spectrum of adult, pediatric, and geriatric cardiac care, with special emphasis on non-invasive and minimally-invasive techniques. And according to their patients, they combine this mastery of cutting edge medicine with extraordinary personal warmth and compassion. Meet the physicians of our Valve Team:

Stewart Allen

Stewart Allen, MD, FACC

General & Interventional Cardiologist

Medical Director of Cardiology for the Adventist Heart Institute, Dr. Allen is a board certified interventional cardiologist who is highly skilled in interventions, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). He earned his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Medical University of South Carolina and continued his medical training at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Allen went on complete fellowship programs in clinical cardiology, cardiovascular research and interventional cardiology. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Interventional Cardiology.

In addition to practicing as an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Allen has a strong interest in a patient specific, preventative approach. Dr. Allen, who lectures on preventive health and risk factor modification, has been a spotlight speaker on prevention for the American Heart Association, and has been designated as a specialist in clinical hypertension by the American Society of Hypertension.

Monica S. Divakaruni

Monica S. Divakaruni, MD

General & Interventional Cardiologist

Dr. Divakaruni is a board certified cardiologist with vast experience in interventional cardiology, specializing in the most advanced cardiac catheterization techniques available including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). She earned her medical degree from University of California San Francisco School of Medicine followed by an internship and residency at Stanford University Hospital. Dr. Divakaruni went on to complete fellowships in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at Stanford University Hospital. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Interventional Cardiology.

With a history of bringing outreach care to underserved groups at home and abroad, Dr. Divakaruni is a passionate advocate for women’s heart health, across the full spectrum of cardiac care. She places special focus on innovative treatment options, and keeps at the forefront of new diagnostic testing and the most advanced cardiac catheterization techniques available. She is the founder and Medical Director of St. Helena Women’s Heart Center.

Gan H. Dunnington

Gan Dunnington, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Dunnington is a board certified cardiothoracic surgeon, specializing in minimally invasive complex cardiac procedures such as the hybrid maze, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, mitral valve repair and replacements as well as VATS lobectomy for the treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Dunnington received his medical degree from Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency at Stanford University, becoming Chief Resident of Surgery. Having received a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Virginia, he went on to become an assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, and assistant director of cardiothoracic surgery at El Camino Hospital, a Stanford University affiliate.

Dr. Dunnington has been a leader in cardiothoracic surgery for most of his career. He is currently one of only a handful of surgeons qualified to perform the revolutionary Hybrid Maze procedure for treating A-Fib, and is internationally recognized for his work.

Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner, MD, FACC, FACP

General Cardiology

Dr. Gardner earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Yale-New Haven Medical Center. Prior to joining the Adventist Heart and Vascular Institute, Dr. Gardner worked with Tenet Florida Heart and Vascular Network in Delray Beach, Florida where he was also the Medical Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic. Dr. Gardner was on faculty at Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine where he taught medical students and residents.

He is known by his peers and patients for his passion in prevention of heart disease and wellness. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Cardiovascular Diseases.

Stewart Allen

John Laird, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI

Interventional Cardiologist & Vascular Specialist

Dr. Laird is an internationally renowned interventional cardiologist focusing on innovative procedures for carotid artery disease, abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysmal disease, renal artery disease and peripheral artery disease. He has vast experience performing more than 5000 endovascular diagnostic and interventional procedures and has lectured and performed endovascular procedures around the world. He has also been a leader in the development of Drug Coated Balloon for peripheral artery disease.

Dr. Laird earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York in 1984. He completed a residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington followed by a fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Dr. Laird is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. Prior to joining the Adventist Heart & Vascular Institute, Dr. Laird served as the Medical Director at UC Davis Vascular Center.

Among his many areas of leadership and innovation are the investigation of new stents for carotid and peripheral vascular applications and the development of laser angioplasty. He uses the Excimer laser as a tool for complex peripheral interventions and in limb salvage situations. Dr. Laird is known for innovation, teaching vascular interventions to other physicians and his role in organizing and conducting clinical trials of new therapies for vascular disease.

Andreas Sakopoulos

Andreas Sakopoulos, MD, FACS

Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Andreas Sakopoulos is a board certified cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in minimal access valve replacements, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement and endovascular treatment of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms. He is a graduate from the University of Pisa, School of Medicine and Surgery and completed his cardiovascular and thoracic training at Loma Linda University and the University of Toronto.

An accomplished and respected surgeon, Dr. Sakopoulos is also a specialist in treating lung cancer and other chest tumors. He is a recognized leader in the advancement of cutting-edge cardiovascular surgical interventions.

Christina Dovas

Christina Dovas, MSN, NP-BC

Structural Heart Coordinator

Christina Dovas is a board certified adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner with experience working with cardiac surgery teams at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she obtained her master’s degree. Her advanced practice nursing experience also includes managing valve disease and working with pre- and post-op valve surgery patients in the Hospital’s Aortic Clinic.

Valve Clinic Coordinator

Our dedicated valve clinic coordinator, Sarrah Hackett, will guide you through the process of diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare, ensuring every aspect of your care moves smoothly. As a care navigation specialist, Sarrah will help you schedule appointments, connect you with educational resources, obtain authorizations, help you connect with community resources, and coordinate communication between you, your cardiac care team, and your referring physician.

Getting Started

To learn more about what we can do for you, or to refer a patient, please contact our valve coordinator:

Phone: 707.963.6322
Fax: 707.963.7203
Email: valve@ah.org

Start living. Heart healthy.

Request More Information

Call 888.529.9018 to speak with a Patient Service Advisor, or fill out the form and we’ll contact you soon.

The Adventist Heart Institute values your privacy and handles your personal information with care. Your email address and information is secure, confidential and will not be sold to any third party sources.

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To talk with someone immediately, call 888.529.9018

The Adventist Heart Institute values your privacy and handles your personal information with care. Your email address and information is secure, confidential and will not be sold to any third party sources.

AHI Rebrand