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The Valley Hospital
223 N. Van Dien Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Valley Health System Welcomes New Director of Cardiac Surgery to The Valley Heart and Vascular Institute


July 11, 2016 — Valley Health System is pleased to announce the appointment of John A. Goncalves, M.D., FACS, FAAC, as Director of Cardiac Surgery and Surgical Director of the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program of The Valley Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI).

A board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Goncalves, a resident of Franklin Lakes, NJ, specializes in complex surgery to treat congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, valvular disease, aortic defects and emergencies, and other diseases of the heart and vascular system. As Surgical Director of the TAVR Program, he leads Valley’s efforts in utilizing minimally invasive catheter-based techniques to replace damaged aortic valves with synthetic heart valves. He has performed nearly 900 TAVR procedures in his career and was a principal investigator for the PARTNER II, PARTNER III, and SURTAVI clinical trials, which proved the safety and effectiveness of using FDA-approved transcatheter aortic valves in high-risk and intermediate-risk patients. The trials are now studying the safety of the valves in low-risk patients.

Valley’s affiliation with Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s No. 1 ranked heart care facility, provides opportunities for Dr. Goncalves and other Valley cardiac physicians to share knowledge, expertise, and best practices. The Valley-Cleveland Clinic affiliation combines academic, clinical, and research components of both organizations.

A graduate of Albany Medical College, Dr. Goncalves completed his residency in general surgery and a research fellowship in medicine and surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he served as chief resident. He completed fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Prior to coming to Valley, he was Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Director of Aortic Diseases at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY, and an assistant professor of surgery at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented many lectures. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Cardiology, and the American College of Cardiology; and is an active member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Heart Association.

Dr. Goncalves succeeds Alex Zapolanski, M.D., FACC, FACS, who has been appointed Director of the Valley/Cleveland Clinic National Network, an innovative new program offering employers heart care for their employees at select national affiliate network sites. Board-certified in cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Zapolanski continues to perform the full spectrum of cardiac surgery at Valley, where he has guided the program to three-star ratings from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for five consecutive years.

"As we welcome Dr. Goncalves to Valley we look forward to adding to our high-quality, clinically excellent heart care services with new and enhanced treatment options and greater access to clinical trials and technologies in cardiac surgery, cardiology, interventional cardiology, and minimally invasive endovascular treatments,” said Audrey Meyers, President and CEO of Valley Health System and The Valley Hospital.

Gerald Sotsky, M.D., Director, of the Valley/Cleveland Clinic Affiliation, and Chair of Cardiac Services for Valley Medical Group, remarks that the addition of Dr. Goncalves to Valley’s Heart and Vascular Institute will assist Valley in enhancing its heart team approach to caring for patients with cardiovascular disease and associated medical conditions: “The heart team model – which integrates the expertise of a patient’s primary care providers and medical and surgical specialists – is the standard of care in cardiovascular medicine as endorsed by the American College of Cardiology. A patient-centered heart team approach brings patients, family members, and medical experts together to optimally treat and manage each patient’s unique heart care.”

To learn more about The Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, or to make an appointment with a Valley cardiologist, visit

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