Jupiter Medical Center launches new Cardiothoracic program and partners with AP Health to provide Advanced Practice Providers

Cardiothoracic programs place more demands on hospitals than any other surgical specialty. This is due to the highly specialized procedures that are performed and the elevated risk of morbidity and mortality of Cardiothoracic patients . This program’s critical nature calls for quick-to-act surgical teams that anticipate rapid changes and are able to perform minute-by-minute assessments-the stakes couldn’t be higher.

When Jupiter Medical Center and its Cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Arthur Katz, started a new Cardiothoracic program in April 2020, they partnered with AP Health to meet their surgical staffing needs. AP Health provides Jupiter Medical Center with highly-skilled Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) that can meet the demands of this new program. The team began with a three-person group of practitioners to ensure the hospital of proper coverage and  help maintain the work/life balance that is important to practitioner- job satisfaction. 

Directing AP Health’s Jupiter Medical Center team of Cardiothoracic APPs is Daniel Teller, a Certified Physician Assistant with over three decades of experience. Teller oversees the patients’ care under Dr. Katz’s supervision and operates as an extension of him. Teller has a wealth of knowledge in establishing, managing and expanding Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgery programs.  

“As the surgeon, he (Dr. Katz) exercises ultimate control over the team’s hiring and composition, as well as the day-to-day operations of the program” says Teller. “I’m responsible for rounding on pre- and postoperative patients in the ICU, the step-down floor, consults, daily notes and discharge summaries. I also lead ongoing education for the Cardiothoracic team and train other nurses to make sure everybody’s on the same page about what heart surgery demands.” 

Teller estimates his time is equally divided between non-surgical duties and the operating room, where his skill set includes endovascular vein harvesting and endovascular radial harvesting. “Dan’s a unique individual who’s started Cardiothoracic programs in the past – Jupiter is his third. He has decades of experience caring for these patients, enjoys teaching and has a wide range of clinical skills, including the manual dexterity needed for vein harvesting,” says J. Toby Gray, CEO of AP Health. “Hospitals generally have a difficult time recruiting people like Dan. Not only because of their unique skill set, but because they are in such high demand. AP Health specializes in finding and retaining highly trained and skilled practitioners like him- I know he’s extremely valuable to Dr. Katz.” 

The placement of the APPs on the new Cardiothoracic surgical team reflects the surgeon-centric approach fundamental to AP Health’s outsourcing business model.  With Teller as program director and Dr. Katz as the ultimate decision-maker, AP Health made sure their skills aligned directly with Dr. Katz’s methods and preferences. “AP Health put together an exceptional team to help launch our Cardiothoracic program,” says Dr. Katz. “They understood the importance of achieving quality results in year-one, so they recruited Dan Teller – a senior-level, highly skilled cardiac PA – to help build our program.”  

For his part, Teller is excited about starting and directing a new Cardiothoracic program. “I’ve started two other programs, and I’ve always enjoyed the challenge. I know from experience what we need to continue to train and focus on to be successful and expand the program at Jupiter Medical Center.”