PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Accomplishments from a career spanning more than 40 years lines the wall of Dr. Richard Faro’s office in Palm Beach Gardens.
All those milestones though come second to the importance of bringing a Cardiac Surgery Department to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
“Back in 1983," recalled Faro, “we were successful in obtaining what’s called a certificate of need and started the first open-heart program in the five county area. Before that, you had to go to Miami or Orlando to have heart surgery.”
Looking back to 1983, the hospital has come a long way when it comes to open-heart surgeries.
“We’ve done 19,000 and we’ve done all varieties of heart surgeries except transplantation,” added Faro.
He’s 75 years old and says the department is a success because of the sense of family created by the staff.
“It’s family. We have people who we’ve worked for for 30 years or 25 years I was in the operating room and it’s like a family,” said Faro, “so the one thing about this hospital versus a 1,000 bed hospital is we are a family.”
One member of that "family" is fellow cardiothoracic surgeon is Dr. Nishant Patel. He’s been with Palm Beach Gardens Medical center for nearly five years. He’s a small fraction of the 19 ,000 open-heart procedures but says he knows what makes doctors like Faro so successful.
“It’s the A’s,” said Patel. “You have to able you have to be affable, you have to be available. When you incorporate those mantras into your practice as a physician the patients come, they seek physicians like him.”
Patients like Mario Guglielmo sought Faro out 20 years ago and says the doctor saved his life twice, once for open-heart surgery and again for an abdominal aneurysm.
“If it wasn’t for him I was dead so I’m still alive,” he said.
Faro said he has plenty of years left, doing what he loves.
“I feel fine I don’t feel 75,” said Faro. “So, I mean, I can still keep up with the younger people. In fact, I probably do more than they do, because they have a lot of outside interests and I think this is my main interest.”
A focus on saving lives way beyond 19,000 procedures.