We’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) program at North Kansas City Hospital. TAVR is an innovative approach to treating people with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. The procedure is FDA-approved for people who have additional health conditions that put them at an intermediate or high risk for complications with open heart surgery. Our first two patients, Jim Dallas and Hilde Zitzwitz, completed their 12-month testing in July 2016.

When the program began, our TAVR team set a goal to perform 20 procedures within the first year of the program. The team exceeded its goal by nearly 50%, performing 39 procedures.

Zafir Hawa, MD

Zafir Hawa, MD

“We are pleased with the clinical outcomes of the 39 patients who underwent the TAVR procedure in the first year of our program,” said Zafir A. Hawa, MD, FACC, FSCAI, an interventional cardiologist with Meritas Health Cardiology. “TAVR improved their quality of life.”

NKCH’s first-year outcomes indicate the program is on par with outcomes from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry, which includes approximately 430 TAVR facilities nationwide.


The specialized TAVR physician team includes Interventional Cardiologists Dr. Hawa and James H. Mitchell, MD, FACC; Cardiac Surgeons Keith B. Allen, MD, and Alexander F. Pak, MD, with Mid America Heart & Lung Surgeons, an anesthesiologist and supporting clinical staff.

Watch and Learn

Our videos provide details about the TAVR procedure. To find out if you are a candidate for TAVR, talk with your cardiologist.