Ron Birtcher

Founder and President, Birtcher Family Foundation

“I went to the Mayo Clinic for a mitral valve clip procedure because it’s renowned for this highly specialized technique,” Ron Birtcher says as he relays the story of his cardiac emergency. “The procedure failed, so they scheduled me for open-heart surgery at a later date.”

But the procedure hadn’t worked and soon after Ron returned to Napa, he arrived at Queen of the Valley’s Gasser Emergency Department.

Cardiac Surgeon Robert Klingman, MD, and a cardiac anesthesiologist evaluated Ron, and when his preoperative tests showed kidney failure and fluid in the lungs, they obtained specialty consultation with both a nephrologist and pulmonologist. The cardiology team quickly diagnosed the problem and recommended immediate open-heart surgery.

Ron was then admitted to the ICU and cared for by our intensivist team—all on his first day in the hospital. Ron’s successful surgery and recovery required the additional knowledge of perfusionists, nurses, physical therapists, and other clinical specialists.

In a community of this size, it’s rare to have such depth of expertise all in one place—for example, all four of our cardiologists are triple-board certified. At many university-level medical centers, you just don’t experience such expertise combined with truly personalized care.

“Even if we’d been able to do the surgery at the Mayo, my wife, Joanne, would have had to stay in a hotel for weeks. All follow-up appointments would have had to be done in Minnesota. It was crazy to think it would have worked,” recalls Ron. “Instead, I received the same cutting-edge surgical capabilities, the same high caliber of medical expertise, and an amazing esprit de corps among the entire staff at the Queen. Our three children all came to visit each day and they were truly blown away at how loving and family-centric the whole staff was. From day one to discharge, it was a wonderful experience.”

1000 Trancas Street • Napa, California 94558 • (707) 257-4044