TGH Heart and Vascular Institute Opens First Satellite Clinic for Atrial Fibrillation in Tampa Bay

Published: Mar 14, 2023

TGH Heart & Vascular Institute expands its atrial fibrillation (AFib) program with opening of new satellite clinic in Tampa offering multidisciplinary, coordinated care for patients with AFib.


Tampa, FL (March 14, 2023) – Streamlining the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AFib) – a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat and stroke – the Tampa General Hospital (TGH) Heart & Vascular Institute will open the first satellite clinic in the Tampa Bay region dedicated to convenient, comprehensive follow-up care for patients newly diagnosed with AFib. Opening on March 22, the new clinic for the TGH Atrial Fibrillation Program is at TGH Heart & Vascular Institute South Tampa, 1202 S. Church Ave. in Tampa. It expands access to the world-class TGH Heart & Vascular Institute and provides a convenient way for patients whose AFib symptoms are mild and relatively stable to receive care in an outpatient clinic setting. A ribbon-cutting event was held today with Tampa General physicians, executives and team members. 


“The new clinic for the TGH Atrial Fibrillation Program offers care for AFib in a comfortable and supportive environment where treatment plans are personalized for each patient. We emphasize an educational component to help patients and their families have a better understanding of atrial fibrillation with the ultimate goal of decreasing rehospitalization rates for AFib and improving quality of life,” said Dr. Nicholas Kotch, medical director of the TGH Atrial Fibrillation Program and assistant professor and cardiology electrophysiologist in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.


AFib is the most common type of heart arrhythmia affecting more than 12 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Treatment is aimed at controlling the heart rate and regaining a normal heart rhythm, preventing the formation of blood clots and lowering the risk of stroke. If left untreated, AFib can significantly increase a patient’s risk of stroke and heart failure as well as cause damage to other areas of the body.


“This is another example of how we are thinking outside the box – innovating to help patients get the right care at the right place at the right time,” said Dr. Guilherme Oliveira, vice president and chief of staff for the TGH Heart & Vascular Institute and professor and director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “The new clinic for AFib extends our exceptional, nationally recognized cardiac services into the community, enhancing accessibility and quality of patient care.”


The clinic for the TGH Atrial Fibrillation Program is staffed by a multidisciplinary team that includes a physician assistant and a nurse navigator who work closely with the TGH Heart & Vascular Institute’s Electrophysiology Center of Excellence to ensure coordination of care among health care providers. A unique feature of the clinic is an on-site pharmacotherapy specialist who can optimize medication therapy, as well as track a patient’s progress and assist with medication compliance.


“Consistent evaluation of patients with AFib is essential, especially if they’re prescribed medication therapy to control their heart rate,” Dr. Kotch said. “Typically, follow-up care for AFib is provided in a cardiologist’s office or in the hospital. At our new satellite clinic, we track medication compliance and offer more direct access to care planning, treatment and other AFib monitoring.”


Causes of atrial fibrillation include heart valve disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, genetics and more. Patients may experience heart palpitations, fatigue and shortness of breath and may be admitted to a hospital for initial testing to determine a cause and treatment options. Treatments can include medications or procedures such as ablation (cauterization of unwanted heart tissue that’s disturbing the heart’s electrical system) and, at times, implanting a pacemaker in the chest wall, which is performed by an electrophysiologist.


“Our electrophysiology providers partner with a diverse, multidisciplinary team of cardiac specialists who’ve cared for thousands of patients diagnosed with a full range of heart arrhythmias,” said Dr. Bengt Herweg, director of the TGH Electrophysiology Center of Excellence and professor and cardiology electrophysiologist in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “We’re optimizing the management of all forms of AFib to enhance quality of care so that patients can feel better sooner. Our approach to AFib is highly individualized, taking into account all circumstances of this complex disease process,” Dr. Herweg said.


Point-of-care testing performed at the clinic for AFib includes electrocardiograms (EKGs), pacemaker checks and blood testing. Dietary consultations are offered, as well as screenings for other conditions such as sleep apnea, obesity and uncontrolled hypertension, which are all risk factors for AFib.


Tampa General Hospital is ranked among the top 10% of hospitals in the nation for Cardiology & Heart Surgery for 2022-2023, according to U.S. News & World Report. Tampa General also earned “high performing” recognition by U.S. News as one of the best hospitals for heart failure and heart attack care for 2022-23. Patients come to TGH from across Florida for the clinical and academic expertise of the world-class team.


More information about the TGH Atrial Fibrillation Program at the TGH Heart &Vascular Institute South Tampa is at Self-referrals to the TGH Atrial Fibrillation Program are accepted. To schedule an appointment, call the TGH Heart & Vascular team at (813) 844-3900 or email




Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's 2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida, with seven specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – first nationally in the 2022 America’s Best Employers for Women and sixth out of 100 Florida companies in the 2022 America's Best Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2021, provided a net community benefit worth more than $224.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Tower outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics. To see a medical care professional live anytime, anywhere on a smartphone, tablet or computer, visit Virtual Health | Tampa General Hospital ( As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to