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NGMC Heart Center losing 12 cardiologists to Northside Hospital
The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center
A physician performs a heart catheterization procedure on a patient at the The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Twelve cardiologists have left The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center for Forsyth County-based Northside Hospital.

The Northeast Georgia Health System officials want to assure patients they still have local options. The Heart Center previously employed 38 cardiologists and now has 26, according to Louis Smith, president of system acute and post-acute operations and Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville. There are also 42 advanced practice providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

The list of cardiologists on the system’s website has already been updated to reflect the departure of the dozen doctors.

The health system learned Saturday that the physicians were not renewing their employment contracts, Smith said.

Northside spokeswoman Katherine Watson said Tuesday, June 4, that Northside is expanding its cardiology services as it prepares to merge with the Gwinnett Medical Center.

“We are pleased that these 12 physicians have decided to join our team," Watson said in a statement Tuesday.

Patients of the 12 departing doctors are receiving calls informing them of the change and offering options to stay with The Heart Center for their care.

There are no plans for The Heart Center to close, Smith said.

“NGMC Braselton is temporarily not offering cardiac catheterizations but is offering many other heart services as they have in the past, including electrophysiology,” Smith said in an email. “Active recruitment has been ongoing for The Heart Center as we continue to grow this practice, so we plan to backfill needed specialties as soon as possible in order to meet the needs of our patients in all locations.”

Cardiology has been a cornerstone of the Gainesville-based health system for years, and it’s been one of the state’s top heart hospitals for more than a decade.

The Heart Center has 15 locations, including in Gainesville, Braselton and Buford.

The 12 cardiologists no longer employed with NGHS are:

• Dr. Allison Dupont
• Dr. Brenda Hott
• Dr. Christopher Leach
• Dr. Mark Leimbach
• Dr. Jeff Marshall
• Dr. Mark Matthews
• Dr. Kashyap Patel
• Dr. Mehrdad Toosi
• Dr. Prad Tummala
• Dr. Steven Wang
• Dr. Heather Westmoreland
• Dr. Andrew Yen

The remaining physicians are:

  • Dr. Elia G. Abboud
  • Dr. Mahmoud H. Abdou
  • Dr. Joon Ahn
  • Dr. Jeh-Wei Cheng
  • Dr. Sudhakara Chennareddy
  • Dr. Mitchell G. Davis
  • Dr. Laura Divoky
  • Dr. Ugochukwu O. Egolum
  • Dr. Alok Gambhir
  • Dr. Abhishek Gaur
  • Dr. Nima Ghasemzadeh
  • Dr. Jay H. Joseph
  • Dr. Pavani Kolakalapudi
  • Dr. Lalitha C. Medepalli
  • Dr. Albert B. Mercer
  • Dr. Gary Minkiewicz
  • Dr. Ioannis Parastatidis
  • Dr. Ankit A. Patel
  • Dr. Stephen P. Prater
  • Dr. Zaid H. Said
  • Dr. Salem N. Sayar
  • Dr. Timothy A. Scully
  • Dr. Veerappan Subramaniyam
  • Dr. James H. Varnell
  • Dr. Ryan T. Whitney
  • Dr. Mark W. Wolozin