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Dr. Chris Metzger shares expertise, helps train Harvard endovascular fellows
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – As the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital is a training ground for some of the nation’s most promising medical professionals. But for a select few, training isn’t complete without a visit to Holston Valley Medical Center.
Dr. Chris Metzger, director of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization and interventional labs, trained two Harvard endovascular fellows during a week-long period that concluded Friday, May 11. During their time in Kingsport, the fellows observed Dr. Metzger as he performed carotid artery stenting procedures, which open blockages in the large neck artery, improving blood flow to the brain and potentially reducing the risk of future strokes.
“This is a beautiful, collaborative environment, where we do our everyday work, but now we have the opportunity to share our expertise,” said Metzger, an interventional cardiologist. “It’s a tremendous privilege to spend time with these motivated, smart folks who learn from us and pay it forward.”
This is the seventh time Metzger has hosted fellows from Harvard. Following the completion of their fellowships, many of these physicians have gone on to careers at world-class facilities, such as Beth Israel, Cleveland Clinic, and UCLA.
“I’ve been fortunate to train at many great places and have gotten to know Dr. Metzger through his reputation, research work and watching him at conferences, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn from him firsthand,” said Dr. Joseph Campbell, an endovascular fellow at Massachusetts General who has spent the week training with Metzger. “Not only will I benefit from the wealth of experience I’ve gained at Holston Valley, but so will my patients.”
In addition to one-on-one training with the fellows, Metzger regularly performs carotid artery stenting procedures that are transmitted live to medical conferences in different locations in the country and across the globe. These include New Cardiovascular Horizons and Vascular Interventional Advances conference, which draws an attendance of more than 2,500 health care professionals, and TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics), which draws 12,000 attendees.
“It’s exciting to work with world-class teams and facilities, but I would far prefer to be right here in the lab with the people I know – I’d take this team over any team,” Metzger said. “This is a testament to our health system and hospital. Our staff is outstanding, and they can see people coming here to learn from us. It’s a well-earned point of pride for our team. This also validates our choice to keep healthcare local and celebrate the talent and high-level care that’s available here.”
Metzger first forged his relationship with Harvard Medical School through collaborations in clinical trials and research. Under his leadership, the cardiology program has performed as the No. 1 or No. 2 enroller in the United States and globally in at least 29 top research trials, including being the current leading enroller in four major trials. Advancements made through this work not only improved cardiac care for patients nationwide, but gave local patients access to leading-edge treatments and therapies.
Additionally, Metzger’s work with the interventional carotid program led to significant accolades in 2016, 2017 and 2018, when Holston Valley was ranked as No. 1 in the country for medical excellence in interventional carotid care by CareChex®, a division of Comparion®, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Quantros®.
“Dr. Metzger has repeatedly distinguished himself on the national stage, and we are extremely proud of him for continuing to show the rest of the country some of the finest cardiovascular care is available in our region,” said Tim Attebery, president of Holston Valley. “His participation with Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General and premier cardiology programs across the nation and world reflect the esteem in which Dr. Metzger is held by his peers.”
Learn more about Ballad Health's Heart Care programs.