Joel A. Garcia Fernandez, MD, RPVI, FACP, FACC, FSCAI, FCCP, FSVM
Founding Program Director
Dr. Garcia-Fernandez received his medical degree from Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra in Santiago, Dominican Republic. After completing an internal medicine internship and medical residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, he fulfilled two fellowships — in cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology/peripheral disease — at the University of Colorado Denver. Throughout, he earned several residency and fellowship honors and awards. His outstanding work and presentations have also merited many states, regional, national, international awards and recognitions.
Prior to joining Orlando Health, Dr. Garcia-Fernandez was with Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado Denver, where he served as director of the Interventional Services and Catheterization Laboratory. He was also an associate professor of medicine at University of Colorado in Denver. His special interests include advanced imaging, rotational angiography, 3-D modeling, and coronary and device reconstructions. Dr. Garcia-Fernandez has been instrumental in technologies like optical coherence tomography and fractional flow reserve and has participated in numerous conferences worldwide, sharing his knowledge and expertise.
An author of a vast number of published articles and book chapters, Dr. Garcia-Fernandez is also a reviewer and editorial member of several medical journals. He is a scientific board member of the World Congress of Heart Disease Annual Scientific Sessions and an appointed Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Society Coronary Angiography and Interventions, American College of Physicians and American College of Chest Physicians.
At Denver Health Medical Center he served as Director of Interventional Services (Coronary, Peripheral and Structural) and Catheterization Laboratory. Dr. Garcia is a past member of the Council of Associates of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and a member of several professional societies including the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Medical Association (AMA), American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Coronary Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). Dr. Garcia has been the recipient of many national, international, and institutional awards for his clinical excellence, leadership, and research involvement. Among those he was the recipient of:
- 2003 Young Investigator Award (ICIM, Japan)
- 2003 American Medical Association (AMA) Leadership Award
- 2007 Emerging Young Leadership Award from Cardiovascular Revascularization Therapies (CRT)
- 2007 SCAI/GE Research Award, ACCF/BMS Award
- 2007 Clinical Research Fellows Conference Award.
- 2000 Outstanding Intern of the year Wayne State University
- 2001 Outstanding 2nd year resident Wayne State University
- 2002 Outstanding Clinic resident Wayne State University
- 2003 Outstanding 3rd year resident Wayne State University
- 2004 Outstanding first year fellow at the University of Colorado
- 2006 Outstanding Research Fellow at the University of Colorado
- 2012 Top Doctor nomination in interventional Cardiology at the University of Colorado
- 2012 Outstanding Clinician Award at Denver Health medical Center
- 2013 teaching Faculty Award at the University of Colorado.
- 2016 Founding Program Director of the Cardiovascular Diseases Fellowship at Orlando Health.
- 2018 Orlando Health Faculty Teaching Award in Medicine as voted by the residents in Internal Medicine.
- 2019 & 2021 Cardiology Teaching Faculty Award as voted by the Orlando Health Cardiology fellows
- 2022 Orlando Magazine Top and Premier Doctors as voted by his peers in Medicine.
He also serves as the Cardiology Symposium Director for the Orlando Health Heart and Vascular Institute (OHHVI) Cardiology Group and the Pan American Medical Association (PAMA). Dr. Garcia chairs the Cardiology Medical Economics Committee at Orlando Health (MEOC), is a member of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) and is a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). He is an active board member, served as Vice President (2019) and is the current President (2022) of the Pan-American Medical Association (PAMA). Dr. Garcia holds clinical appointments as Associate Professor for the University of Florida (UF), University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida State University (FSU).
Dr. Garcia also specializes in structural heart interventions to treat Aortic, Mitral and Tricuspid valve disease and performs procedures such as Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and Mitral valve clips (Mitra Clip). He closes defects in the heart including paravalvular leaks, ventricular septal defect (VSD), Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO). He also performs complex Coronary and Peripheral vascular interventions including pulmonary embolism thrombectomy (lnari), catheter directed thrombolysis (EKOS) and lower extremity arterial and carotid revascularization. Dr. Garcia is experienced in coronary/peripheral chronic total occlusion work and left ventricular unloading (IABP, LVAD, etc.).