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SFVAHCS' Cardiology program has a proud tradition of providing state-of-the-art cardiovascular care for Veterans within and beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as spearheading major research efforts that have advanced and continue to advance clinical practice and biomedical knowledge.

Contact us directly for more information

SFVA Medical Center Cardiology:   x23186

Clinical excellence in cardiology

Our providers include nationally and internationally recognized specialists holding leadership positions in professional cardiovascular societies or federal agencies, participating in national guideline writing groups, and conducting clinical trials and epidemiologic studies. Our expertise spans coronary artery disease, heart and valve disease, heart failure, rhythm disorders, aortic disease, and other conditions. 

Common conditions

General cardiology:
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Failure (with both Preserved and Reduced Ejection Fraction)
  • Difficult-to-control Hypertension
  • Arrhythmias (not requiring device or ablation)
  • Valvular Heart Disease: stenotic and regurgitant lesions of at least moderate severity
  • Structural Heart Disease: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
  • Syncope
  • Pericardial Disease
  • Pre-Operative Evaluation for patients with known cardiovascular disease or at high risk

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Clinic:

As one of the first clinics dedicated to patients with chronic/congestive heart failure, the SFVAMC CHF Clinic serves hundreds of Veterans confronted with this potentially lethal disease. 

  • Congestive Heart Failure with Severely Reduced Ejection Fraction (EF; EF<40%)
  • Infiltrative Cardiomyopathy
  • Inherited Cardiomyopathy
  • Post-Heart Transplant
  • Post-Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
Arrhythmia/Device Clinic:
  • Complex Arrhythmias requiring Ablation
  • Device Implantation Evaluation
  • Device Follow-up and Monitoring

Tests and procedures offered

Non-invasive testing

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Continuous Heart Rhythm Monitoring (Ziopatch)
  • Transthoracic (TTE), Transesophageal (TEE) and 3-D Echocardiography  
  • Exercise and Pharmacologic Stress Testing
  • Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Cardiac Viability Testing (PET or MRI)
  • Pyrophosphate (PYP) Scanning for Cardiac Amyloidosis

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

  • Diagnostic Left and Right Heart Catheterization / Invasive Coronary Angiography
  • Hemodynamic Testing: Instantaneous Wave Free Ratio (iFR), Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)
  • Intravascular Coronary Imaging: Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS), Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)
  • Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) PCI
  • Rotational, Orbital and Laser Atherectomy
  • Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy
  • Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS): Intra-aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) and Impella
  • Peripheral Angiography and Intervention
  • Renal Artery Stenting for Resistant Hypertension

Electrophysiology/arrhythmia service

  • Permanent Pacemaker (PPM) and Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) Placement
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) for heart failure
  • Electrophysiology Studies and Ablation for Atrial and Ventricular Arrhythmias
  • Leadless Pacemakers: Medtronic Micra and Abbott Aviere
  • Subcutaneous ICD
  • Physiologic Pacing Implantation: His Bundle and Left Bundle Branch Area Pacemakers
  • Convergent Procedure/Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Structural heart procedures

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
  • Alternative Access for TAVR (Transaxillary, Transcarotid, and Transcaval Approach)
  • Bioprosthetic Valve Fracture and BASILICA procedure for valve-in-valve (ViV) TAVR
  • Transcatheter Mitral ViV or Valve-in-Ring replacement
  • Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Transcatheter Edge-to-Edge Repair (Mitraclip, Tricuspid Clip)
  • Transcatheter Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (Watchman)
  • Alcohol Septal Ablation for Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HOCM)
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD) and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure
  • Percutaneous Paravalvular Leak Closure

Cardiac surgery

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
  • Total Arterial CABG
  • Aortic Valve Replacement: Mechanical and Bioprosthetic Valve Replacement
  • Ross Procedure for Aortic Stenosis
  • Aortic Root Enlargement at the time of Aortic Valve Replacement
  • Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement
  • Tricuspid Valve Repair/Replacement
  • Pulmonic Valve Replacement
  • Surgical MAZE Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation
  • Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Ligation
  • Ascending Thoracic Aneurysm Repair

Cardiac rehabilitation service

  • Home-based cardiac rehabilitation


  • Cardiology Clinic at San Francisco VA Medical Center: Monday - Friday
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Clinic at San Francisco VA Medical Center: Wednesday and Thursday
  • Arrhythmia/Device Clinic at San Francisco VA Medical Center: Wednesdays
  • Cardiac Surgery Clinic at San Francisco VA Medical Center: Thursdays
  • Cardiology Clinic at Oakland VA Clinic: Monday and Thursday
  • Cardiology and CHF at North Santa Rosa VA Clinic: Attendings rotate on monthly schedule

All cardiology clinics have remote capabilities with telephone and VVC.


Our staff:

Cardiology section

Jorge Kizer

Jorge Kizer MD, MSc

Chief of Cardiology

VA San Francisco health care

General cardiology

Judith Wisneski

Judith Wisneski MD

Director, Cardiology Clinic

VA San Francisco health care

Heart Failure Clinic

Dr. John Teerlink

John Teerlink MD, FACC, FAHA, FESC, FHFA, FH

Director of Heart Failure and of the Echocardiography Laboratory

VA San Francisco health care


Dr. Cara Pellegrini

Cara Pellegrini MD

Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology

VA San Francisco health care

Interventional cardiology

Jeffrey Zimmet

Jeffrey Zimmet MD, PhD

Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

VA San Francisco health care

Home-based cardiac rehabilitation

Dr. Neal Yuan

Neal Yuan MD

Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation

VA San Francisco health care

Cardiac surgery section

Dr. Elaine Tseng

Elaine Tseng MD, FACS

Chief of Cardiac Surgery

VA San Francisco health care


Read more about our current and ongoing research and clinical trials here.