Corewell Health Among First in Nation to Use Novel Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

February 21, 2024

Grand Rapids and Royal Oak, Mich., Feb. 21, 2024 – Corewell Health™ is the first health system in the Midwest to successfully treat patients with an innovative technology that uses pulsed electric fields to address atrial fibrillation.

The procedures took place on Thursday, Feb.15, at Corewell Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center in Grand Rapids and at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital in Royal Oak.

The first two procedures in the nation were performed in Texas and California Feb. 8 and 9.

Andre Gauri, M.D., at Corewell Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, and Nishaki Mehta, M.D., and Ilana Kutinsky, D.O., at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, led the launch last week using the Medtronic PulseSelect™ Pulsed Field Ablation System, a breakthrough technology that applies electric field to suppress atrial fibrillation (Afib). The procedures were successful, and the patients are recovering well.

“We are pleased to be among the first providers in the nation to offer this technology to our patients with atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Gauri. “The PFA System, which uses pulsed electric fields to isolate the pulmonary veins, can provide patients with a treatment option that doesn’t cause unwanted injury to surrounding tissues like traditional ablation technologies.”

As Afib becomes increasingly prevalent in the U.S. and globally, Simon Dixon, M.D., chief of Cardiology, Corewell Health William Beaumont University, stresses the importance of identifying safer and more effective technologies to “fix” the problem as compared to traditional care, which is to manage Afib with medication. Using medication to treat Afib is less effective, creates greater hardship for the patient and is more costly over time.

“Research indicates that early ablation is the key to positive, long-term outcomes for patients living with Afib,” Dr. Dixon said. “We are thrilled to be a national leader in delivering this higher standard of care to our patients here in Southeast Michigan.”

Afib is an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm. It is a progressive condition that affects more than 59 million people worldwide. Without early intervention, Afib can worsen, becoming more sustained over time. Progression of the condition is associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular admissions, stroke, heart failure and mortality, along with a reduced quality of life.

The PulseSelect™ PFA system deliver electric field through an ablation catheter designed specifically to interrupt irregular electrical pathways in the heart that trigger Afib.

A global pioneer in his field, David Haines, M.D., medical director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital, worked tirelessly for the past 12 years to develop this technology and bring it to his patients. Sadly, Dr. Haines, who was set to lead last week’s launch in Royal Oak, died unexpectedly just days prior.

“Dr. Haines was more than a partner and a friend,” Dr. Mehta said. “He was a world class researcher, innovator and a master teacher. I will channel my grief to continuing his legacy to advancing his field.”

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About Corewell Health™

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our legacy of outstanding outcomes, innovation, strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Corewell Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides health care and coverage with an exceptional team of 60,000+ dedicated people—including more than 11,500 physicians and advanced practice providers and more than 15,000 nurses providing care and services in 21 hospitals, 300+ outpatient locations and several post-acute facilities—and Priority Health, a provider-sponsored health plan serving more than 1.3 million members. Through experience and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness. For more information, visit