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New Interventional Cardiologist Brings Culturally Competent Care

New Interventional Cardiologist Brings Culturally Competent Care

Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) warmly welcomes the new Medical Director of Structural Heart, cardiologist, Harsh Agrawal, MD. Prior to joining WTMF full time in December, Dr. Agrawal brought cutting-edge heart and vascular care to patients at an academic medical center.

Coming from a family of physicians, Dr. Agrawal graduated in 2006 from the renowned Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College at Pune University in India. An insatiable desire to excel in patient care brought him to the United States to continue his medical training. He completed an internal medicine residency at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center before completing fellowships in cardiovascular medicine, interventional cardiology and structural interventional cardiology.

Dr. Agrawal specializes in complex coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular interventions, and the care of patients with valvular heart disease. He performs complex structural and coronary interventions including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), percutaneous coronary and peripheral arterial and venous interventions, and percutaneous left and right ventricular assist device placements. He is board-certified in eight specialties, including internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, interventional cardiology, endovascular interventions, echocardiography, cardiac CT, nuclear cardiology and vascular ultrasound.

Lifelong Calling

Because his father suffers from heart disease, Dr. Agrawal always planned on caring for cardiac patients. “For me, there is no greater privilege in life than to help individuals in need of medical care,” he said. “Heart disease is the number one cause of death around the world. My father is alive and medically managed because of the new developments in cardiac care. I wanted to be able to bring that to other people.”

“The heart is a complex organ and most of our bodies are connected to it,” he continued. "I am very curious about how heart valve disease develops and how we can care for people across their lifespans with this disease. Over my years of practice, I have witnessed improvements in patient outcomes related to advancements in medical technology and new devices. Every day, I work to find solutions for people suffering from heart failure. This is what I want to bring to our patients and the community.”

Culturally Significant Care

According to the 2020 U.S. census, South Asians make up more than a quarter of the population in the greater Bay Area, and more than half of the population of Fremont. The Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) study shows this group is more likely to develop heart disease than other ethnic groups, developing coronary artery disease about 10 years earlier than the general population. They also have a 40% higher risk of dying from heart attacks and a 55% risk of stroke-related deaths. For these reasons, Dr. Agrawal deliberately selected the Bay Area for practice. Fluent in Hindi, he emphasized the importance of establishing a relationship with South Asian patients and providing them with comprehensive care.

“It can be very frustrating for patients who are non-English speakers to find culturally competent care,” he explained. “I grew up with these people; I know their concerns, speak their language and can address any issues they bring up. I want them to be comfortable coming to WTMF clinics and Washington Hospital.”

Innovative Treatment

Cardiac care continues to develop with research and innovative technology. Dr. Agrawal has expertise in new methods such as ventricular restoration to treat vascular and valvular diseases, conditions that may have previously required open-heart surgery. This is especially important for older patients or those who may not be able to tolerate a lengthy operation.

“People are staying active and living longer, and need care that will fit that,” Dr. Agrawal said. “Not everyone can undergo bypass surgery at 80 years of age, but with advancements in technology, we can treat heart valve and cardiac diseases without surgery. Using a transcatheter replacement approach, I can fix heart valves and give people more time to do the things they enjoy with the people they love.”

Dr. Agrawal participates in clinical trials and has published over 40 peer-reviewed research articles specific to valve replacement and disease management. He has done significant research on patients with chronic kidney disease which often goes hand-in-hand with cardiovascular disease and has pioneered same-day discharges of patients who have undergone structural heart valve replacements. He plans to introduce new technology to WHHS’s cardiac program, including the Watchman device, which prevents blood clots from forming in the left atrial appendage, and the MitraClip, which helps stop leaking from the mitral valve.

Dr. Agrawal noted, “At Washington Hospital, we are very aware of community needs and are excited to bring them academic-level medicine close to home.”

Preventive Care

Fixing the ravages of heart disease is only part of Dr. Agrawal’s practice. He is also passionate about preventing disease. “Education is one of the main parts of my in-office time with patients,” he shared. “Everything else is secondary. I see people with comorbidities and explain to them how they interact with their cardiac issues.

“I talk with them about their risk profile, their predicted mortality based on noninvasive cardiac testing, and the importance of exercise and a healthy diet,” he continued. “Then we discuss options so they can make informed decisions about their ongoing health care. Finally, I work with them to tailor treatment to each person’s lifestyle and risk profile to give them the best opportunity for a full life. Partnering with my patients is the best part.”

To find out more about cardiac services through Washington Hospital Healthcare System, visit To learn more about Dr. Agrawal’s interventional cardiology services, visit the Find a Doctor section at