Knowledge is power. This old saying rings true when you’re faced with medical decisions for yourself or someone you love.

When it comes to heart care, these decisions can be life altering.

Pierre Tibi, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), regularly performs heart dissections for YRMC staff and nursing students to enhance their knowledge and to augment their training and education. However, for the first time, YRMC has recorded Dr. Tibi performing a heart dissection so that community members, including medical students, patients, teachers and families, can learn first-hand what a heart looks like and how it functions.

Bringing this knowledge to our community is in direct alignment with YRMC’s Mission. As a not-for-profit community healthcare provider, YRMC makes community education a priority. The video demonstrating methods of heart dissection was one of the many educational opportunities on display at the 2019 Celebrate Life Health Expo, sponsored by YRMC, and held on September 6th and 7th at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

“I’m very proud that the James Family Heart Center has become a destination program for patients,” states Dr. Tibi, one of most respected cardiothoracic surgeons in the country. “Since 2007, we have carefully developed one of the top heart programs in Arizona by being selective in targeting the professionals to define and grow the program. This, in turn, attracts more top-quality physicians to the Prescott area.”

The top-notch, multidisciplinary cardiac program at the James Family Heart Center, combined with an informed patient, makes a complete healthcare team, which in turn, allows for the best outcomes.

With his signature personality and humor, Dr. Tibi begins the video with a schematic drawing of the heart, demonstrating the journey of a single red blood cell as it enters and exits the heart, giving the viewer a better understanding of what they will see during the dissection. He then begins the heart dissection, displaying the various parts of the heart and describing the function that each part serves. The dissection is performed on the heart from a pig. In the medical community, pig heart dissection for demonstration is used since it is anatomically similar to a human heart.

As he facilitates the journey through the heart, Tibi discusses various conditions such as blood clots, heart attack, coronary artery disease, stenosis, endocarditis, congenital conditions and the purpose of anticoagulants. These are some of the more common issues that may arise if you are a heart patient.

To learn more about about the James Family Heart Center at YRMC, visit