Heart Valve Institute

Our Team

Specializing in the Treatment of Valve Disease

Surgeons from Cardiac Surgery Associates have come together with St. Mary Medical Center to form the Heart Valve Institute, bringing their expertise in valve disease, minimally invasive heart surgeries, heart assist devices and many complex procedures. This group of leading surgeons practice in hospitals throughout the Chicago area and locally at three hospitals of the Community Healthcare System - Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and now at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. Through this collaborative effort, The Heart Valve Institute of St. Mary Medical Center can offer comprehensive solutions to patients with valve disease and complex heart conditions.

Meet Our Team

Dr. Blakeman

Bradford Blakeman, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Blakeman came to Northwest Indiana after spending 19 years as an academic surgeon, wanting to bring excellence in high-risk heart surgery to a community hospital setting. He rose at Loyola quickly to full professor because of strong academic interests and ground breaking surgery in the Midwest. He has personally published nearly 70 articles and papers, and participated in 13 clinical studies. He is also a member of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery – the most prestigious clinical and academic thoracic society in the world.

Dr. Blakeman brought his private practice to the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, and with it, many of the advances once only available at academic medical centers. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Blakeman and his surgical group, every case short of heart transplant can be expertly performed at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System. Dr. Blakeman’s attention to care, quality and efficiency has allowed his team of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and hospitals to surpass national standards for outcomes every year for the past ten years and counting.

Dr. Blakeman has a strong interest in treating congenital heart defects and with his experience and expertise has been able to offer these surgical treatment options in a community hospital setting, rather than at a university hospital.

Medical School: University of Illinois Medical School
Residency: Loyola University Medical Center
Fellowship/Internships: Loyola University Medical Center
Board Certifications: American Board of Surgery; American Board of Thoracic Surgery


Dr. Carlos

Cris Carlos

Dr. Carlos became a clinical fellow in cardiovascular surgery at Texas Heart Institute under the tutelage of Dr. Denton Cooley, pioneer heart surgeon who performed the first artificial heart transplantation in the world. Dr. Carlos spent another year as a cardiovascular research fellow at the Texas Heart Institute and became involved in clinical testing, improved design and management modification of the abdominal left ventricular assist device - a precursor of early heart-assist devices.

In the early stages of his career, Dr. Carlos decided to pursue private practice in cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery in Northwest Indiana. In collaboration with other cardiac surgeons, he was instrumental in starting and developing cardiac surgery programs at area hospitals. He recently completed his term as chief of cardiovascular surgery at Community Hospital.

Dr. Carlos’ longevity and more than 30 years of surgical practice are a testament to his attention to patient care, good quality outcomes and results.

Medical School: University of Santo Tomas
Residency: Detroit-Macomb Hospital Corporation /
Mt. Sinai Medical Center – New York
Fellowship/Internships: Texas Heart Institute