Health Victories

June Shine Award: CVICU

Written by Natalie Walters

The Cardiovascular ICU (an 18-bed unit, located on 6W) is a specialized unit dedicated to the care of patients with severe and complex heart and thoracic conditions. This unit provides advanced monitoring diagnostic and therapeutic services to critically ill patients requiring intensive around-the-clock care. The CVICU is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of experts, including cardiologists, advanced heart failure specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons, intensivists, specialized nurses, and other healthcare professionals committed to delivering the highest quality care. 

It is the mission of the CVICU to provide exceptional patient and family-centered care through the integration of cutting-edge technology, evidence-based practice, and compassionate support. The unit aims to improve patient outcomes, enhance quality of life, and advance the field of cardiovascular and cardiothoracic medicine through continuing education, research, and innovation. 

Meet Our Staff 

Lindzey McCall

My name is Lindzey McCall Tau, and I have been an employee at WMCGH for the last nine years. I started as an ICU nurse in SICU and then transferred to CVICU and Cath Lab when the new unit was built. My husband, Kyle, and I have been married for four years. We have a 10-year-old boxer, Hans. In our free time, we enjoy eating, being outside, and binge-watching Netflix.   


Stephanie Dunlap 

Director, Advanced Failure Heart Program

Director, Coronary Intensive Care Unit

Pascha Schafer 

Dr. Pascha E. Schafer is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at WellStar-MCG Health/Augusta University. She currently serves as Director of Cardiovascular Quality and Education and Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency. Her main area of clinical focus is cardiovascular critical care, although she also practices general cardiology and is a boarded echocardiographer. She earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, where she also completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine. Her Cardiovascular fellowship training was at Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston Salem, N.C. She serves as Governor-elect and Advocacy Chair for the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and is an active healthcare advocate with the American College of Cardiology, where she serves as Vice-Chair for the HeartPAC Executive Committee. 


Dr. Richard Lee 

Richard Lee, MD, is a graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School. He trained in general surgery at Rush, cardiothoracic surgery at Washington University in St. Louis and transplant surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Lee joined Augusta University in 2018 as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery.  Since his arrival, the hospital has developed various programs, including TAVR, MitraClip, ECMO and VAD, as well as building and staffing a combined cardiology-cardiac surgery ICU. 

Dr. Vijay Patel 

I am proud to be working with a fine group in the CVICU, and they deserve this recognition. I have been with Wellstar MCG Health for nearly 20 years. I serve as the director of the ECMO and MCS programs. I enjoy reading and traveling. 

Dr. Vaibhav Bora 

This is  Dr. Vaibhav Bora. I am the Director of the Anesthesia Critical Care Division and the Co-director of both the CTICU and SICU. I am a quadruple-boarded CTICU intensivist and cardiac anesthesiologist and have been a faculty member at Wellstar-MCG since 2016. My wife, Dr. Mamta Chura, is also an Anesthesiologist and Pain physician at Wellstar-MCG. When not at work, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time with my 4-year-old daughter! 

Nathan Wayne 

Nathan Wayne, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP, AACC 

Cardiology Clinical Pharmacist – going on five years here at Wellstar MCG Health

Laura Provost 

Laura Provost, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP is a board-certified cardiology pharmacist who has been with Wellstar MCG Health since the fall of 2021. She lives in Grovetown and enjoys spending her weekends camping with her husband, Tyler, and 8-month old daughter, Ellie. Her family jokes that her favorite hobby is anything to do with cardiology, but she also really enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors. 

Ashley Taylor 

I am a board-certified critical care pharmacist and primarily work with CT surgery patients in CVICU. I have worked with Wellstar MCG Health since 2018. I absolutely love my job and the people I work with. When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading, and traveling with my fiancé, Ilya! 

Kirby Brown 

My name is Kirby Brown, MSN, RN, and I am the Heart Failure Coordinator and have been in this position for one-and-a-half years. I have been an employee here for seven years. I am married to Kenny, and we have two daughters, ages 19 and 9.  My favorite thing to do is go to the beach and lake.  

Ashley Wehr  

My name is Ashley Wehr RN, MSN, Case Manager, and I have worked in this position for eight months. Before joining Care Coordination, I worked as an RN for CVICU. I am currently enrolled in the DNP program at Augusta University and will graduate in May 2026. My husband, John, and I have been married for 10 years, and we have two beautiful children, Hudson, who is 7, and Charlotte, who is 6. In my free time, I enjoy running, spending time with my husband and kids, planning vacations and eating good food. 

Erica Ford 

Professional bookworm, pro-caffeinator, plant whisperer, and true crime documentary addict. My life is a chaotic blend of caffeine, pages, paws, and mysteries. I’m juggling life as an RN, a spouse to my partner-in-crime, a referee for my three kids, a cat herder, and a dog wrangler. Just trying to keep the caffeine flowing and the plants alive while solving mysteries on screen and in real life. Fun Facts: I have a knack for turning caffeine into questionable life choices, and I’m a firm believer that ice cream is a suitable breakfast food. 

Marviel Paano 

My name is Marivel S Paano BSN RN CCRN CSC, and I have been a Registered Nurse for more than 38 years, with most of that experience in CICU and CCU. I have practiced both in the U.S. and abroad, spending 14 years in CCU in Saudi Arabia. My American dream came true in early 2003 when I joined Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. I spent almost 18 years working in CICU, taking care of very challenging post-op cardiac patients with heart and lung transplants, LVADS and ECMOs. I am forever grateful for that experience and for all the patients I was honored to care for.

More than four years ago, I was given the opportunity to join MCG Health (formerly AU Health) in SICU. When CVICU opened, I was one of the few nurses transferred at that time. I became a charge nurse, preceptor and mentor, especially to the night shift staff, responsible for the open-heart patients. When the LVD program started, I was honored to be asked to take care of the very first patient until their discharge.

In my off time, I always look forward to spending time with my husband, Robert, my family, my fur babies, Chloe and Brandon, and my garden.

I am so grateful to work with such a dynamic young staff who are dedicated and eager to learn and take on new experiences. I am proud and blessed to be a part of CVICU and a recipient of the SHINE award. 

Deva Tojong 

My name is Deva Christine Tojong, spouse to Paul John Carilimdiliman, who initially worked as a CVICU nurse and now is in the Cath Lab. We both hail from the small island of Cebu, Philippines, and have settled here in Augusta, Ga. since 2020. I humbly take pride in my role as a Patient Care Technician, which I started in October 2023. Previously, I worked as a Medical Assistant/Scribe for two years. Currently, I am diligently working toward applying for the esteemed medical residency programs with the Medical College of Georgia, transitioning from my prior role as a General Practitioner in the Philippines. Every patient I meet holds a story and a life lesson to share. Each day at work is fulfulling. I am blessed to work with the CVICU team because we look out for each other like a family. On the rare days when my husband and I are off, we enjoy jogging on the trails around Augusta. 

Christopher Person 

My name is Christopher D. Person Sr., and I am the Equipment Specialist on 6 West (CVICU). I have been on 6west for one-and-a-half year, but I have been an Equipment Specialist for nine years. I have also been a Patient Technician for one year and three months. I have been married to my wife, Denise, for 23 years. We have two children, Deandrea and Christopher, who both attend Forth Valley University. My hobbies are traveling and meeting new people. 

Brooke Duncan Meyer 

I have been at Wellstar MCG Health for 11 years. I started as a staff nurse in MICU and joined the Cardiovascular Service Line in 2017. I am married, and we have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. I love to play tennis, travel, and drink coffee! 

Aishia Chase: 

My name is Aishia Chase, MSW, and I have been a Social Worker for eight years. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, An’Ye and Aleya, and one fur baby, a bunny named Copper. I love to read, draw, and take family vacations with my beautiful daughters and beautiful mother in order to make lifelong memories. I am a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. My favorite motto is “Broken crayons still color.”  

Others Recognized: 

Ben Hill, Niki Cail, Awraial Binns, Wanda Boone, Marylee Brehmer, Ashleigh Andrews, Leigh Stanford, Dr. John Sharp , and Dr. Shaynna Mann.