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Meet our Staff

Board-certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon Iva Smolens, M.D., serves as Medical Director of the Women's Heart Center at Banner Heart Hospital.

A surgeon, mother and the surviving daughter of a parent who died of heart disease very young, Dr. Smolens understands heart disease first hand. She's determined to educate future generations (like her daughter, Jordyn) about the importance of living heart-healthy lives.

She earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and her Doctorate of Medicine from State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn. 

Her post-doctoral training includes a variety of leadership positions and fellowships including serving as Chief Surgery Resident at the University of California, David, Medical Center in Sacramento, California.

Her teaching and research are widely published in a variety of mediums, including books, trade journals and presentations to professional associations.


   > Click to view her full list of education and awards


Michael C. Maxwell, M.D. received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from Wake Forest University in 1985.


He completed his Medical Degree in 1989 from The Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina.


Dr. Maxwell went on to complete his General Surgery, Research Fellow, and Residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1996. He then went on to become a Clinical Instructor in Surgery at the University of North Carolina.


He enjoys teaching Physician Assistant Students from A.T. Still University and Midwestern University in both the operating room, and office settings. Additionally, he enjoys demonstrating at Saguaro High School Science Department on pig hearts to teach students about the anatomy of the heart.


He is currently on both the Tumor Board and Credentials Committee at Banner Desert Medical Center. 

   > Click to view his full list of education and awards

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