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Women's Health

Doctor’s own heart health story highlights importance of women’s health programs

Marianna Knopov noticed changes in her blood pressure in her early forties and attributed this to her demanding life and work schedule. A doctor herself, she didn’t like being a patient and tried to manage it holistically — eating well, practicing yoga, and losing weight — yet, her blood pressure remained high. 

Women’s health specialists uncover heart problem

She started having attacks at night, feeling like she was about to die. At the Emergency Department, doctors thought she might be having an anxiety attack. No one suspected coronary heart disease until she saw Dr. Evelina Grayver, who specializes in women’s heart health at Northwell Health.

Dr. Grayver provided a full diagnostic examination and discovered her coronary artery was completely blocked. Dr. Knopov underwent seven coronary stent procedures and considers herself the luckiest woman alive.

“I thought I wasn’t going to make it,” says Dr. Knopov. “But thanks to Dr. Grayver who was present during the procedure, and the other wonderful doctors by my side, they pulled me out of the darkest place of my life.”

Dr. Knopov was one of two former patients of Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health who shared their stories and walked the runway during the 25th Annual Katz Institute for Women’s Health Luncheon and Fashion Show. Supermodel Carol Alt, also a patient of the Katz Institute, surprised guests in attendance and walked the runway to thank her doctors for the care she received.

quotation mark They pulled me out of the darkest place of my life.
Dr. Marianna Knopov

Caring for women’s unique health concerns

In 2017, the Fashion Show raised a record total of over $1.2 million for women’s health, supporting new technology in the treatment of breast cancer, women with disabilities and reconstructive surgery using 3D bioprinting. It also honored Iris and Saul Katz, longtime supporters of Northwell Health and partners in the creation of the Katz Institute for Women’s Health and the Katz women’s hospitals. 

“Iris and Saul Katz are visionaries who began supporting our health system 35 years ago and who helped make the Katz Institute for Women’s Health a reality,” says Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO, Northwell Health. “They have directly helped to make the Katz Institute a regional leader in women’s health education.”

“Saul and I are committed to supporting the Katz Institute because women are unique and require different care,” says Mrs. Katz. “Besides being the chief medical officers of families, we know that women’s health requires an approach that recognizes a continuum of care that women need throughout their lives. We are extremely pleased of Northwell’s renewed commitment to ensuring that the Katz Institute is represented in all of the communities it serves across the region.”

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