Shamsuddin Khwaja, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Community Medical Centers

Dr. Khwaja has trained at centers of excellence around the nation and completed training in surgery with distinction. A graduate of UC Berkeley, he attended Boston University School of Medicine where he graduated Cum Laude and with election to the exclusive medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. He then was selected for surgical training at the world renowned Dr. Michael E. Debakey Department of Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Khwaja then finished cardiothoracic training at the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He is Board Certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Khwaja received specialized training in complex open heart cases with Dr. Michael E. Jessen and Dr. Michael A. Wait at the St. Paul University Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

He has acquired additional training in the treatment of Aortic Aneurysm under Dr. Hazim Safi in Houston, Texas and worked with Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes and Dr. Winfield J. Wells at the Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles and University of Southern California performing pediatric heart surgery as well as heart and lung transplant surgery.

John C. Lin, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Director of Thoracic Surgery at Community Medical Centers

Dr. Lin performs open heart and aortic surgeries for coronary artery disease, valvular pathology, atrial fibrillation, aortic aneurysm/dissection and pulmonary emboli. He also participates in percutaneous valve replacement, aortic stent placement, and vena cava/right heart thrombectomy. Dr. Lin performs thoracoscopic and robotics thoracic surgery for the lung, airway, and esophagus and serves as the Thoracic Surgery Director for the Community Medical System.

Dr. Lin received his cardiothoracic surgery training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, which has the highest volume center for heart transplant and percutaneous aortic valve replacement in the United States. He also pursued additional training in aortic stenting and debranching at Harbor UCLA medical center. Interestingly, Dr. Lin previously was a spacecraft engineer at Boeing.


Endovascular/Aortic Surgery, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, 2013

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 2012

General Surgery, University of California San Francisco (UCSF) East Bay, 2010

Medical Doctor (MD), University of Iowa, 2005

Bachelor of Science (BS), University of California, Berkeley, 1994

Robert Stewart, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Robert Stewart, MD has been a pillar of the Fresno community for over forty years. After starting his residency training in Fresno in 1975, Dr. Stewart completed cardiothoracic surgery training at the University of Michigan.  Board certified in thoracic surgery, his cardiac surgery practice includes all aspects of adult heart surgery, including minimally invasive valve surgery. Dr. Stewart performs a wide variety of general thoracic surgery procedures, including cancer operations. He has a long history of teaching and training the next generation of physicians. Dr. Stewart has also held many important leadership positions in surgery throughout the Fresno community.  Dr. Stewart provides the highest level of quality surgical care with a personal touch. He enjoys camping, hiking, and skiing with his family.

Heidi J. Reich, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Reich graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Reed College in Portland, OR, and exceled as a college athlete, playing rugby. She attended medical school at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, and completed residencies in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, which ranks #1 in California for cardiology and heart surgery and #1 in U.S. for transcatheter aortic valve replacements. She also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship studying heart stem cell therapy. Dr. Reich spent 6 months as the first surgeon to train as a structural heart fellow at Cedars-Sinai focused on minimally-invasive, catheter-based treatments for heart disease including transcatheter aortic valve replacements. She received specialized training in aortic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, the #1 heart program in the U.S, with a focus on aortic aneurysms, aortic dissections, and aortic valve diseases.

A frequent contributor to peer-reviewed medical publications, Dr. Reich has a strong interest in innovation and quality improvement, leading to numerous honors and special awards, including the Nina Starr Braunwald Research Fellowship Award, a grant in honor of the first woman certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the first woman to perform open heart surgery. Dr. Reich enjoys running, biking, hiking at Yosemite National Park, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Navjot Janday, FNP-C

Nurse Practitioner

Raised in California, Navjot Janday, FNP, attended Utica College in Utica, NY, to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She attended Holy Names University in Oakland, CA to earn her Master of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner in 2016.

Before joining Central California Heart and Lung Surgery in 2021, she worked as a Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology, Neurology, Community Health, Family Medicine, and General Surgery. Navjot is Board Certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Lisa Wilkins, FNP-C

Nurse Practitioner

Lisa provides in-hospital care and management for our patients during their hospital stay. She has worked as a cardiac nurse for more than 18 years.


Master of Science/Family Nurse Practitioner, Fresno Pacific University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, California State University Fresno


  • American Academy of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN)
  • California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP)
  • American College of Cardiology (ACC)

Tricia Khwaja

Chief Operating Officer

Tricia oversees practice operations, HR, finance, accounts payable, and billing services. Prior to this position she managed the Employee Health Clinic at Valley Children’s Hospital. She has managed the practice since 2009. Tricia holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Clinical Laboratory Science from Ohio Northern University. In addition to spending time with family, Tricia enjoys traveling, horseback riding, tennis, and cooking.

Niomi Lazalde

Office Supervisor / Surgery Scheduler

Niomi has more than a decade of experience in healthcare, supporting patients and staff alike to obtain the very best outcomes for our patients and their families. She was drawn to the field after supporting her mother who was a patient in 2009. Her stated goal is to help others and to make what can be a difficult experience graceful throughout the process. Married, with one daughter, Niomi enjoys gardening and family time.

Jessica Lazalde
Medical Office Assistant

Paula Sanchez
Medical Assistant

Livier Nava
Medical Assistant

Diana Sanchez
Medical Assistant

Melissa Espinosa
Office Assistant