Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute
Our Stories


Partners in Giving Back

Melissa and Michael Lora

Melissa and Michael Lora are partners in life and in their shared love of their community, the arts, their Golden Retrievers and Hoag. A dedicated executive leader at Taco Bell since March 1987, Melissa is currently the President of Taco Bell International. Now a retired entrepreneur, Michael built a successful real estate management practice here in Orange County.

Wake-Up Call with a Happy Ending

Ten years ago, on Christmas weekend, the Lora’s had a serious wake-up call when Michael suffered severe jaw pain. They rushed to Hoag where Michael was treated by Subbarao Myla, M.D., F.A.C.C., medical director of Cardiac and Endovascular Labs and Cardiovascular Research at Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute. Melissa remembers Dr. Myla’s thoughtfulness and efficient, professional demeanor. When he found that one of Michael’s arteries was 100 percent blocked, he and his team completed a life-saving procedure. To everyone’s relief, Michael’s heart did not suffer any damage.

“Dr. Myla figured out who Michael is as a person, and worked with us so we could make the lifestyle changes that would maintain our quality of life,” Melissa remembers.

Giving Back

Since that frightening episode, Melissa and Michael made a generous gift of $250,000 to establish the Melissa & Michael Lora Cardiac Catheterization Lab Fund in support of Dr. Myla’s life-saving research. Under his leadership, Hoag has initiated more than 25 FDA-regulated clinical trials investigating a variety of innovative medical devices and procedures, all of which focus on stroke prevention. Hoag is one of only a handful of medical facilities in the western United States to participate in these studies.

“Hoag continues to be at the leading edge of technology and provides access to these innovations to patients in our community," Melissa said. “We feel it is so important to support someone like Dr. Myla who is doing great things every day and making a difference with compassion.”

If you would like more information about the important research performed at the Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute at Hoag, please contact Whitney Fountas at or (949) 764-7215.

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