Cardiology Magazine — Winter 2013
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Cover Story

ACC.13 Serves as ‘Golden Gate’ to the Latest CV Science and Education

The ACC’s 62nd Annual Scientific Session and Expo (ACC.13) focuses on the transformation of cardiovascular care – from discovery to delivery.

“Discovery is not only about new drugs and therapies, but new tools, techniques and applications to help us better manage patients in a team environment,” notes Miguel A. Quinones, MD, MACC, chair of the ACC.13 Program Committee. “Attendees will see this theme carried throughout the meeting starting with the Opening Showcase Session on Saturday all the way through the 62nd Annual Convocation Ceremony on Monday evening.”

With three full days of the latest science, oral sessions, Late- Breaking Clinical Trials (LBCTs), Maintenance of Certification (MOC) sessions and more, attendees have their fair share of in-depth programming to choose from. “There are a wealth of topics that will interest everyone in the cardiovascular field whether you are a general cardiologist, fellow in training, member of the cardiac care team, nurse practitioner or practice administrator,” said Quinones.

Sessions are divided into 16 learning pathways on topics ranging from congenital diseases, imaging, and prevention to heart failure, intervention, and all the topics in between. “We are fortunate that so many great things are happening in the field of cardiology and the field is developing rapidly, so we tried to concentrate in areas where new knowledge may move faster,” Quinones said.

The meeting also features joint sessions with partner societies like the full-day Joint Multimodality Imaging Symposium in conjunction with the American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. “We brought our partner societies together to collaborate and to emphasize a multimodality approach to management of a patient in order to prevent multiple tests and to find the optimal test,” notes Quinones.

In addition, the popular full-day session with the Heart Failure Society of America and the Heart Rhythm Society, will return, as will the full-day pharmacology program and a joint symposium with the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association. According to Quinones, the overarching goal is to emphasize a team approach to cardiac care and place a focus on where the patient fits.

With more international sessions than ever before, attendees can also enhance their global perspective of cardiovascular care with 18 international lunchtime symposia, jointly sponsored with societies from around the globe. In addition, the 5th Annual Cardiovascular Conference: Focus on the Middle East explores quality of care systems and issues, with a particular focus on congenital cardiology. A separate session focused on Conquering Healthcare Challenges in the Emerging World will feature experts from China, India, Brazil and Mexico who will share challenges of cardiovascular care in some of the world’s fastest growing health care economies.

“With ever increasing involvement by the ACC’s new international chapters, ACC.13 inter National programming is now even more extensive,” said Huon H. Gray, MD, FACC, chair of the Assembly of International Governors. “We look forward to a continued increase in international participation in future years.”

As always, the meeting will feature the latest in cardiovascular science. The first LBCT will be featured as part of the Showcase Session at 8 a.m. in the South Esplanade Ballroom. “The quality of science and abstracts submitted this year was very high, so we had an opportunity to pick the best of the best” said Quinones.

New this year, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, is also hosting a new full-day immersion course in cardiology called Cardiovascular Updates for the Clinician, where attendees can dive into the latest science and focus on the integration of the newest advances in cardiovascular disease into daily practice.

On the education front, attendees can earn up to 60 MOC points across a selection of 13 brand new MOC Part II sessions while updating their knowledge or preparing for board certification at Core Curriculum and ABIM MOC Study Session. “MOC and continuing medical education are increasingly important benefits of the Scientific Sessions given new and emerging requirements, and as medical education changes, so does the College,” said ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC.

“The ACC is committed to ensuring that every single member of the cardiac care team has access to the best educational opportunities, the best research, and the best tools for improving quality and patient outcomes,” said Zoghbi. “And while online education keeps us abreast of the latest developments and various issues, a national face-to-face meeting offers much more: the human connection, with its excitement, complexity and enriching experience.”

An emphasis on new technologies and electronic media has become an increased focus over the past few years. “To help members make the most of the sessions and activities that have been so effective in meetings past, this year’s Meeting team is capitalizing on modern technologies with the ACC.13 eMeeting Planner App and Online Planner,” said Zoghbi. “You can use these tools to easily explore sessions, presentations and speakers, instantaneously locate them, and design the agenda that best fits your needs.”

Also new this year, several sessions will have live-streaming capabilities that will be accessible via iPads and laptops. “The younger generation is more savvy with digital media, so we are incorporating newer technologies to provide learning in a more accessible and convenient manner,” noted Quinones.

“Overall with an attractive city, interesting science, great educational opportunities and more, we look forward to a successful ACC.13,” said Quinones.

Stay Connected at ACC.13

To get the latest from the meeting, be sure to follow @ACC_2013 on Twitter and use the hashtag #ACC13 to share observations, opinions and experiences from the meeting. Also visit ACC’s Facebook page for up-to-date photos from the meeting, and read the latest blog posts from ACC leaders on the ACC in Touch Blog. Find all of the ways you can stay connected at ACC.13 at SocialNetworking.


eMeeting Planner App

Make the most of your experience with the ACC.13 eMeeting Planner App and Online Meeting Planner. Personalize your meeting by searching for sessions by specialty, interest area, or role in the CV team. Explore all the sessions and build your full itinerary. Plus, get access to Expo info, animated maps, Twitter feeds and more. Search “ACC.13” in the app store to download the app, or browse the Online Meeting Planner at

ACC.13 ExPO: Largest Gathering of CV Products and Services Under One Roof

With more than 300 exhibitors, the ACC.13 Expo features the latest pharmaceutical products, devices, imaging technology and health IT services, with publishers, recruiters and non-profit organizations and societies on hand as well.

Among the Expo highlights:

• At ACC Central, attendees will find comprehensive information on ACC’s quality initiatives; NCDR®; self-assessment tools; live courses; the new Lifelong Learning Portfolio; CardioSmart; membership opportunities; and ways to ensure practice viability and protect patient access.

• Specialty pavilions that bundle related products, technologies and Services will help maximize time in the Expo. Attendees can explore the CardioSmart Pavilion, the Health IT Pavilion, the International ACC Chapters Area, the Interventional Pavilion, the Non-Profit Organizations Area and the Publishers Showcase.

• Restaurants and lounges are located in both the Moscone North and South exhibit halls. Attendees can enjoy Bistro ACC, featuring an upscale buffet lunch. The International Lounge offers attendees from around the world an opportunity to connect, while the Cable Car Café & Tech Hub is a unique environment in which to plan ACC.13 activities. New this year, the ACCPAC Lounge is the perfect place for ACCPAC members to enjoy refreshments and connect with fellow ACCPAC members and staff.

Also located in the Moscone North and South exhibit halls — the ACC.13 Learning Destinations™ are non-certified, educationally focused areas that offer creative ways to expand the ACC.13 educational experience. This year’s destinations include the CardioSmart Forum™, the CV Innovations Educational Forum™, the Industry Expert Theater™, Interactive Learning Labs™ and the new Innovation Stage™.

Learn more about these diverse destinations at: LearningDestinations.

TCT@ACC-i2 to Cover Range of Interventional Cardiology Issues

The TCT@ACC-i2: Innovation in Intervention track is focused around the use of new technology and practical applications to improve outcomes.

“The goal for this year was to make TCT@ACC-i2 as comprehensive as possible while also emphasizing new technologies and approaches,” said Gary S. Mintz, MD, FACC, chair of TCT@ACC-i2.

The track encompasses 52 sessions on topics ranging from transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to STEMI. In particular, eight TAVR-focused symposia will address topics like patient selection, the percutaneous procedure itself, the role of imaging, advice to avoid complications and long-term follow-up.

STEMI will also be a hot topic, according to Mintz. “Interventional cardiology has evolved to the point where the primary therapy for STEMI is percutaneous intervention with stent implantation. It is done routinely, and it represents a significant percentage of clinical practice today,” he notes. “There is no issue about the appropriate use of stent implantation when a patient presents with STEMI, so we have sessions about techniques, complications and adjunct pharmacology.”

Other topics of interest include intravascular imaging, PCI for chronic total occlusions, stroke prevention, endovascular Management of erectile dysfunction, the role of fractional flow reserve (FFR) and the problem of stent thrombosis.

The track also has an international flavor. Three International Luncheon sessions on Monday will highlight interventional presentations from cardiovascular societies in Canada, India and Japan. In addition, the Maseri-Florio International Lecture, presented by G. Alain Cribier, MD, FACC, will address the development of TAVR over the last 20 years.

“The goal of TCT@ACC-i2 is to present state-of-the-art knowledge as well as practical, problem-solving approaches,” Mintz said. “We don’t ignore the old that is still state-of-theart in favor of the new, and we don’t ignore the new in favor of what is conventionally accepted. This is a comprehensive track.”

Special ACC.13 Program Focuses on Federal and Government Cardiologists

The ACC has been working hard to actively involve cardiologists working at the federal level by successfully seeking appointments for the Air Force, Navy, Army, Veterans Affairs and Public Health on its Board of Governors. For the second year, members affiliated with these branches of the U.S. Government are invited to attend a special program targeted specifically for their needs. A special break out session will be held on Sunday, March 10 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis in room Golden Gate C1.

Get CardioSmart at ACC.13

Massive changes to the health care system have led the cardiovascular community to not only reassess how and where care is delivered, but take a closer look at how they communicate with patients and each other.

In an effort to help navigate these changes, the College has designed special ACC.13 programming aimed directly at facilitating patient-centered care in the context of the rapidly changing health care system.

In particular, special CardioSmart® programming throughout the three-day event will focus on the many ways patient education can be extended beyond the practice or hospital setting to improve understanding, communication and adherence around care management strategies.

On Friday, March 8, the ACC will sponsor the first Spirit of the Heart (SOTH) community event for 2013 in Oakland, CA. A community leaders’ forum breakfast will feature discussions by local health care, city and political leaders, immediately followed by a full day of free health screenings, a “Living with AF” educational program and activities for the public. On Saturday, March 9, the CardioSmart Forum will feature a day-long series of sessions on the Expo floor, including a hands-on walkthrough of the newly revamped and sessions on topics ranging from “Why CardioSmart” to patient advocacy. In addition, there will be an invitation-only CardioSmart Symposium dinner that evening focused on prevention strategies for improving population health.

Throughout ACC.13, attendees can also visit the CardioSmart Pavilion and ACC Central on the Expo floor. The pavilion will showcase CardioSmart’s many partners, including Mended Hearts, Coca-Cola® and SUBWAY®. Meanwhile, ACC Central will provide a glimpse of what a true “CardioSmart Practice” would look like with demos of CardioSmartTV™,, and provider toolkits.

Convocation: A Time-Honored Tradition

Convocation is one of the most timehonored and prestigious events to take place each year.

Garbed in traditional red robes, the newest class of Fellows and, more recently, Associates are formally welcomed to the College and endowed with the FACC and AACC credential. In addition, Convocation is also a time to honor recipients of the ACC’s Distinguished Awards, as well as recipients of ACC Foundation (ACCF)/ Merck Research Fellowships, the ACCF/ GE Healthcare Career Development Awards, the ACCF/GE Healthcare Career Development Awards, the ACCF/William F. Keating, Esq. Endowment Award, the Young Author Achievement Awards for JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions and JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging and the ACCF Young Investigator Awards

The evening also marks the official installation of new ACC leaders, including the new president. At ACC.13, current President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, will pass the presidential chain to John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC. Harold has been actively involved with the ACC for the past three decades and plans to focus on innovation in technology and education during his presidential year.

New this year, Convocation will serve as the official close to ACC.13. Photos from the event will be posted on the ACC Facebook page. You can also follow #ACC13 on Twitter for live highlights from the Convocation speeches.

A College Leader

Sandra J. Lewis, MD, FACC, a recipient of the 1981 Merck Fellowship Award in Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiometabolic Disorders, was recently able to claim an honor that few can – a link to a Nobel Prize winner. The research funded by her Merck Fellowship used techniques that her mentor, Michael R. Bristow, MD, PhD, FACC, learned from Robert Lefkowitz, MD, the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Lewis’ Merck Fellowship funded research aimed at identifying ways to improve heart function with beta blockers, which at the time were thought to make people feel worse. “Our research helped to disprove that,” said Lewis. “Now it is a standard practice to use beta blockers to prevent deterioration of heart function.”

The profound connection she made during the Merck Fellowship between research and the ability to directly bolster the delivery of care led Lewis to pursue a heart failure and transplant fellowship. It was here her love and passion for the translational model of cardiac medicine was fermented. “Working in a state of the art lab, questioning standard beliefs and structures, and pushing barriers provided an incredibly powerful perspective to have as a young cardiologist,” she said.

Now a private practice cardiologist, Lewis has worked at the Northwest Cardiovascular Institute in Portland, OR, for 25 years. She considers the longevity of her position as a significant accomplishment, as it has given her the rare opportunity to not only treat patients, but interact with their lives for more than two decades. “In the past 25 years, I have not only been able to build a practice that incorporates best practices and guidelines, but have been fully immersed in a very human part of being a physician,” she said.

Lewis’ participation in the College grew after her fellowship, culminating in her current position as the governor of the Oregon Chapter of the ACC. “The College represented to me the leadership and distinction of the cardiac field, so my involvement just morphed naturally. I am now very excited to serve as governor and work with my academic and practice colleagues on vital College initiatives,” she explained. Her current roster of activities includes promoting NCDR®, mobilizing Oregon cardiologists around vital advocacy issues and helping draft legislation to assure guidelines govern any evolution in clinical care.

Reflecting on her Merck Fellowship, Lewis says it was an immersion in excellence and would strongly encourage fellows and young cardiologists to pursue similar opportunities. “We haven’t answered all the questions yet,” she said. “There are incredible prospects to develop careers in asking questions. If you love research, there is nothing better in the world.”

“There are incredible prospects to develop careers in asking questions. If you love research, there is nothing better in the world.”

A Master Juggler

Carlin Long, MD, FACC, the son of an internist who specialized in cardiac care, was always amazed by what his father could divine from those electrical squiggles on a surface EKG and by listening with his stethoscope. He was also very proud of the intimate relationship his father had with his patients and the way they firmly believed he was always trying to help them. This interest in the relationship between interpreting research and delivering quality care to patients is what makes Long the success he is today.

In 1990, Long was awarded the Merck Fellowship Award in Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiometabolic Disorders. His groundbreaking research was one of the first works to understand the impact of “other” cell types present in the heart on the processes of both normal cardiac growth and on growth seen in response to injury.

In many ways the Merck Fellowship kicked off Long’s career, leading to a faculty appointment as a Career Development Awardee by the Department of Veteran Affairs and recognition as Young Investigator of the Year by the International Society for Heart Research in 1994. These experiences culminated in his current position as chief of the Cardiology Section at Denver Health Medical Center in Colorado, which he has held since 1998.

In the dual role of physician-scientist, Long is responsible for clinical services at the safety net hospital in Denver, as well as maintaining a research presence at the University of Colorado. Moreover, as division chief, he is entrusted with the protection and promotion of junior faculty. Despite the seemingly infinite demands on his time and energy, Long was among the first researchers to focus on the importance of cell-to-cell interactions in the development and maintenance of the pathologic growth response, as well as the role that inflammatory molecules play in these circumstances. He has also participated in pioneering research examining the role of the cardiac interstitium in health and disease, which transformed a neglected critical topic into a subject of considerable interest and focus today. Mentoring junior faculty also remains a key priority. “I take great pride in their success as physician-scientists, creating the next generation of successful ‘jugglers’,” he said.

Meanwhile, Long’s professional path has come full circle. He is currently serving his second term on the Research Awards Fellowship Committee, which selects the awardees for the Merck Fellowship Award. “I am thrilled to serve others as I was once served,” he said. “The Committee offers me a great opportunity to give back to the academic community and be a voice for the research arm of the College.”

“ I am thrilled to serve others as I was once served. The Committee offers me a great opportunity to give back to the academic community and be a voice for the research arm of the College.”

An Acclaimed Researcher

Debabrata Mukherjee, MD, FACC, began his career as a William H. Keating, Esq. Endowment Awardee in 2002. Conducting research on optimal medical therapy for patients with coronary and peripheral arterial diseases at the junior faculty level, Mukherjee received support at a critical juncture in his career, helping catapult him to a distinguished career in academic medicine.

Following his year of research as a Keating Awardee, Mukherjee assumed a variety of prestigious appointments, including the Gill Foundation Professor of Interventional Cardiology at the University of Kentucky, and chair of cardiovascular medicine at Texas Tech University. His clinical and research leadership has also been validated through receipt of numerous impressive grants and editorship positions at leading industry publications. Among his major research efforts: studies looking at the efficacy of combination secondary preventative therapies (polypill) in patients with cardiovascular diseases; adverse cardiovascular effects of cox-2 inhibitors; optimal antiplatelet therapy in diabetic patients; and optimal management of acute intramural hematoma.

Mukherjee is currently the acting chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Texas Tech, where he oversees the clinical, research and educational mission of the department. In 2009 he received a certificate in Business Administration, which he notes is immensely helpful in optimally managing limited resources during a time of state and federal budget cuts.

Mukerjee is also passionate about the need to mentor and train the future leaders of cardiology. “A good mentor knows the strengths and limitations of individuals they are helping, creates opportunities, opens doors and helps one become independent. Most importantly, a good mentor leads by personal example,” he explained.

Mukherjee is also equally motivated to make a difference in his patients’ lives. “On a personal level, every time I come in the middle of the night for a STEMI and open up an occluded heart blood vessel is a moment of deep satisfaction. The gratitude and the smile from the patients and their families is the best possible thanks one can get. At a societal level, my work on cardiovascular risk with Coxibs and evidence-based combination therapy after heart attacks has made a difference in many individuals with heart disease.”