Two Emory Physicians Honored with National Red Dress Award!

Dr. Leslee ShawDr. Sanjay GuptaWoman’s Day magazine is honoring Leslee Shaw, PhD, and Sanjay Gupta, MD, with two of its four Red Dress Awards for 2013. The award honors those who have made significant contributions in the fight against heart disease among women.

Dr. Shaw and Dr. Gupta join the ranks of other distinguished Red Dress award recipients including United States Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, renowned journalist Barbara Walters and Elizabeth Nabel, MD, former head of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Dr. Shaw is a professor of medicine at Emory School of Medicine and co-directs the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute. She currently serves on the Cardiovascular Imaging Committee for the American Heart Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. She is a past-president of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Dr. Shaw Red Dress AwardHer areas of interest and expertise include test accuracy, risk assessment, prognosis and cost efficiency—with a particular emphasis on the role of how diagnostic tests work differently to assess heart disease risk in various ethnic groups and in women versus men.

Dr. Gupta is CNN’s chief medical correspondent and is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory School of Medicine and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital. He is a practicing neurosurgeon at Emory University and Grady hospitals.

Gupta’s medical training and public health policy experience distinguish his reporting on a range of medical and scientific topics including brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, HIV/AIDS and other areas.

The prestigious award will be presented on February 12 at Lincoln Center in New York City. To learn more about this award visit Red Dress Awards 2013 – Woman’s Day.

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And the 2013 Best Diet Winner according to U.S. New & World Report is…

Diet weight loss rankingsFor a meaningful start to a healthy new year, today U.S. News & World Report released its Best Diets of 2013 rankings, featuring a variety of weight loss programs and options.

The 2013 list of best diets provides a look at 29 diets, ranging from the Traditional Asian Diet to Weight Watchers. Diets were ranked based on ratings from an independent panel of 20 experts. The experts rated each diet in categories such as ease of compliance, diabetes control and management, heart health, weight loss, safety, and nutritional completeness.

“Many Americans struggle with maintaining a healthy diet, and especially around the first of the year tend to become interested in trying a new one,” said Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer of U.S. News. “Diets are serious business, so we’ve assembled the experts to provide the best and most current information for consumers.” Emory Heart & Vascular Center physician Laurence Sperling, MD was one of the 16 nationally recognized experts who judged the diets.

The 2013 best diet rankings also include expanded coverage over previous years, including rankings of new plant-based diets. Increasingly popular in health and wellness circles, plant-based diets have gained attention as a potential antidote to the obesity epidemic in this country. In addition to weight loss, research suggests these diets help protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. U.S. News evaluated 11 plant-based diets, including the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, Engine 2 Diet, and Flexitarian Diet.

Check the winners of the 2013 Best Diet rankings below and visit the U.S. News Website in the Related Resources area for details.

Best Diet Overall
The DASH Diet ranked No. 1 overall. The TLC Diet came in at a close second, while the Mediterranean Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, and Weight Watchers tied for third place.

Best Weight-Loss Diet
Weight Watchers ranked first place in weight loss. Tied for second place were Jenny Craig, the Biggest Loser Diet, and the raw food diet.

Best Diabetes Diet
The DASH Diet tied with the Biggest Loser Diet for the top diet for preventing or managing diabetes. Close behind it was a five-way tie among the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Ornish Diet, the vegan diet, Engine 2 Diet, and Flexitarian Diet.

Best Plant-Based Diets
The Mediterranean Diet took first place in the survey’s newest category. It was followed closely by Dawn Jackson Blatner’s Flexitarian Diet, a flexible approach to vegetarianism, and then Dean Ornish’s Diet, a low-fat, heart-healthy eating regimen bolstered by exercise, social support and stress management techniques.

Bonus Recipe: Mediterranean Salmon Recipe from Emory’s Dr. Cutchins

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
The Ornish Diet ranked No. 1 for heart health. The TLC Diet, a government-designed eating plan that stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, took second place. Another government-developed diet, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), came in third.

Best Commercial Diet Plans
Some dieters may seek the structure and social support provided by many brand-name programs, so U.S. News also examined 12 commercial diet plans, from Dukan to Slim-Fast. Weight Watchers ranked No. 1, followed by Jenny Craig at No. 2, and the Biggest Loser Diet in third place.

Best Diet for Healthy Eating
Considered the gold standard by our panelists, the DASH diet claimed first place for healthfulness. Scoring second place was the TLC Diet, with the Mediterranean diet placing third.

Easiest Diet to Follow
With its extensive guidance and support, Weight Watchers ranked No. 1 among the easiest diets to follow. Jenny Craig followed close behind in second place. A tie for third went to the Mediterranean Diet and Flexitarian Diet.

Among other things, an in-depth profile for each diet explains how the diet works, evaluates its claims, and reveals what it’s like to live on the diet. For more information, please visit

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Emory Vascular Surgeons Implant 1st FDA-approved Fenestrated Stent Graft in Georgia

Emory Heart & VascularContinuing its prominent regional and national role as a top-tier center for the treatment of arterial and venous disease, the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy of the Emory University School of Medicine now provides implantation of the FDA-approved Zenith® Fenestrated Endovascular Graft. Emory vascular surgeons Yazan Duwayri, MD, and Ravi Veeraswamy, MD, recently performed Georgia’s first implantation of the stent graft, which has been approved as a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) that possess an aneurysm anatomy that is incompatible with currently available devices.

“In recent years, endovascular techniques have greatly improved the safety of surgical treatment of AAA, but there are high risk patients whose aneurysms are too close to the arteries that feed the kidneys to qualify for these methods,” says Dr. Veeraswamy. “If placed, the endovascular graft itself would block blood flow. And unfortunately, traditional, open techniques of repair have significantly high morbidity and mortality rates.”

Designed as an endovascular alternative for such patients, the fenestrated system is associated with faster recovery and decreased risk of complications. The most unique factor of the graft—essentially a tube of fabric and metal that functions as a sleeve inside the aorta that excludes the aneurysm from blood flow—is that it can be customized to accommodate the anatomical specifications of each individual patient. “We use specialized software to design the fenestrations or scallops of the Zenith device so that they line up with the patient’s renal and mesenteric arteries,” says Dr. Duwayri. “Through these holes, we can place additional stents into the branch arteries to repair the aneurysm.”

The graft is inserted through small punctures in the groin and femoral arteries and guided into place using x-ray images. Wires, catheters, and stents can be placed inside the artery without the external aorta ever being touched.

By offering this new, FDA-approved technology and other devices in the clinical trial phase, Emory vascular surgeons are advancing the delivery of care to patients with these complex aneurysms.

About Ravi Veeraswamy, MD
Dr. Veeraswamy specializes in surgery and vascular surgery, and has been practicing with Emory since 2006. Some of his areas of clinical interest include aortic aneurysm, carotid endarterectomy, peripheral arterial and vascular disease, and vascular surgery. Recently, Dr. Veeraswamy has published articles in the Washington University Manual of Surgery, Vascular and Endovascular Challenges, and the Annals of Vascular Surgery.

About Yazan Duwayri, MD
Dr. Duwayri specializes in endoluminal and open vascular surgery. His areas of clinical interest include treatment of carotid stenosis, abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms, aortoiliac occlusive disease, renal arterial stenosis, thoracic outlet syndrome, dialysis access, peripheral arterial disease, and venous disease.

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Dr. Lundberg Shares Her Heart Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph’s physician Gina Lundberg, MD provides gift suggestions to help the people you love stay healthy this holiday season. She strongly advocates giving gifts that promote healthy activity to your children to start them off with healthy habits at a young age.

View the full CNN Health Minute and get more tips about good healthy gift options for your family and friends!

About Gina Lundberg, MD

Gina Price Lundberg, MD FACC is the Director of the Heart Center for Women. She founded and directed The Women’s Heart Center, the first women’s cardiac prevention program in the state of Georgia in 1998.

She was named by Governor Sonny Perdue to the Advisory Board for Women’s Health, Georgia Department of Women’s Health, Department of Community Health for 2007-2008. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University and teaches cardiology fellows at Grady Hospital. She also teaches medical students from the Medical College of Georgia in preventive cardiology. She is a member of the American College of Cardiologist’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

Dr. Gina Lundberg

She has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta since 2001. She has been involved with the Go Red for Women campaign since it launched in 2004. She has been on the Southeast Affiliate for the AHA’s Strategic Initiative Committee representing Go Red for Women. She is national speaker for the American Heart Association. She has also been working with the national organization, Sister to Sister Foundation from 2004 till the present with their Atlanta program.

She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women in Glamour Magazine, MD News, the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and other magazines. She has been interviewed on numerous local news shows and many radio programs over the years. Dr. Lundberg has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in Atlanta,GA. She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and re-certified in both in 2002. She has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career.

True Coordination of Care: Our New Advanced Heart Failure Program

Advanced Heart Failure ProgramWe’ve experienced quite a bit of growth and expansion over the last few years here at Emory Healthcare, and with that growth, our patients are continually afforded a more collaborative and integrated total care experience. When Saint Joseph’s Hospital became part of the Emory Healthcare family earlier this year, for example, two of the state’s leading heart and vascular care providers became one, making comprehensive cardiac care a seamless process for our patients.

Every day we take steps to make receiving care at any one of our Emory Healthcare facilities more convenient and our latest effort has resulted in one of the most comprehensive heart failure treatment programs in the country. The new Advanced Heart Failure Program, is a cardiac network that includes the expert care from subspecialists at Emory University Hospital (EUH), Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM) and Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta.

For over 20 years Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph’s Hospital have had the largest advanced heart failure programs in Georgia and the new collaboration will focus on meeting the needs of patients and referring physicians across the Southeast. EUH, EUHM and Saint Joseph’s have established cultures of excellent multidisciplinary care with emphasis on the lives of patients and families dealing with heart failure. We are excited to expand the bond of physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers, and others in improving outcomes for those we serve.

The surgical heart transplant services at Saint Joseph’s Hospital will be the only component of its current heart failure program to move to a new campus—transplants now will be performed by Emory Transplant Center surgeons only at Emory University Hospital. Heart failure patients will receive pre- and post-operative care from their physician of choice at Saint Joseph’s, EUH and EUHM. Patients in need of advanced heart failure management, medical and surgical management of all heart conditions and related therapies may access treatment at any of the three facilities. Saint Joseph’s patients on the heart transplant wait list are in the process of being transferred to transplant centers of their choice, including Emory. Their status and place on the wait list will not be impacted since it is regulated by UNOS.

The program’s services also will include the surgical implantation of ventricular assist devices (VADs) at Emory University Hospital and Saint Joseph’s—a growing enterprise because of improved technology—and the medical management of VADs at all three hospitals.

The goal of the program is for all of our heart failure and transplant patients to experience enhanced coordination of their overall care and increased communication between their medical and surgical specialists.

The program currently has five cardiologists who are certified in advanced heart failure and transplantation and a number of other cardiologists pursuing certification who will be available to see patients. The Emory School of Medicine has an accredited advanced heart failure and transplantation fellowship training program for cardiologists. In addition, Emory is one of only nine centers in the country that is a member of the Heart Failure Clinical Research Network (HFCRN), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Earlier this year, Emory received a seven-year, $2.7 million grant to develop heart failure clinical trials, with additional funding down the road to carry them out. Dr. Javed Butler, professor of cardiology, is principal investigator. As part of our new merger, Saint Joseph’s will participate in upcoming HFCRN trials, too.


About Andy Smith, MD, Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation, Bahgat/Smith Endowed Chair in Heart Failure Therapy and chief of cardiology at EUH

Dr. Andrew Lee Smith, Emory HealthcareAndrew Lee Smith, MD joined Emory University’s faculty in 1992 and established the Center for Heart Failure Therapy and Transplantation, a specialty practice for treatment of patients with heart failure in all stages (early to end stage) of the disease. Under his leadership, heart failure outpatient visits have surpassed 5000 annually, over 500 heart transplant procedures have been performed since the program began, and the Ventricular Assist Device program is strong and growing. Dr. Smith is recognized as an innovative leader in the treatment of heart failure and most notably for his work in collaboration with electrophysiologists on cardiac resynchronization therapy which lead to FDA approval for these devices. To learn more about Andrew Lee Smith, MD, check out Dr. Smith’s physician profile.

New Treatment Available at Emory for the 850,000 U.S. Adults at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

New Treatment Cardiac Arrest RiskEmory University Hospital Midtown and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta are among the first hospitals nationwide and the only hospitals in Georgia to have access to the world’s first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Emory has been a part of the clinical trials to get this device approved and was the third highest enrolling center nationwide. Electrophysiologist Michael Lloyd, MD will be performing the procedure for the first time since the device has been approved on the open market on November 12, 2012.

The S-ICD System, produced by Boston Scientific, is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs); however the S-ICD System sits entirely just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as electrodes or ‘leads’ – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, offering physicians and patients an alternative treatment to transvenous ICDs.

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected.

Emory Electrophysiologists Mikhael El Chami, MD, Michael Hoskins, MD, Angel Leon, MD, David DeLurgio, MD, Jonathan Langberg, MD and Michael Lloyd, MD have been instrumental in getting this device approved and will be performing this procedure.

Dr. Michael LloydAbout Michael Lloyd, MD:
Dr. Lloyd began practicing medicine at Emory in 2007—he specializes in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology. His areas of clinical interest and research include arrhythmias, electrophysiology lab, and pacemaker. Dr. Lloyd’s organizational leadership memberships include the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Heart Rhythm Society.


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Emory Welcomes 3 New Female Cardiologists to the Women’s Heart Program!

Dr. Brown, Dr. Cutchins, Dr. Shirazi

Emory Women’s Heart Program utilizes a women-focused, comprehensive process to assess cardiovascular risk factors and diagnose and treat heart disease. Our goal is to help women prevent heart disease and improve cardiovascular outcomes through the highest quality patient- and family-centered care, research and education.

The Emory Heart & Vascular Center is excited to welcome three new female cardiologists to the Women’s Heart Program team! Jennifer Brown, MD, Alexis Cutchins, MD, and Farheen Shirazi, MD, (pictured left to right) will provide general and preventive cardiology services with a special emphasis on women with heart disease.

Dr. Brown received her cardiology training at the University of Maryland Medical Center. In addition to the specialties listed above, she has a particular interest in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy and cardiac failure in women being treated for breast cancer. Dr. Brown will practice at the following locations:


Clifton Road


1608 Tree Lane, Suite 101
Snellville, GA 30078

1365 Clifton Road, NE, Building A, 2nd Floor
Atlanta, GA 30322

1400 Wellbrook Circle
Conyers, GA 30012

Dr. Shirazi recently completed her cardiology fellowship at Emory University and will practice at the following locations:

Johns Creek


6335 West Johns Crossing
Physician Plaza, Suite 110
Johns Creek, GA 30097
404 -778-8240

1200 Bald Ridge Marina Road, Suite 150
Cumming, GA 30041

Dr. Cutchins recently completed her cardiology fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center and will practice at the following locations:



875 Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342

550 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

The Program staff has extensive experience regarding the unique aspects of heart disease in women. Our multi-disciplinary team includes female and male cardiologists, female nurse practitioners, nurses, nutritionists and exercise physiologists, as well as a full-range of specialists. We provide counseling on weight loss, exercise programs, diet and other lifestyle changes to help treat and reduce the risk of heart disease in women. In addition, we can help women understand how stress, obesity, depression and menopause may impact their heart health.

To refer a patient to one of Emory’s new female cardiologists, please call the number associated with the clinic listed above that is most convenient for your patient. To learn more about all of our locations, please call the Emory Physician Consult Line at 404-778-5050.

News from Emory’s Adult Congenital Heart Center

News from Emory’s Adult Congenital Heart Center

Dr. Wendy BookEmory’s Adult Congenital Heart (EACH) Center was selected as one of 5 centers in the US to participate in an academic-community collaborative education program. The program, called the Provider Action for Treating Congenital Hearts, or PATCH, was designed in collaboration with the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) and the American College of Cardiology’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) Section to address the challenges faced by pediatric and adult cardiology community as more and more patients with congenital heart defects look to them for care.

The program provides a significant opportunity for Emory’s Adult Congenital Heart Center, led by Dr. Wendy Book (Medical Director), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia ACC and the community. With collaborative efforts from the SIBLEY Heart with a special thanks to the hard work of Dr. Robert Vincent (GA ACC, Sibley Heart) and Dr. Michael McConnell.

You may find more information about the PATCH program and the ACHA in our related resources area below.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Committees

Dr. Wendy Book, Medical Director of Emory’s Adult Congenital Heart Center and cardiologist at Emory University Hospital Midtown, has been asked to serve on the Centers for Disease Control Expert Panel – “Adults with Congenital Heart Disease,” to help guide future public health research in the field of congenital heart disease. Dr. Book will join Dr. Michael McConnell, an Emory Clinic Pediatrician, who also serves on the steering committee.

This is not the first time Dr. Wendy Book has been asked to provide her expertise through CDC programs and events. Dr. Book also serves as a member of Georgia’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee with the CDC. The mission of this committee is to identify and review pregnancy-associated deaths in Georgia and to develop interventions that may reduce maternal deaths.

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Living in Walk-Friendly Neighborhoods Leads to Heart Healthy Lives

Do you live in an Intown, walkable neighborhood? If so, you may be extending your life!

Dr. Susmita Parashar comments on a new study that indicates there is evidence that people who live in a neighborhood that is very walker friendly live a heart healthier life.   Neighborhoods that have parks, restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance from the homes encourages people to get out and enjoy the outdoor and therefore this benefits the heart.  Check out the CNN Health Minute on Healthy Neighborhoods.

About Susmita Parashar, MD, MS
Dr. Parashar is a cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center. She specializes in preventive cardiology and has special interests in women’s heart disease. She is the newest member of the Emory team and looks forward to helping patients in Atlanta prevent heart disease. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and Cardiology fellowship at Emory University. Prior to joining Emory faculty in the Division of Cardiology, Dr. Parashar was Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at Emory for eight years.

Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes

Chandan Devireddy, MD, Cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center discusses young athletes and heart attacks after an Olympic Swimmer from Norway dies of sudden cardiac death. The 26 year old world class swimmer, Dale Oen, died after a swimming workout.

In this CNN interview, Dr. Devireddy mentions one cause of sudden cardiac death is  a cardiac disease called Hypertrophic Cardiac Myopathy (HCM) which affects one in 500 people.  Emory has one of the few dedicated HCM Centers in the US.  The center aims to  treat people who are at risk for sudden cardiac risk.   Watch the CNN interview in the video below:

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