Advancing Patient-Centered Cardiac Care

Patient Centered Cardiac CareOne of the chief goals of quality healthcare, as defined by the Institute of Medicine, is to provide patient-centered care. Doing so requires “providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions” (Institute of Medicine, 2001). As patients know, this kind of care doesn’t always happen. Providing patient-centered care requires effective communication and a trusting relationship. It also requires high-quality evidence regarding what forms of treatment are most likely to advance patients’ goals.

Emory has placed patient and family centered care at the top of the list of priorities and is taking important steps to make this happen. The Patient and Family Advisor program, for example, has created a way for patients and families to be “at the table” in important discussions about the way that care is delivered within our system. The clinicians at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center are active participants in helping to transform care at Emory and are committed to working with our patients to provide them with care that is most consistent with their goals. My colleague Dr. Cassimatis, for example, recently wrote on this blog a very helpful set of tips that will help patients to get the most out of their visit and ensure that their questions are answered. Emory cardiologists are committed to answering these questions and to working with patients and their family members to make decisions that are often complex.

Emory cardiologists are also actively conducting research to advance the mission of patient-centered care. Emory physicians are studying how our patients want us to communicate with them about research studies for which they might be eligible. Emory physicians are studying what information is most important to patients undergoing evaluation and treatment for severe heart failure. And Emory physicians are studying the role of new tools for communicating with patients about the risks and benefits of cardiac procedures. These are just a few examples of the ways that Emory physicians and researchers are helping to improve communication and facilitate the kind of trusting relationship that is essential to effective patient-centered care.

Because no decision can adequately reflect patients’ values without evidences, Emory doctors are also at the forefront of conducting clinical research studies that are essential to address many of the pressing problems that patients face. It is only through well-done research that we will have the information our current and future patients need to make decisions that are consistent with their goals.

In all of these ways, the clinicians at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center are committed to ensuring, and to helping other doctors ensure, that patients’ decisions match their values as much as possible.

If you have feedback or suggestions on how to improve patient-centered care at Emory Healthcare, please let us know by leaving a comment below. To make an appointment with an Emory cardiologist or cardiovascular specialist, please call 404-778-7777.

About Dr. Dickert

Neal Dickert, MD, PhDNeal Dickert, MD, PhD is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. He also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health and is a senior faculty fellow at the Emory Center for Ethics. He also serves as associate program director for the cardiology fellowship program. Dr. Dickert received his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Dickert is board-certified in cardiology and internal medicine. Clinically, Dr. Dickert practices in the Emory University Hospital and Atlanta VA Medical Center Cardiac Care Units. Dr. Dickert’s research focuses on ethical issues relevant to cardiology practice and clinical research.

Expanding Cardiovascular Team

Emory Healthcare is constantly growing, and in doing so continues to welcome some of the best faculty and staff members in the industry. Here’s a spotlight on two of the newest members of our cardiovascular team:

Camden Hebson, MD
Camden Hebson, MDDr. Hebson was born in Gadsden, Alabama and raised in Birmingham. He attended Vanderbilt University for undergraduate training and then returned to Alabama for medical school. Dr. Hebson joined Emory Healthcare eight years ago and has since completed a pediatric residency, chief residency, pediatric cardiology fellowship, and an advanced fellowship in adult congenital cardiology.

Dr. Hebson now cares for both children and adults with congenital heart disease. He focuses on lifelong care and has particular interest in patients with single ventricle disease, aortopathies (including bicuspid aortic valves), and patients with congenital heart disease who become pregnant. He sees patients at both The Emory Clinic located on Clifton Road and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Dr. Hebson enjoys spending time with his family – wife Carolyn, son Henry, and daughter Alice. His other interests outside of cardiology include fishing, leisure reading, and being a self proclaimed “baseball junkie.”

Jonathan Kim, MD
Jonathan Kim, MDDr. Kim is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, and additionally holds an adjunct Assistant Professorship in the Division of Applied Physiology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Kim received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Emory in 1998. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied in Melbourne, Australia before attending Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University before completing his General Cardiology fellowship at Emory in 2014. Dr. Kim was chief fellow at Emory between 2013-14. Dr. Kim joined the faculty at Emory in 2014 as part of the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Dr. Kim’s research focuses on issues relevant to sports cardiology and exercise physiology. His interest and published work in this field began during his time in Boston, and continued as a fellow at Emory. Dr. Kim has engaged in and published work analyzing exercise-induced cardiovascular remodeling, pre-participation ECG screening of collegiate athletes, cardiac arrests in marathon and half-marathons, and hypertension in isometric sporting disciplines. Dr. Kim has a strong clinical interest in sports cardiology as well, and will be developing a dedicated sports cardiology clinic at Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Outside of cardiology, Dr. Kim enjoys running, golf, watching sports and spending time with his wife and two kids: son Benjamin (age 3) and daughter Isabella (age 1).

For information about cardiovascular services offered at Emory Healthcare, please visit

How to Fall Asleep Faster!

Tips to Fall AsleepDo you have a hard time falling asleep? Women are busier than ever and as a result at the end of the day, many women have a hard time falling asleep. In an American Heart Association article, Emory Women’s Heart Center Clinical Director, Gina Lundberg, MD offers a few tips to help women get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Here is a sneak peak at the some of her tips to help you fall asleep faster!

  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid stimulants before bed
  • Establish a relaxation routine
  • Stay away from sleep medications

New Guidelines Suggest Risk Factors, Not Cholesterol Levels, Should Determine Cardiovascular Treatment Options

Statin Medications for patients with cardiovascular Risk FactorsThe American Heart Association (AHA) in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology recently released new, more aggressive cardiovascular treatment guidelines.  The new guidelines indicate that patients should be evaluated by their risk factors instead of a cholesterol number to determine if they should be prescribed medications.  Many patients who in the past would not have been prescribed statin medications will now be evaluated to determine if the medication is necessary.

Some of the risk factors physicians will take into consideration when evaluating a patient are:

  • Has the patient been diagnosed with heart disease?  This includes if the patient has ever had a heart attack or stroke.
    • If yes, your cholesterol should probably be managed with medication.
  • Does the patient have diabetes, type I or type II?
    • According to Emory Women’s Heart Center clinical director, Gina Lundberg, MD, “heart disease is the number one killer of all diabetics”.  Diabetics often need to manage their cholesterol with statin medications.
  • Does the patient have an LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) level of over 190.
    • According to the new cardiovascular treatment guidelines, if a patient is over 21 years old and has an LDL level above 190 he/she should be prescribed a statin medication.
  • Does the patient have a heart attack risk greater than 7.5%?

If a patient falls into any one of the risk factor categories above, they should be put on a statin according to the new guidelines. The new guidelines will hopefully prevent heart attacks and strokes in many patients who were previously not on statins to control cholesterol.

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About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

About Gina Lundberg, MD

Dr. Gina LundbergGina 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.

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.

We ♥ Wine – A Local Event Raises Awareness on Women’s Heart Disease

Emory Johns Creek Women's Heart Center Event

Dr. Gina Lundberg chats with guests at a presentation on the new Emory Women’s Heart Center.

Gina Price Lundberg, MD, Clinical Director of Emory Women’s Heart Center recently spoke to the group of almost 30 guests about women’s heart disease—which is now the leading cause of death and disability in women in the U.S.—to residents and members of St Ives Country Club at a private wine tasting event. The reason, Lundberg explains, is that women’s heart disease symptoms can be dramatically different from men’s—and alarmingly subtle. In some cases, Lundberg explains, women who were having heart attacks thought they merely had a bad case of the flu.

Hence the creation of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, which originated at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and has now expanded to locations in Johns Creek, Midtown and East Cobb. With the help of Dr. Lundberg, the Emory Johns Creek Hospital team introduced the new  Emory Women’s Heart Center at the event, where Johns Creek Wine & Crystal provided wine service. On the menu were a trio of wines from Ehler’s Estates, a California winery owned by the non-profit Leducq Foundation, which awards more than $30 million annually to directly support international cardiovascular research. One of the cabernets served was appropriately labeled One Twenty Over Eighty.

Additional locations are opening soon in Decatur and on Clifton Road. The mission of the Women’s Heart Center, she says, is to educate women as well as their physicians about the differences in women’s cardiac symptoms and risk factors. Emory Women’s Heart Center also offers an innovative program of one-on-one screenings that are tailored to each woman and take about two hours to complete. Lundberg says these screenings are designed for women who think they may be at higher risk but are not currently under the care of a cardiologist. “If you’ve already had a heart attack or are currently seeing a cardiologist, continue long term follow up for risk reduction,” she advises.

Laboratory and nursing staff from Emory Johns Creek hospital provided free blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Jeffery Hershey, MD, of Emory Heart and Vascular at Johns Creek, used the screening results to calculate preliminary risk scores for the guests.

For more information about Emory Women’s Heart Center, visit To schedule an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.

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Emory Cardiologist Elected President of American Society for Preventive Cardiology

Emory Heart & Vascular CenterEmory Heart & Vascular cardiologist, Laurence S. Sperling, MD, was recently named the president-elect of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC). Dr. Sperling’s two-year-term will begin in 2014.

The ASPC was founded in 1975 and represents the increasingly multidisciplinary group of healthcare providers (including nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians and other healthcare specialists in addition to physicians) along with researchers and industry representatives who share an interest in and passion for preventive cardiology.

Dr. Sperling is the medical director of the Emory’s Heart Disease Prevention Center and also serves as medical director for a number of unique programs at Emory including the HeartWise Risk Reduction Program and Optimal Living. In 2004, Dr. Sperling founded and currently directs the first and only LDL apheresis program in the state of Georgia. He has also been instrumental in the development of the Emory Women’s Heart Center which will be opening up two new locations, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory Johns Creek Hospital, in September 2014.

Sperling has been an investigator in a number of important clinical trials and has authored more than 150 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters. He is co-editor of the American College of Cardiology’s Diabetes Self Assessment Program and has served as special consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2011, Sperling has served annually on the U.S. News & World Report’s panel of 22 national dietary experts evaluating the country’s most popular diets for the publication’s “Best Diets” rankings.

Congratulations Dr. Sperling! We are happy to have you on the Emory team.

About Dr. Laurence Sperling

Dr. Laurence Sperling

Dr. Sperling specializes in internal medicine and cardiology—his areas of clinical interest are cardiac catheterization, cardiac rehabilitation, general cardiology, echocardiogram, lipid metabolism, and electron beam computed tomography. Dr. Sperling has received various awards from the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association Council, and Emory University Hospital and has been a special consultant to the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Sperling received his undergraduate degree from Emory College and graduated with his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in 1989. He subsequently completed eight additional years of training at Emory, including a residency in internal medicine, chief resident year at Emory University Hospital, a National Institutes of Health-supported research fellowship in molecular and vascular medicine and a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular diseases.

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New Treatments for High Risk Complex Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Patients

Aortic Aneurysm TreatmentIn recent years, endovascular techniques have greatly improved the safety of surgical treatment for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) who had concomitant health conditions that affect cardio-pulmonary and renal function. Because many patients with AAAs do not qualify for endo-vascular repair, newer procedures called “fenestrated and branched endografts” were designed as an alternative for these patients. Until recently, fenestrated endografts were not commercially available and surgeons had to modify grafts themselves to repair the AAAs. In November of 2012, Emory vascular surgeons Yazan Duwayri, MD, and Ravi Veeraswamy, MD, performed Georgia’s first implantation of an U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved fenestrated graft. The new device can be used to repair aneurysms in patients who are not candidates for other traditional repair options.

Treatment Options for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Emory offers the full range of treatment options for abdominal aortic aneurysms, including open and endovascular repair techniques. For patients who are not candidates for the newer FDA-approved devices, Emory surgeons still offer open surgical and endovascular repair using the chimney and snorkel techniques. We tailor AAA treatment, selecting the treatment option that is most appropriate for each patient. Learn more about our

There are many benefits to fenestrated endovascular repair including:

  • Shorter days in ICU
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer mortalities
  • Fewer complications post surgery
  • Shorter average number of days to resume normal diet
  • Fewer days spent in the hospital

Fenestrated Graft Procedure Video

Learn more about fenestrated and branched endografts >>

Dr. Ravi VeeraswamyAbout Ravi Veeraswamy, MD

Dr. Veeraswamy specializes in vascular surgery, and has been practicing with Emory since 2006. Some of his areas of clinical interest include aortic aneurysm repair, carotid endarterectomy and stenting, 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.


Yazan Duwayri, M.D.About Yazan Duwayri, MD

Dr. Duwayri specializes in endoluminal and endovascular 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. He has published articles in several journals including the Journal of Vascular Surgery and Annals of Vascular Surgery, in addition to several textbook chapters.

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Heart-Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes to Spice Up Your Summer Cooking!

healthy salad dressing recipesSo your cardiologist told you to eat more olive oil…

An important component of a heart healthy diet is lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). One way to combine these is in salads. With summer upon us there is an abundance of vegetables to fill your bowl with! Add nuts, avocado and beans to your salads for added heart healthy benefits.

The essentials of creating a vinaigrette are using about a 3:1 mixture of EVOO and vinegar. Then you can add mustard, honey, agave, roasted tomatoes, shallots etc to taste. Experiment and see what works best for you and your tastes! For flavored oils and vinegars I recommend “Oli and Ve” with locations in Roswell and Buckhead.

Standard Healthy Vinaigrette Recipe (one serving):

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Wisk components in a cup and pour over salad.  (Add one teaspoon honey/agave nectar) if you like it a little sweeter)

Healthy Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette Recipe (two servings)

(Recipe requires a food processor of some sort. I use a handheld blender)

  • 2 tablespoon EVOO
  • 6 roasted tomato halves (in oil)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or agave nectar)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

Blend components with handheld mixer and serve over salad. If dressing is too thick add a little more EVOO and blend again.

Healthy Shallot Vinaigrette (two servings)

  • 1 shallot – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

Wisk components together and pour over salad.

Salad Recipe Ideas

  • Arugula with basil, steamed beets, walnuts, goat cheese. Dress with blood orange EVOO and cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar (3:1 ratio with a touch of salt and pepper).
  • Spinach with grapefruit, pecans, parmesan cheese. Dress with standard vinaigrette.
  • Mixed baby field greens, strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese. Dress with basil EVOO and strawberry balsamic vinegar (3:1 ratio with a touch of salt and pepper).
  • Steamed green beans:
    • Steam a cup of green beans and while warm, dress with a tablespoon of EVOO and 1-2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Toss ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dr. Alexis Cutchins

About Alexis Cutchins, MD
Dr. Cutchins recently completed her cardiology fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center and specializes in general cardiology, heart disease prevention and has a passion for caring for women with heart disease. She sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Perimeter – 875 Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30342, 404-778-6070 as well as at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Midtown, 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-686-7878.


About the Emory Women’s Heart Program
Emory Women’s Heart Program provides cardiac risk assessment, diagnosis and heart disease care through a women-focused approach to cardiovascular care. 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. For more information visit the Emory Women’s Heart Program website.

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Understanding Heart Disease in Women

Dr. Farheen Shirazi

Dr. Farheen Shirazi

Dr. Farheen Shirazi, Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist, recently conducted a live web chat on the topic of women and heart disease. During the chat, Dr. Shirazi provided participants with information ranging from how women can prevent heart disease to the importance of getting treatment right away, and details on the latest research underway to combat heart disease in women.

One of our attendees in Tuesday’s chat asked Dr. Shirazi, “What is the best diet for patients with heart disease?” Dr. Shirazi noted that the most effective diet will depend on each person’s specific risk factors for heart disease, but in general, the most recent evidence suggests that the Mediterranean diet is heart healthy. Dr. Shirazi explained that the Mediterranean Diet is rich in lean protein (poultry), good fats (olive oil) and omega-3s (fatty fish), and low in saturated fats and bad carbohydrates. And like any healthy diet, the Mediterranean Diet is low in sodium and loaded with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another great question fielded by Dr. Shirazi in Tuesday’s live chat was related to symptoms and warning signs of heart disease, “I have read that symptoms of coronary heart disease are different in woman than in men, but when symptoms present, at what point should you seek medical attention? I sometimes feel chest discomfort, even sharp pains, but how will I know if it’s more serious than say stress for example?” Dr. Shirazi says patients should trust their instincts if something doesn’t “feel right,” in which case, Dr. Shirazi recommends seeing a medical professional. “A provider will be able to evaluate your symptoms and do appropriate screening. If you’re having any symptoms such as: chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, excessive fatigue, dizziness, loss of consciousness, or abdominal pain (to list a few), you should see your primary care physician. Your cardiologist will then be able to further assess your risk for heart disease,” she says.

In addition to the questions above, Dr. Shirazi answered questions related to cholesterol levels, hormone replacement therapy, and several other topics specific to heart disease in women. Most importantly, though, she reminded participants to take action immediately if they are at risk for, or experiencing symptoms of, heart disease.

For more information, check out the Women and Heart Disease chat transcript.

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Two Emory Physicians Receive Prestigious Cardiovascular Awards from the American College of Cardiology!

Emory physicians Nanette Wenger, MD and Vinod Thourani, MD were recently awarded prestigious honors from the American College of Cardiology.

Nanette K. Wenger, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, was recently honored by the American College of Cardiology with its inaugural 2013 Distinguished Mentor Award in recognition of her dedication to mentorship and tremendous role in shaping the careers of current and future leaders in cardiology.

“Throughout my career, mentoring women and men in cardiology, including students, residents, cardiology trainees, faculty, and community physicians, has been equally a passion and a reward,” says Wenger. “The science and practice of cardiology will be advanced by its emerging leaders, and it has been my privilege to contribute to their progress.”

Dr. Wenger is internationally recognized as a leading authority on coronary heart disease in women and has accumulated dozens of prestigious awards throughout her career. Her greatest legacy is changing the face of cardiology. In 1993, Wenger coauthored a landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine that aggressively addressed the prejudice that heart disease was a man’s disease. Research led by Wenger resulted in significant changes to the way drugs and hormones

Dr. Wenger came to Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in 1958 and since then she has been a trailblazer and icon in the field of cardiology as author and co-author of more than 1,400 scientific and review articles and book chapters.  Wenger helped write the 2011 Guidelines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women. In 2009, her fiftieth year at Emory, Wenger’s extraordinary career achievements were celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology.

Vinod Thourani, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and cardiothoracic surgeon at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center has been awarded the W. Proctor Harvey, MD, Young Teacher Award at the 2013 American College of Cardiology’s (ACC). He was one of two recipients to receive the prestigious award this year, which is awarded every two years.  The award recognizes and honors a promising young member of the American College of Cardiology who has distinguished him or herself by dedication and skill in teaching, and to stimulate, as far as possible, continued careers in education. Thourani was selected from among a highly competitive group of academic cardiologists to receive the award.

“I am honored to be given this teaching award from the ACC,”” says Thourani, who is an associate professor of surgery, in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. “”Teaching the next generation of physicians, and mentoring them to be the best they can be, is critical in academic medicine, and to the health care system as a whole. I thoroughly enjoy the teaching component of my profession.”

About Dr. Wenger

Dr. Wenger is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine and a Consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center. Dr. Wenger is a graduate of Hunter College (summa cum laude) and the Harvard Medical School. She had her residency training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology fellowship at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and additional Fellowship in Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Wenger is a Past Vice-President of the American Heart Association, past Governor for Georgia of the American College of Cardiology, is a Past-President of the Georgia Heart Association. She has served as a member and frequently chairperson of over 500 committees, scientific advisory boards, task forces, and councils of the American Medical Association, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Society of Geriatric Cardiology. Dr. Wenger is also active in a variety of state and local charitable, cultural, and religious organizations. She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Geriatric Cardiology, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and the American College of Chest Physicians. She is a Master of the American College of Physicians. The American Heart Association awarded her the Distinguished Achievement Award, the Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, and the highest award of the Association, the Gold Heart Award 

About Dr. Thourani

Dr. Thourani specializes in percutaneous transcatheter (transfemoral, transapical, transapical) and minimally invasive aortic valve surgery, minimally invasive mitral valve repair and replacement, aortic valve surgery and ascending aortic aneurysm repair, lone and concomitant atrial fibrillation surgery, and on and off pump coronary artery revascularization. As Associate Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Research Unit, Dr. Thourani is developing innovative strategies and devices to treat cardiothoracic diseases, specifically in the field of structural heart disease and valve surgery. He is a local surgical Co-PI for the multi-center PARTNER transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) trials. PARTNER 1 was instrumental in influencing the FDA’s 2011 approval of the the SAPIEN™ transfemoral transcatheter heart valve for treatment of high-risk patients with aortic stenosis. In 2012 Dr. Thourani presented the results of the PARTNER 2 trial, which showed that TAVR was not only as effective as the alternative minimally invasive technique, but might also be safer in the short term. Dr. Thourani is a member of multiple national leadership and publication committees for the treatment of valve surgery using percutaneous or minimally invasive techniques

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