Sarver Heart Center Member Updates, July 2018

University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center members have shared their expertise as presenters at numerous conferences and authors of published studies in prestigious journals.

Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD, was an invited distinguished international speaker at the Egyptian Cardiology Association’s CardioEgypt 2018 meeting in Cairo, speaking on Biomarkers in Heart Failure: The Old and the New, Cardiogenic Shock: The Evolution of Patient and Device Selection for Acute Circulatory Support and HFpEF : Novel therapies: hope or dream? Dr. Sweitzer also has been an invited speaker at:

  • University of California San Francisco 34th Annual Advances in Heart Disease, speaking on HFpEF – Classification into Phenotypes, and Management of Right Ventricular Failure
  • 5th Annual Utah Cardiac Recovery Symposium
  • Cardiovascular medicine Grand Rounds, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Cardiovascular medicine Grand Rounds, Wake Forest University

She continues her work as a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Clinical Trials study section, a branch of the National Institutes of Health involved in evaluating the scientific merit of proposed large clinical research trials in heart disease. She has had multiple scientific publications in the past six months related to her work in large clinical trials in heart failure. She is editor in chief of the prominent heart failure scientific journal Circulation: Heart Failure, and in that role is increasing engagement of the community of young heart failure scientists in the journal using digital strategies and social media. Follow her on Twitter @DrNancySweitzer.

Dr. Sweitzer also co-authored with Dr. Sophia Airhart an editorial in Circulation on the importance of managing potassium levels to improve outcomes for heart failure patients.

Sophia Airhart, MD Sophia Airhart, MD, assistant professor of medicine, launched the University of Arizona’s participation in the Global Congestive Heart Failure Registry, which is a multicenter study that will explore demographics, socioeconomic and clinical factors, etiologies, pathophysiology, management, barriers to care, and outcomes in heart failure patients. The goal is to gain more knowledge about the current state of heart failure to direct future gains in prevention and treatment of this global disease.

Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine, is the lead author on four recent publications, including “Factors Related to Physician Clinical Decision-Making for African-American and Hispanic Patients: A Qualitative Meta-synthesis,” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities; “Same Story, Different Disease: It’s Time to Change the Storyline for Racial Minorities and Patients of Lower Socioeconomic Status,” Circulation: Heart Failure; “Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Readmission For Heart Failure Using Novel Tablet and Nurse Practitioner Education,” American Journal of Medicine; also presented as a poster presentation at International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation; “African-Americans Are Less Likely To Receive Care By A Cardiologist During An Intensive Care Unit Admission For Heart Failure,” JACC Heart Failure. Dr. Breathett also was appointed to the Oversight Advisory Committee for the American Heart Association-Strategically Focused Vascular Disease Research Network and collaborated with Imo Ebong, MD, a graduated cardiology fellow on Treating Heart Failure in the African American Patient,” a guideline for providers published by the American College of Cardiology.

Michael Grandner, MD Michael Grandner, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the UA Sleep and Health Research Program, was awarded a $3.6 million grant from National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health to study sleep health on the U.S.-Mexico Border. “The Nogales Cardiometabolic Health and Sleep Study” seeks to learn more about sleep health and sleep disorders in the border region, how sleep issues are related to social, behavioral and environmental factors and their potential role as risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Julia Indik, MD, PhD Julia Indik, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, was named Performance Question Editor-in-Chief for the American College of Cardiology’s Collaborative Maintenance Pathway, which is a new endeavor that will encompass all of the ACC’s Self-Assessment Program products. She also authored a chapter with Dr. Frank Marcus: Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, in a book titled Heart Failure in the Child and Young Adult: From Bench to Bedside, Academic Press, ELSEVIER, 2018, pp.291–296.

Raj Janardhanan, MD Raj Janardhanan, MD, was promoted to professor of medicine and has been invited to present at the American Society of Echocardiography 2018 Scientific Sessions. He also presented at the Indian Academy of Echocardiography, American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions (poster presentation with Kris Kumar, MD, resident, and Arun Kannan, MD, fellow) California Nuclear Cardiology Society and World Echo Conference in Varne, Bulgaria.

Karl Kern, MD Karl B. Kern, MD, professor of medicine, was the keynote speaker at the 2nd International CPR Conference of the Saudi Heart Association in November, and an invited international speaker at the 29th Annual Conference of the Saudi Heart Association Conference in March. He also was the plenary speaker at the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) Conference in New Orleans in December; invited speaker for Medicine Ground Rounds at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., in February; and delivered the Cleman’s Lecture at Yale University/Yale New Haven Hospital on March 27, a prestigious lecture series in honor of Dr. Michael Cleman, director of the Yale New Haven Hospital cardiac catheterization lab for over 30 years.

Jordan Lancaster, PhD Jordan Lancaster, PhD, was promoted to assistant research professor in the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, Division of Cardiology.

Kwan Lee, MD Kwan Lee, MD, associate professor of medicine and associate chief of cardiology, was inducted as president of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

Kapil Lotun, MD Kapil Lotun, MD, was promoted to professor of medicine in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Division of Cardiology.

Frank Marcus, MD Frank Marcus, MD, professor emeritus, was an invited speaker at the Family Support Meeting. “Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of ARVC” in San Francisco in January. He also wrote a chapter in ECG Masters Collection: Favorite ECGs from Master Teachers Around the World. He is an author on a published manuscript in the journal Circulation: Risk stratification in Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

Sharon Morgan, DNP, FNP-BC, AGACNP-BC Sharon Morgan, DNP, FNP-BC, AGACNP-BC, and her mentor, Kwan Lee, MD, associate professor of medicine, and received first place among nurse practitioners for their research poster, “Improving patient safety by decreasing hospital readmissions of cardiology patients using Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit (discharge phone calls). The winning entry was presented at the American College of Cardiology national conference in Orlando, Fla., in March. Dr. Morgan also was inducted as an Associate of the American College of Cardiology.

Marvin Slepian, MD Marvin J. Slepian, MD, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering, is president-elect of American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO). He co-chaired a bioengineering session, “Bleeding and von Willebrand Factor,” at ASAIO 2018. A number of students from his laboratory presented at the conference, including Kaitlyn Amman, Daniel Palomares, Yana Rokka-Moiia, Sanga Shir, Becca Slepian and Alice Sweedo. Dr. Slepian, who also is director of Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation, associate department head of biomedical engineering and the McGuire Scholar in the Eller College of Management, was part of the University of Arizona’s delegation at the 2018 KU-UA Joint International Symposium at Korea University in Seoul. The goal is to foster research collaborations between the two universities. Other invited presentations for Dr. Slepian included the 38th International Society for Heart Lung Transplantation in Nice, France; Swedish Heart and Vascular Center in Seattle; University of Southern California Surgery; 2018 Society for Thoracic Surgery – INTERMACS Meeting in Chicago; and C3 Complex Cardiovascular Catheter Therapeutics Conference in Orlando, Fla. 

Tam Truong, MD Huu Tam Truong, MD, assistant professor of medicine, received American Heart Association’s Young Investigator Award at the 2017 Scientific Session for his presentation, "Combining Mechanical Chest Compressions with a Percutaneous Left Ventricular Assist Device Improves Favorable Neurological Function after Cardiac Arrest in a Large Animal Catheterization Laboratory." His mentors were Karl Kern, MD, and Kapildeo Lotun, MD.