Monday, September 20, 2010

Talks from 3rd Symposium on The FUTURE of HEART HEALTH

Sam Cohen Auditorium,

St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre
351 Tache Ave.
Saturday, September 25, 2010

Moderator: Richard Cloutier, News Director
CJOB 68, Manitoba's Information Superstation


8:45 am

Dr. Michel Tetreault – President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital
Dr. Alan Menkis – Medical Director, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Cardiac Sciences Program and Section Head of Cardiac Surgery, University of Manitoba

Session 1
What We Can Learn From The U.S. Health Care System, What They Can Learn From Us

9:00 am
The Honorable Senator Sharon Carstairs – Member of Canada’s Senate
Dr. Jeffrey Rich – Adult Cardiac Surgery, General Thoracic Surgery, Norfolk, Virginia
Discussion Panel: Dr. Hilary Grocott, Dr. Michael Mack

Session 2
Integrated Delivery Of Cardiac Care (Convergence)

10:00 am
Dr. Michael Mack – Chairman of the Board, Cardiopulmonary Research Science and Technology Institute; Medical Director Cardiovascular Services and Director of Transplantation, Medical City Dallas Hospital, Dallas, Texas
Dr. Arvind Koshal – Director of Development and External Affairs, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute
Discussion Panel: Mr. Francis LaBossiere, Dr. Alan Menkis, Dr. David Taggart, Ms Sheila Bowles

Session 3
Hospitals, Are You Promoting Healthy Living in The Workplace ?

11:00 am
Dr. Sharon Macdonald - Department Head, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Discussion Panel: Dr. Arvind Koshal, Mr. Francis LaBossiere, Ms. Lorraine Avery

Session 4
Your Genes Can Tell Dosages You Need !

12:50 pm
Dr. Jennifer Hall – Associate Professor of Medicine; Director, Program in Translational Cardiovascular Genomics, Lillehei Heart Institute Developmental Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Discussion Panel: Ms. Susan Mertin, Dr. Pawan Singal, Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, Dr. Rob Ariano

Session 5
Making Your Heart Stand Still: Advances In MR Technology For Cardiac Diagnoses

Dr. Ian Smith – General Director, National Research Council Institute for Biodiagnostics, Winnipeg
Dr. John Saunders – Chief Scientific Officer, Founder of IMRIS, Winnipeg
Discussion Panel: Dr. Michael Mack, Dr. Davinder Jassal

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Debate
Angioplasty and Stents are Better Revascularization Than Cardiac Surgery

Pro: Dr. John Ducas - Section of Cardiology, St. Boniface General Hospital
Con: Dr. David Taggart – Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Oxford, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom
Open Discussion

For or more information
please contact:

1-204-228 3193

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We need to worry about children!

We faced a shock 3 years ago when our new grandson was found to have a hole in his heart. I was able to confirm with some of the leading specialists in the wold (my friends) that he would need surgery. And one of best pediatric cardiac surgeons FIXED Christopher last year (this is one heart problem which can be fixed once and for all!). I visited him recently and watch his pony-riding class which he loves!

But now I have heard a much sadder story about the Gable family - be sure to look at the video = what can we do about H C M ?

An article for the FREE PRESS

Networking, knowledge sharing aim of heart conference

By Peter Carlyle-Gordge

For the Free Press

Winnipeg is often described as the heart of the continent.

The city is also becoming well known as a centre for excellence in the field of heart health, and that fact will again be illustrated Sept. 25 when the third Symposium on the Future of Heart Health will be held in the Sam Cohen Auditorium of the St. Boniface Research Centre.

The biennial gathering will attract some leading heart specialists, including Dr. David Taggart, Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at Oxford University as well as Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at the world famous John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England.

Also slated to speak are: Dr. Ian Smith, General Director of the National Research Council Institute for Biodiagnostics; Dr. Jennifer Hall, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Program in Translational Cardiovascular Genomics at Lillehei Heart Institute Developmental Biology Centre at the University of Minnesota; Dr. Arvind Koshal, Director of Development and External Affairs at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute; and Dr. Michael Mack, board chair of the Cardiopulmonary Research Science and Technology Institute, Medical Director of Cardiovascular Services and Director of Transplantation, at the Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Many other experts, including local ones, will be taking part in the Symposium which is organized by the University of Manitoba’s Cardiac Sciences program and by the International Academy of Cardiac Sciences.

Ivan Berkowitz, a conference coordinator who also has the title Heart Health Scholar, has long been dedicated to shining a bright light on the field of cardiovascular health and in getting heart specialists and researchers to network, compare notes, share knowledge and generally get more attention and funding for the discipline. “This Symposium isn’t overly technical so the layman can learn something from it, but it isn’t A-B-C stuff either,” Berkowitz says. “Our aim is to bring together a variety of experts who can share information and ideas.”

Berkowitz lost both parents to heart disease at relatively young ages, so he has a very personal interest in trying to advance the sharing of knowledge and improving both prevention and treatment programs.

“One problem is that hospitals and doctors are just so busy trying to treat people suffering with the disease that they have little time to focus on education and prevention,” he says. “New technologies and treatments are very important, but early detection and education programs to prevent the onset of the disease are also vital.”

He says heart health education presents a huge opportunity for a healthier society.“We know that 80 per cent of cardiovascular disease could be prevented but you have to start with young people,” he says. “About one in three deaths is cardiovascular related. It’s very important to see how other specialists are approaching treatment and prevention and that’s one reason the International Academy of Cardiac Sciences was established here. We want to get experts from all over the world talking to each other and sharing knowledge.”

The International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS) was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Winnipeg. Established by renowned cardiovascular scientists, surgeons and cardiologists, the academy provides the organizational structure for the worldwide sharing of research and education information in the field of heart health.

Although great strides have been made in improving the death rate from heart disease, heart attacks and related problems are still the No. 1 killer. The academy believes that research has found answers but the facts are too slow in moving beyond the laboratories to the bedside. The Academy, through world-wide representation, builds connectivity and encourages networking through traditional means of journals, texts and symposia, a quarterly official bulletin CV Network, as well as through an interactive website: It aims to organize cardiovascular teach-ins all over the world for the continued education of practicing physicians, surgeons and experimental cardiologists. Another goal is to establish
cardiovascular forums in all major cities of the world for organizing and increasing the interaction of clinical cardiologists and surgeons with basic scientists.

The Academy is registered to give tax-deductible receipts in Canada (International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences Inc.) as well as in the United States (Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences Foundation USA Inc.). The Academy has been strongly supported locally by the Myles Robinson Memorial Heart Trust.

Berkowitz says we seem to be facing a global pandemic of cardiovascular disease “which shows all the signs of getting worse”. He says some experts claim this is due to the urbanization of many populations, a move that often goes along with a change for the worse in diet and less emphasis on physical exercise. He says fighting the disease depends on earlier detection, education and a cooperative, interactive approach to sharing knowledge and medical skills. “People do need to take better care of themselves and we all have room for improvement,” he adds. “I’m very proud that Winnipeg is able to attract so many distinguished heart specialists to discuss these challenges.”

Berkowitz has his own formula for staying well. His family has summered at a cottage on Trout Lake near Kenora since the 1940s and he’s developed his own program of diet and exercise. “I call it the Trout Lake Diet rather than the South Beach Diet,” he laughs.

The symposium will be moderated by CJOB radio’s Richard Cloutier and will begin with remarks by Dr. Michel Tetreault, president & CEO of St. Boniface Hospital. Also speaking will be Dr. Alan Menkis, the Medical Director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Cardiac Sciences Program. He is also Section Head of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Manitoba and was recently elected as a Fellow of the IACS.

Dr. Menkis, says gatherings like this one are vitally important in sharing knowledge and seeing the big picture in cardiac health care. “We cover the whole spectrum of heart health from politics to public police, clinical innovation and basic research,” he says. “Usually we gather some world-renowned leaders in the field so we learn from them and also raise public consciousness about this important field. The goal is to improve health knowledge and look at best practices as well as getting a message to the public.”

He says Winnipeg is also home to many talented heart specialists so the flow of knowledge and networking is two-way. “Outsiders can also learn from how we have totally reorganized the delivery of heart care in the hospitals in this province,” he says. “We can all learn a lot from each other so this kind of sharing and cooperation helps everyone.” Dr. Menkis says Winnipeg is already a highly respected hearth health centre and has attracted some very talented doctors and researchers from overseas. He says the work of the National Research Council and companies such as Winnipeg-based IMRIS, which manufactures a wide range of imaging equipment — including magnetic resonance imaging and x-ray angiography for structural heart disease and electrophysiology — is renowned around the world.

He added that some of the symposium sessions will be perfectly intelligible to the general public and he expects attendance to be anywhere from 100 to 200.

For more information: Contact Ivan Berkowitz at (204) 228 3193


Wednesday, September 1, 2010



just click here

Friday, February 12, 2010

President Clinton's Heart Procedure: Common for Bypass Patients

Former President Bill Clinton underwent a successful heart procedure on Thursday at the Columbia campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital. Clinton was treated for symptoms of chest discomfort that he had experienced over the past several days, according to his cardiologist, Dr. Allan Schwartz.

After undergoing a battery of tests, Clinton received two stents in a coronary artery. The low-risk procedure involved inserting small metal mesh tubes into the artery to prop it open. The stents will remain within the artery permanently as scaffolding, allowing the vessel to stay open and accommodate blood flow. (See pictures of Clinton's North Korea rescue mission.)

"His prognosis is excellent," said Schwartz at a press conference on Thursday evening, adding that the former President was on his feet two hours after the hour-long procedure. "President Clinton has since been up and walking around and visiting with his family. He's in good spirits. We hope to have him go home tomorrow."

By Thursday evening, Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was with him at the hospital, and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who learned of her husband's condition before a meeting with President Obama in the White House, had traveled from Washington to New York City.

Clinton underwent quadruple-bypass surgery in 2004 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. That procedure was also prompted by symptoms of chest pain. Doctors took blood vessels from elsewhere in his body and grafted them onto his heart to circumvent four blocked heart arteries. In 2005, the former President underwent another operation to remove scar tissue and fluid that had built up in his body — complications of the bypass procedure. (Watch a video about Bill Clinton and Haiti.)

On Thursday, a series of tests, including an angiogram, an electrocardiogram and blood tests, showed no evidence of heart attack or damage to the heart. However, one of the four bypass grafts Clinton received six years ago was completely blocked. Doctors stented one of Clinton's coronary arteries to increase blood flow to the heart.

Cardiac experts say that the blockage of grafted heart vessels is not unusual in bypass patients. Depending on whether the grafts are veins or arteries — the former being smaller and less flexible than the latter — blockage could occur as soon as five years or as late as 10 years following the initial surgery. Schwartz said the bypass graft that was blocked in Clinton's case has about a 10% to 20% failure rate at five to six years. (Comment on this story)

"It's important to remember that blocked blood vessels are not an event but a disease," says Dr. Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association, who is not involved in Clinton's care but spoke in general about what to expect after bypass surgery. "We know blockages have their own natural history, and this just highlights the need to always be at the ready."

Clinton, 63, has spent much of the past several weeks in Haiti as the U.N. special envoy to that country, contributing to the relief efforts there after the catastrophic January earthquake. The former President has maintained a rigorous schedule since his bypass surgery, giving speeches, working with his global charitable foundation and accompanying his wife on the campaign trail during her own bid for President in 2008.

"This was not a result of either his lifestyle or his diet, which have been excellent," said Schwartz, referring to Clinton's procedure on Thursday. "His cholesterol numbers and other risk factors that we follow have all been excellent."

Even in patients who do everything right — eating a healthy diet, exercising and reducing stress to maintain heart health — new vessels can become blocked again, Yancy says, simply because heart disease is a progressive condition that is not cured by surgery. But it is that much more crucial for bypass patients to control risk factors, maintain healthy weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and not smoke in order to decrease the risk of future heart events. "This is a chronic condition," said Schwartz. "We don't have a cure."

Clinton's cardiologist emphasized that his patient was smart to respond promptly to the warning signals, like chest discomfort, that had been discussed in the past.

"The goal of this treatment is for President Clinton to resume his very active lifestyle," said Schwartz, who said he told Clinton he could go back to work on Monday. "It makes him less susceptible to future heart attacks."

Monday, February 8, 2010


Sir Magdi Yacoub, President IACS and Nabil Dib, President of ISCTR

at the ISCTR meeting in San Diego, February, 2009

Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Society of Cardiovascular Translational Research (ISCTR). Dr. Dhalla as Executive Director of IACS has agreed to recognize the "Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research" as an Official Journal of IACS.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been developed by Jennifer L. Hall, Ph.D. Vice President, ISCTR and Ivan Berkowitz, MBA, Director of Development, IACS to define and clarify the relationship between the IACS and the ISCTR. The two groups share a vision and a commitment to research and education. In brief, they seek to work in cooperation to further the Mission outlined below and to work toward the objective of setting up a shared management for raising funds, delivery of services and building the long-term viability of fulfilling this mission. The leadership of the organizations agree to work together the next twelve months with a focus on implementing the following objectives that will serve to accomplish the broader goals listed above:

1. Research

The goal is to establish research committees from both organizations to collaborate on research to help support the Mission. A goal will be for these committee members to work together to publish guidelines to move the field forward scientifically. The IACS and the ISCTR will work together in forming research committees each year to prioritize and review areas of focus - the committees will be formed in the fall, meet at the annual Summit Meeting in February, and have conference calls throughout the year to follow up.

2. Education

An educational committee will be formed to review and prioritize educational goals for the affiliated organizations. The main focus of this committee will be meetings, internet networking, the journal (JCTR) and training fellowships. This committee will include members from both organizations.

The goal is to support educational advancement of individuals and institutions that are committed to supporting the Mission. Both organizations will promote educational events and share information amongst members. Members of the IACS will be affiliated members of ISCTR and members of ISCTR will be affiliated members of the IACS. Links will be established between web sites of both organizations.

Plans are being developed for a brain-storming session during the Annual Meetings of A C C in Atlanta in March 2010.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

@hivanb/heart-health-experts Let's start sharing new highlights of CVD research and developments in care and prevention

Please sign up for a new TWITTER group and let's try to share ...

new from the American Heart Association = 7 simple standards for Heart Health

* Never smoked or quit more than one year ago

* Body mass index less than 25 kilograms per square meter

* Physical activity of at least 150 minutes (moderate) or 75 minutes (vigorous) each week

* Four to five of the key components of a healthy diet consistent with current AHA guideline recommendations

* Total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL

* Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg

* Fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL