Leading cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and affiliated specialists from regional health systems including St. Clair Health, Allegheny Health Network, and UPMC recently gathered for the fourth annual Pittsburgh Heart Team Summit at PNC Park. This year’s symposium drew the largest number of attendees ever for a full day of presentations and discussions dedicated to improving the care of patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Nearly 30 resident physicians presented medical research during five sessions moderated by a panel of regional experts, while another 10 showcased their studies through posters. Topics included arrhythmias, left atrial appendage management, pulmonary embolism, right heart failure, cardiovascular imaging, valve disease, coronary artery disease, women’s heart disease, and more.
New this year, St. Clair Health and event sponsor Edwards Lifesciences hosted a breakout session for valve clinic coordinators (VCCs) from across Western Pennsylvania. After successfully performing the first same-day transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in the region in 2021, the St. Clair Health cardiovascular services team is committed to sharing best practices to ensure other health systems can also work to enhance and innovate patient care.
“With cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in Pennsylvania, it’s critical to encourage team work both across and within health systems,” said Andy C. Kiser, MD, MBA, FACS, FACC, FCCP, Physician-in-Chief of Cardiovascular Services at St. Clair Health. “The summit was created to encourage this sort of collaboration, which will enable us all to advance patient care and improve the lives of patients fighting cardiovascular disease in our region.”
The day concluded with the Left Field Chat featuring Blase Carabello, MD, Emeritus Professor and Chief of the Division of Cardiology at East Carolina Heart Institute, and Michael Mack, MD, Director of Cardiac Surgery at Baylor, Scott and White Health. According to Dr. Kiser, “Drs. Carabello and Mack are two of the most influential physicians in cardiovascular medicine today.”
The keynote speakers discussed the importance of mentorship and career development with Dr. Kiser before taking to the baseball field to throw the ceremonial first pitch with Michael J. Bashline, MD, an advanced cardiovascular fellow at UPMC, who authored the abstract that was deemed the best of those submitted.
The Pittsburgh Team Heart Summit has grown since it was first introduced in 2019—when pioneering cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Kiser was welcomed as Chief of Cardiac Surgery at St. Clair Health. Under his leadership, the cardiac care program at St. Clair Health has flourished and become well-known across the region for its increasingly complex surgeries, award-winning best practices and standards of care, and remarkable patient outcomes.
About St. Clair Health
St. Clair Health is a nationally recognized, integrated health system with more than 2,500 employees and 600 physicians serving 500,000 residents of the region. It encompasses St. Clair Hospital; St. Clair Medical Group—a 135-physician multispecialty group; St. Clair Health Foundation; and other related entities. In 2016, St. Clair Health became Western Pennsylvania’s exclusive member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. As a leader in high value healthcare, it participates with all major insurers. For more information, visit: www.stclair.org.
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