Heart Failure in the Heartland Symposium Highlights, 10/13-14, 2016

Two days is barely enough to cover a fraction of the facets surrounding one of the world’s leading causes of death. The University of Iowa’s Heart and Vascular Center, together with the Department of Internal Medicine, hosted its eighth annual gathering to address as much as they could. This was the second year that it also stood as a Continuing Medical Education conference, and organizers reported that attendance had risen from the previous year. One attendee was overheard to say that she had just come off a week of night shifts, but refused to let that stop her from attending this year.

“Healing Hearts, Changing Lives” was the symposium’s subtitle. Physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners each brought their unique expertise to the Sheraton Hotel in Iowa City. Attendees included nurses, primary care physicians, and other health care professionals from across the state and around the region. The speakers themselves represented both a cross-section of departments in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as well as of the middle of the country, with some of the foremost practitioners of cardiovascular medicine traveling from Minneapolis, Chicago, and Houston.

On the first day, Course Director Angie Schadler, DNP, ARNP, kicked things off with an evaluation of the direction that care of patients with heart failure is taking. In the late morning Laura Halder, PharmD, considered some of the pharmaceutical breakthroughs in treating heart failure. After lunch, the topics shifted from pharmaceuticals to mechanics. Dr. Jerry Estep offered tips on evaluating a patient for mechanical intervention. Dr. Jay Bhama profiled recent device innovations.

Day Two offered as much insight into the measurement and management of patients with heart failure as well as the ways in which heart failure can intersect with patients’ other health problems. Dr. Brian Olshansky gave an overview of recent changes in electrophysiology, including when to recommend rhythm control instead of devices such as implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Dr. Alicia Gerke broke down the different categories of pulmonary hypertension, their characteristics, causes, and recommended treatments. Dr. Ferhaan Ahmad explained how effective screening for genetic markers for heart failure can head off many problems before they become unmanageable. Cardiac rehabilitation can be critical for many patients, and Dr. Michael Muellerleile detailed the nuts and bolts of it. Many more engaging presentations, including ones from first-year Cardiovascular Disease Fellow Dr. Chakradhari Inampudi, cardiologist Dr. KellyAnn Light-McGroary, and Nephrology Division Interim Director Dr. Rebecca Hegeman, rounded out the day.

Congratulations and thank you to the planning committee on a successful event!

Jay K. Bhama, MD, Co-Chair
Cara Boeding, RN
Vlad Cotarlan, MD, Co-Chair
Kaitlyn Dubishar, MS
Carolyn Laxson, RN
Angie Schadler, DNP, ARNP, Co-Chair
Traci Stewart, MSN, RN
Amanda Yeast, RN

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