Formerly known as “Heart Failure in the Heartland,” organizers rebranded their eleventh annual heart failure symposium in name only, now calling it “Heart Failure 360.” The focus has remained the same, offering attendees a full view of the state of diagnosis, therapeutics, and devices surrounding heart failure and its intersections with other conditions.
In addition to the critical information on supply that day, from the future of LVADs to untangling the knot of tricuspid valves, symposium co-chair Paulino Alvarez, MD, invited a very special guest to deliver perhaps the most powerful lesson of the day. Armin Muzafirović, has been a patient at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics since age 17 when he received a heart transplant. Since then he has stayed in close contact with his care team, some of whom were in attendance that afternoon.
Muzafirović shared the details of his health care journey with an expert audience who could appreciate the depth of the threats he faced and the hard recovery he has managed. In both the descriptions of all his growth and his plans for the future–finishing a pre-med degree at Northern Iowa, applying to medical school, or even a ski trip–but also in his poise and delivery, Muzafirović delivered a message beyond his expression of gratitude: What the health care providers in that room do matters, how they care for every person who comes through their doors makes a difference.
Though the rest of the day did not have quite the same emotional impact of that presentation, the organizers still provided attendees with a comprehensive overview of issues surrounding heart failure. Alex Briasoulis, MD, PhD, began the day with the current state of treatment and diagnosis. Arun Singhal, MD, PhD, covered the history of left ventricular atrial devices and Anthony Panos, MD, MSc, looked to the future of implantable devices. Mahi Ashwath, MD, closed the first section with an examination of chemotherapy’s impact on the heart and other cardiac side effects of cancer treatments.
After a break, Suzanne Hennings, ARNP, MSN, covered identifying patients who are candidates for heart monitors and how to interpret and manage that data. Pulmonary hypertension was the focus of Tracy Stewart, RN, MSN, as she provided the latest guidelines from a conference in Nice, interspersed with some “nice” photos of dogs. Pharmacist Laura Halder, PharmD, BCPS, took the group to lunch with an examination of medications at the intersection of heart failure and diabetes.
After lunch, Sidakpal Panaich, MD, ran everyone through the pathophysiology of tricuspid valve regurgitation and managing the condition. Jody Jones, PhD, stressed the importance of monitoring the mental health of people with heart failure.
To close out the day after Muzafirović’s presentation, Carla Pies, DNP, ARNP, expanded the definition of palliative care beyond hospice and when it can help treat heart failure. Rebecca Hegeman, MD, addressed diuretics and how cardiorenal syndrome should be treated. Leah Lenz, BS, MSPT, closed out the day by identifying the positive benefits exercise training can have as well as the pitfalls to avoid in the heart failure population.
Congratulations and thank-you to this year’s planning committee!
Paulino Alvarez, MD, Co-Chair
Alex Briasoulis, MD, Co-Chair
Suzanne Hemmings, ARNP, MSN, Co-Chair
Jessie Baker, ARNP, MSN
Jennifer Becker, ARNP, DNP