Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Research and Educational Update

Message from Christopher Kramer MD, Division Chief Cardiovascular Medicine

Christopher Kramer MDThe Division of Cardiovascular Medicine observed its 100th anniversary in June of 2023 with a 2-day celebration of its reputation for excellence in patient care, research, and education event for faculty, fellows, and alums. A scientific symposium was held with outstanding presentations from present and former faculty. A wide range of science was presented, from basic studies in murine models to large-scale clinical registries and examples of international health efforts. Former division chief George Beller MD, gave the opening talk, having been a medical student or faculty member at UVA for over half of the Division’s century of excellence. A social event at the Rotunda on Friday night and dinner the following night at the Boar’s Head rounded out the highly successful weekend. Some pictures from the event are included in this edition of Medicine Matters.

The CV Division comprises 42 clinical and six research faculty. We continue to grow rapidly, recruiting for six open positions (two heart failure/transplant, including a new director, one structural echocardiographer, one electrophysiologist, and two clinician investigators). The Division is extremely active clinically, with nearly $21 million in clinical revenue and over 264,000 work RVUs performed in fiscal year 2024. A 5th cardiac cath lab is operational 50% of the time with additional staffing, resulting in a 6% growth in interventional procedures from FY ‘23 to FY ‘24. Significant growth has been seen in advanced cardiac imaging procedures over the same period (20% increase in cardiac MRI, 15% for cardiac CTA, 10% for stress echo, and 9% for PET). We have received state approval for a cardiac-specific PET scanner at Fontaine, which should be installed in 2025. A Partnership with Riverside Hospital was initiated to interpret their cardiac magnetic resonance studies. Outpatients are seen at the UVA Main Hospital, Fontaine Research Park, and outreach clinic locations, including Fishersville, Zion’s Crossroads, and Culpepper. Over 54,000 outpatients are projected to be seen in FY ‘24 at these locations, representing an increase of 8% over FY ‘23.

Vice Chief for Research, Jonathan Lindner MD, provides an update on the research activities within the CV Division under a separate cover in this document. Grant expenditures
(direct) increased yearly from $7.6 to 8.6 million (a 12% increase).

The CV Division had a very successful year on the philanthropic front by procuring a $2 million Lawrence W. Gimple MD Clinical and Translational Research Fund from a grateful patient and a planned interventional fellowship fund gifted by the Lipson family. An endowed professorship is also in the works as part of an estate plan.

Additional highlights of the past year appear in our Accolades section.

~ Christopher Kramer MD

Research Update

Cardiovascular Medicine Division Research Retreat

UVA Cardiovascular MedicineThe University of Virginia Cardiovascular Division emphasizes promoting the activities of its physician-scientists and basic scientists, applying their knowledge and creativity to advancing patient health through science, discovery, and innovation. The history of impactful cardiovascular research at the University of Virginia spans over 100 years. The Division’s key scientific discoveries and accomplishments have been translated into human healthcare. The Division is also dedicated to training tomorrow’s scientists and providing resources to disseminate knowledge through education and scientific communication.

To maintain and grow cardiovascular scientific programs, the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine sponsored a one-day Strategic Research Retreat held on March 19 at the Forum Hotel in Charlottesville. The retreat was organized by the UVA Cardiovascular Division Research Oversight Committee and Chaired by Jonathan R. Lindner, Vice Chief for Research of the Division. It was attended by a diverse panel of basic scientists, clinical scientists, administrators, research coordinators, Foundation representatives, members of the Heart and Vascular Center leadership, and Health System research leadership, including Dr. Fred Epstein (Interim Vice President for Research) and Jeffrey Martens (Senior Associate Dean for Research). Scientists attending the retreat represented not only the Cardiovascular Division and the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Center but also the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Beirne Carter Center for Immunology Research, and the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics.

UVA Cardiovascular MedicineShort and long-term key strategic goals that emerged from the strategic retreat will now be used to create a roadmap of basic research, clinical research, and education tasks. These goals are summarized below.

• To further strengthen translational research by restructuring research conferences to be multidisciplinary, building programs that match clinical and pre-clinical research strengths, participation in the Manning Institute for Biotechnology, leveraging research-related opportunities offered by the University and School of Medicine, and the creation of a research concierge service for fostering collaborations and technology development.

• To ensure the health of the clinical research enterprise by establishing policies that incentivize research faculty to take part in strategic clinical research, engaging with the cardiology clinical research coordinator group to enhance retention and sense of value to create more extensive networks for clinical research enrollment, and to ensure flexibility in the clinical trial business model.
• To elevate the importance and impact of research training by recruiting research-oriented house staff for T32-funded training, restructuring research conferences and Grand Rounds series, and structured mentor selection.

• To work with Communications and Foundation groups to curate material highlighting research strengths and accomplishments to educate our colleagues and our community, including those interested in philanthropy.

Educational Update

Cardiac disease is the number one killer of Americans. As such, cardiac education plays an appropriately central part in medical school, residency, and beyond. We are lucky to have a division robust with world-class educators. Nearly 30 faculty members have spoken at regional, national, and international conferences in the last year alone. The third pillar of the academic mission is alive and well!

UVA Cardiovascular Medicine

Congratulations to third-year Cardiovascular fellow Nick Ashur (picture on the left with Dr Victor Soukoulis at the awards celebration) for receiving the prestigious UVA All-University Teaching Award at a ceremony hosted by the University President! Amazing accomplishment and well-deserved recognition!

The pre-clinical cardiology course continues to be an award-winning block within the medical school. The course has expanded its curriculum to include focused didactics on interactions between climate change and cardiovascular health, the impacts of racial and socioeconomic discrimination on cardiovascular outcomes, women’s cardiology, and LGBTQI+ medicine. There are new sessions on live interpretation of cardiopulmonary exercise stress tests and over six hours of one-on-one cardiovascular ultrasound scanning. We are fortunate to deliver lectures from nurses, pharmacists, social workers, physical therapists, and scientists. Cross-discipline case-based sessions with our pulmonary and renal colleagues allow for multidisciplinary learning. The cardiac ICU rotation for fourth-year medical students is uniformly full, and a new dedicated back-to-the-classroom intersession for clerkship students features two hours of cardiology cases taught by our CV fellows and IM residents. Dr. Kelly Wingerter recently completed her onboarding to serve as a co-system leader for the pre-clinical cardiology course, replacing Dr. Mohamed Morsy. We thank Dr. Morsy for his years of service as a system leader within the medical school!

Within the internal medicine residency program, the division is driven to continue transforming and finding new ways to reach our trainees. Efforts are being made in the inpatient cardiology services to drive curriculum innovation and help standardize an outstanding resident experience. Dr. Patricia Rodriguez Lozano has created a fantastic elective clinical rotation focused on women’s health in cardiology for residents interested in this vital field. Dr. Angela Taylor has done yeoman work to improve the culture of feedback within ICUs, providing robust opportunities for cross-vocational learning.

UVA Cardiovascular Medicine

Drs. Nick Ashur, Nisha Hosadurg, and Sami Ibrahim Virginia Jeopardy state champions.

We continue to have a truly exemplary group of fellows in the cardiovascular fellowship. We look forward to welcoming our outstanding new fellowship class soon after a great match. Our Jeopardy team, composed of Drs. Nick Ashur, Nisha Hosadurg, and Sami Ibrahim, were crowned state champions and represented Virginia on the national stage at ACC.24. Dr. Ashur was selected for the All-University Teaching Award, the most prestigious award at UVA that can be granted to a trainee, in recognition of his amazing dedication to teaching. On the education front, we have revamped our adult congenital learning experiences with the tireless help of Dr Asma Habib. As part of maintaining a truly cutting-edge curriculum, Drs. Rodriguez Lozano and Paul Montana have implemented and are studying the efficacy of a multidisciplinary series on Women’s Health with invited speakers from within the institution and nation. We have also created a novel system to provide our fellows with key ambulatory performance metrics as part of a multi-year effort to improve and transform performance feedback across all domains.

Ultimately, the fundamentals of how adults learn do not change over time. Learners, however, often will adopt new learning styles as technology moves. The division is dedicated to reaching the next generation of trainees as we continue to grow research, extend our services, and expand clinically. The future of cardiology—and cardiovascular medical education– is bright!

Cardiovascular Fellows 2024

UVA Cardiovascular Medicine
UVA Cardiovascular Medicine


Cardiology Centennial Celebration

UVA Cardiovascular MedicineThe Division of Cardiovascular Medicine held a 100th Anniversary Celebration on June 16 and June 17, 2023, with support from the University of Virginia Medical Alumni Association. Highlights of the event included a reception at the Rotunda, speaker programming, and a Centennial Gala at the Boar’s Head Resort. Over 100 former and current trainees, alums, faculty, staff, and guests attended.

UVA Cardiovascular MedicineThroughout its one-hundred-year history, the division has become nationally recognized for excellence in clinical care, research, and teaching. It has also become known as a place where teamwork and collaboration thrive.

UVA Cardiovascular MedicineThe celebration coincided with recognition from Becker’s Hospital Review, which named UVA Health’s Heart and Vascular Center to its 2023 list of 100 Hospitals and Health systems with Great Heart Programs.
“In the years that I was fortunate to be there, there was major growth in cardiology worldwide. Within a few years of my arrival, we started programs in echocardiography, interventional cardiology, preventive cardiology, and electrophysiology.”

Dr. George Beller – Division Chief 1977-2004 and 2007-2008

“The collegiality is a hallmark of the division. I saw that people never left here. They came and stayed, and it was a very cohesive group and has been ever since.”

Dr. Christopher Kramer – Division Chief 2019 – (current)

UVA Cardiovascular Medicine


• The Cardiovascular Division was ranked highly in Newsweek’s World’s Best Specialized Hospitals rankings.

• Fifteen Cardiovascular Division faculty and six Cardiovascular Division APPs won UVA Patient Experience Awards in 2023 for outstanding outpatient care based on patient surveys.

Antonio Abbate MD, PhD, will lead UVA on behalf of the American Heart Association as one of fifteen centers to educate and promote therapies for recurrent pericarditis.

Michael Ayers MD, received the American College of Cardiology (ACC) W. Proctor Harvey Young Teacher Award, the UVA Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and the UVA SOM Class of 2006 Faculty Teaching Award.

George Beller MD, Professor Emeritus, won the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Christopher Kramer MD, began his term as Vice President of the ACC. He will be installed as President on March 31, 2025.

Jonathan Lindner MD was named Chair of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) Research Committee and to the Board of Directors of the ASE Foundation, winning the Dean’s Excellence in Research Award.

Pamela Mason MD, won the Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Leadership Award and was named Chair-elect of the ACC Electrophysiology Section Leadership Council.

Michael Ragosta MD, was named co-lead of the Growth and Development committee of the Heart and Vascular Service Line.

Patricia Rodriguez Lozano MD, won the Workflow, Innovations, and Patient Award at CMR 2024 and was selected for the 2024-25 ACC Clinical Trials Research program.

Victor Soukoulis MD began his term as Governor-elect of the VA chapter of the ACC and was named to ACC Emerging Faculty 2.0.

Angela Taylor MD, was named to lead the Quality Committee of the Heart and Vascular Service Line.

Mike Valentine MD, was named to lead the Executive Council of the Heart and Vascular Service Line and Director of the Operations Committee of the Service Line. He is also the director of the UVA Health Leadership Institute.

New faculty that began this academic year included:

Afshan Alvi MD, general cardiology, Fishersville clinic.

David Guarraia MD, Director of Cardiovascular Prevention.

John Saxon MD, Medical Director of the Valve Program, profiled in this edition of Medicine Matters.

Todd Villines MD, cardiovascular imaging and general cardiology.

New faculty hired/rehired to begin in the fall of 2024 include:

Joseph Chung MD, general cardiology, former Loma Linda fellow.

Nisha Hosadurg MD, a former UVA fellow, cardiovascular imaging and women’s heart health.

Oliver Monfredi MD, electrophysiology and Director, Cardiac Lead Extraction Center, former UVA, and present Hopkins faculty member.

Rajan Patel MD, Interventional Cardiology Director, is at the Ochsner clinic.

Patrick Stafford MD, interventional cardiology, former UVA resident and fellow.

Sadly, we lost faculty member Lew Lipson MD, in December 2023 after a prolonged illness. A wonderful celebration of his life and contributions to the UVA CV Division was held at Alumni Hall on April 13, 2024.

Read the full edition of June 2024 Medicine Matters.

Filed Under: Basic Research, Clinical Research, DOM in the News, Education, In the Know, News and Notes, Notable Achievements, Publications, Research, Top News

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