It’s not every day that the leaders of the two most prominent cardiology and cardiovascular organizations in the United States come from the same hospital. In fact, it has never happened—until this year.
Patrick O’Gara, MD, BWH’s director of Clinical Cardiology, serves as president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and Elliott Antman, MD, also of BWH’s Cardiovascular Division and the TIMI Study Group, is president-elect of the American Heart Association (AHA). Antman will officially assume the role of AHA president in July.
Additionally, Mark Creager, MD, the director of Vascular Medicine in the Cardiovascular Division, will become president-elect once Antman takes over the leading role this summer, providing another year of AHA leadership by a BWH physician.
Other members of the division also serve, or have served, in prominent roles in the field, as journal and textbook editors and study chairs, including BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, former director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Department of Medicine Chair Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, editor of the journal Circulation and co-editor of Harrison’s Practice of Internal Medicine; Lawrence Cohn, MD, editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Cardiac Surgery in the Adult; Deepak Bhatt, MD, MPH, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Invasive Cardiology; and Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, past-president of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. Peter Libby, MD, serves as a senior editor of Braunwald’s Heart Disease, the premier textbook of cardiology, first edited by BWH’s Eugene Braunwald, MD.
“These positions provide considerable testimony to the excellence of the BWH faculty, as manifested by the many scholarly, research, educational and clinical innovation activities authored by my peers,” said O’Gara, who joined BWH nearly two decades ago. “These individuals have been recognized for their leadership and effectiveness; BWH has provided a unique environment for cultivation of such qualities. We all share the same aspirations: namely, being able to help lead in the fight against cardiovascular disease. We hope to direct the efforts of our colleagues for the benefit of patients and families and focus on reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease here and abroad.”
O’Gara and Antman are already using their BWH ties to benefit their respective organizations through collaboration. They have identified areas of partnership, including educational activities and improving the process of guideline development, in which they “think working together will trump doing things alone,” said O’Gara.
“BWH is recognized internationally as a center that conducts ground-breaking basic and clinical research,” said Antman. “It is also known for translating discoveries effectively and efficiently to the bedside of patients in need of innovative approaches to care. The leadership roles we play now and in the near future will enhance our ability to build on those traditions and raise new opportunities for scientific collaboration on both the domestic and international levels.”
As for the clinical practice of cardiology itself, it has changed considerably at BWH, marked by an increase in patient activity; procedures; innovative programs, including transcatheter valve replacements and ventricular assist; faculty growth; and research funding. O’Gara says BWH has distinguished itself as among the leading academic cardiovascular divisions worldwide.
“Serving in such a leadership role is a terrific opportunity to make a difference,” he said. “I’m honored to have this opportunity and intend to work hard to further the goals of improving the care of patients, helping colleagues achieve their professional goals and advancing the cause of cardiovascular disease research.”
Added Antman: “It is a true joy to come to work every day at BWH and now a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use experiences gained here as we represent our respective professional cardiovascular societies.”
Mehra, who serves as medical director of the BWH Heart and Vascular Center, a global leader in integrated and innovative care delivery that consistently breaks boundaries in heart and vascular research, expressed his pride in BWH’s leadership in this arena.
“We are particularly honored to count amongst us the unique constellation of pinnacle leaders of the most influential colleges and societies that exemplify progress in heart and vascular care,” said Mehra.