The Pulse of ACC | Sports Cardiology in the Spotlight; Call For Applications; More

Sports Cardiology in the Spotlight

As sports cardiology expands from an interest to a competency, there is need for more structured training and education around contemporary care and practice management strategies for all athletes – from the elite to the exercise enthusiast. The ACC Care of the Athletic Heart conference, which took place last month at ACC's Heart House headquarters in Washington, DC, and virtually, took this call to action to heart.

"Our educational focus is on the clinical cardiovascular care of athletes and highly active individuals, ranging in age from youth to masters and including recreational, competitive and tactical athletes. In this regard, the course content is highly relevant not just to sports cardiologists, but also a range of clinicians who see athletic patients in their practice, including general cardiologists, other cardiology subspecialists, cardiovascular care team members and sports medicine clinicians," said Meagan Wasfy, MD, MPH, FACC, course chair and sports cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Session highlights included presentations and discussions with experts around:

  • Understanding Social Determinants of Athlete Health
  • How to Engage Your Community: Practical Aspects of Screening and Emergency Action Planning
  • Shared Decision-Making: The Athlete's Perspective
  • Fuel to the Fire: Diet, Supplements and Performance Enhancing Drugs

"Sports cardiology has emerged as a subspecialty over the last decade, and cardiologists are increasingly aware of the specialized care and nuanced decision-making that this population requires. High profile cases of sudden cardiac arrest in elite athletes in recent years has reminded the cardiology community of the challenging questions posed to cardiologists in these settings.

Questions like: How do we prevent cardiac arrest in athletes? Can an athlete return to play after cardiac arrest? Who should be making this decision and what is the evidence guiding recommendations," said Jeffrey Hsu, MD, PhD, FACC, course vice chair and sports cardiologist at UCLA Health in Los Angeles.

Clinical cases and posters were also presented during the conference, touching on topics like:

  • Social Disparities, Experiences with Discrimination, and Cardiovascular Phenotypes in Black and White Collegiate American-Style Football Players
  • Exercise-Induced Ventricular Fibrillation Cardiac Arrest in a Firefighter Using Intramuscular Testosterone with Segmental Pulmonary Embolism and Coronary Arterial Thrombosis
  • Heart Paradox: A Case of Ventricular Fibrillation in Prescence of Commotio Cordis and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

ACC Care of the Athletic Heart 2024 will be available for virtual attendance and part of the ACC Anywhere platform. Click here to see the agenda and learn more.

Click here to read the press release from a study presented at the conference looking at young athletes and their risk for hypertension.

Sports Cardiology in the Spotlight

Call For Applications

The ACC is seeking applications through Aug. 28 for both the Hani Najm Global Scholar Award Observership Program and the William A. Zoghbi International Research Award.

As part of the Hani Najm Global Scholar Award Observership Program, early career cardiologists residing in the Middle East and Africa are invited to apply for the opportunity to elevate their training by completing a three- to four-week observership program in the U.S. Under the program, award recipients will shadow practicing cardiologists and health professionals at a U.S. hospital, watch procedures and surgeries firsthand, and take part in patient rounds and teaching conferences. They will also attend ACC.25 in Chicago, IL.

The William A. Zoghbi International Research Award seeks applications from cardiovascular investigators residing in low- to middle-income countries. Proposals addressing innovative pathways for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease in specific communities and/or patient populations are encouraged. Preference will be given to individuals with five to 10 years of experience in clinical research. Recipients will receive $25,000 in funding to support the pursuit of their innovative research ideas.

Both of these research awards are funded through the generous philanthropic gifts of Najm and Zoghbi, respectively. For more information on how you can contribute and sustain these programs into the future, visit or email

Click here to learn more about the Hani Najm Global Scholar Award.

Click here to learn more about the William A. Zoghbi International Research Award.

Recognizing A Lifetime of Achievement

Recognizing A Lifetime of Achievement

The World Heart Federation recognized Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, with its Lifetime Achievement Award as part of its Gala Dinner at the World Heart Summit in May.

The award recognizes Fuster for his unprecedented dedication and commitment to reducing the global burden of cardiovascular disease and his exceptional contributions to improving heart health worldwide.

Making an 'ImPACt'

Paul N. Casale, MD, MPH, MACC

Paul N. Casale, MD, MPH, MACC, is one of two new appointments to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) announced in late May by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). MedPAC is an independent congressional agency established to advise Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.

"I am honored to be named to MedPAC and to help advise Congress on issues of quality, access to care and cost – all of which are vital to optimizing patient care and outcomes and improving the health of Medicare beneficiaries," says Casale, whose term will run through April 2027.

Casale, whose nomination was endorsed by the ACC, is a professor of clinical medicine and population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. He has been the executive director of New York Quality Care, an accountable care organization of Weill Cornell, Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian for the past eight years. He is also a past member of the College's Board of Trustees and a longtime leader in ACC's population health and value-based care efforts. He currently chairs the ACC Population Health Management Work Group.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Cardiovascular Care Team, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Cardiology Magazine, ACC Publications, Awards and Prizes, Leadership, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, Population Health, Patient Care, Cardiologists, Athletes, Sports Medicine, Death, Sudden, Cardiac

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