Patient Engagement Pavilion Spotlights Patient-Centered Care


Inspiring stories of patient survival, thought-provoking discussions on topics ranging from reducing hospital readmissions to managing patients with cardiovascular risk factors, and panel presentations featuring government officials and leading heart disease experts, are just some of the activities taking place in the CardioSmart Patient Engagement Pavilion (Expo Hall, #1154).

In May of 2014, 12-year-old Jacob Burris of Eugene, OR, was undergoing a routine checkup when his doctor discovered that he had high blood pressure along with a heart murmur. Follow-up tests revealed that Burris had coarctation of the aorta. Burris underwent heart surgery where a pediatric cardiac surgical team successfully grafted a carbon tube in place of the disconnected portion of his aorta. “Now I’m called ‘The Bionic Boy,’” says Burris, this year’s winner of ACC’s “I am CardioSmart” contest. As part of the contest, now in its fifth year, Burris and three other finalists were chosen for their inspirational stories of living well with specific heart disease conditions. Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, editor-in-chief of, presented Burris with his official award to kick-off pavilion events on Friday.

Other sessions over the last two days have focused on topics ranging from interacting with patients via social media to improving health care access for minority and high-risk populations. Gulati, who led the social media presentation, explained that social media platforms provide new ways of communicating with and educating patients. She noted that embracing these outlets can help physicians find new ways to connect with patients. Meanwhile, with data continuing to show gaps in care for minority and high-risk populations, a roundtable hosted by the Association of Black Cardiologists provided an important opportunity for discussions around how best to close these gaps.

Representatives from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center shared their experiences with ACC’s Patient Navigator Program. Nancy Albert, PhD, Sarah Paciulli, NP, Abass Kamara and Thomas Carter, shared how VCU Medical Center has found success in helping patients “survive and thrive” following hospitalization for a heart attack. In a separate session, a panel of Cardiovascular Team members, including PharmDs, nurse practitioners and nurses, provided their unique perspectives on patient access to cardiovascular care.

Other presenters included representatives from the Alliance for Aging Research, Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts, the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, the American Society of Preventative Cardiology, the National Forum, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Amarin and the Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation. A session with CardioSmart OnCall, a telephonic health coaching program, focused on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease through therapeutic lifestyle changes.

“The Patient Engagement Pavilion provides an opportunity to get in front of health care providers about the importance of raising public awareness about cardiovascular disease and its risk factors,” says Gulati. “It also serves to highlight the many ways the cardiovascular community, patients, lawmakers, industry, hospitals and other medical societies and patient groups are coming together around the common goal of preventing and treating heart disease.”

To learn more about ACC’s patient engagement and empowerment resources, visit

Learning Destinations are not part of ACC.17, as planned by its Program Committee, and do not qualify for continuing medical education (CME), continuing nursing education (CNE) or continuing education (CE) credit.

* Information is current as of February 20, 2017 and is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, download the ACC.17 App, or visit

Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Dyslipidemia, Congenital Heart Disease, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, CHD and Pediatrics and Quality Improvement, Lipid Metabolism, Primary Hyperlipidemia

Keywords: ACC Publications, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper, ACC Annual Scientific Session, Academies and Institutes, Aorta, Aortic Coarctation, Awards and Prizes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Follow-Up Studies, Heart Murmurs, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II, Myocardial Infarction, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners, Patient Participation, Risk Factors, United States Food and Drug Administration

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