Join us February 22nd for our Fifth Anniversary Annual Celebration, from the comfort of your home! We look forward to celebrating a heart valve patient and visionary, a leading cardiologist and champion of health equity, a dedicated partner,an innovative provider, and all of the partners and advocates that have helped the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day Campaign reach hundreds of millions of people over the past 5 years.
Welcome & Opening Remarks
1:00 p.m. ET
David A. Andelman, executive director of The Red Lines Project, is a “Voices” columnist for CNNOpinion. His new book, A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Could Still Happen, was published in January 2021, along with its Evergreen podcast. He was awarded the Deadline Club Award for Best Opinion Writing for his CNN commentaries in 2018 and again in 2019 for his Reuters columns. He served for more than seven years as Editor & Publisher of World Policy Journal. Previously he served as an executive editor of Forbes. Earlier, he was a domestic and foreign correspondent for The New York Times in various posts in New York and Washington, as Southeast Asia bureau chief, based in Bangkok, then East European bureau chief, based in Belgrade. He then moved to CBS News where he served for seven years as Paris correspondent. There followed service as a Washington correspondent for CNBC, news editor of Bloomberg News and Business Editor of the New York Daily News. He has traveled through and reported from 86 countries. He was awarded the 2017 New York Press Club award for best political commentary for his USAToday columns. He is the author of five books, The Peacemakers, published by Harper & Row, and The Fourth World War, published by William Morrow, which he co-authored with the Count de Marenches, long-time head of French intelligence. His third book, A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today was published in a new Centenary Edition with foreword by Sir Harold Evans. He has translated from the French and written an epilogue to An Impossible Dream: Reagan, Gorbachev, and a World Without the Bomb published in June 2019 by Pegasus/Norton. Andelman has written for Harpers, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Readers Digest, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is a member of the Century Association, Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard Club of New York, National Press Club and the Grolier Club. He is President-emeritus of the Overseas Press Club of America and The Silurians Press Club, the oldest club in America for veteran journalists.
David Andelman, CNN Columnist, commentator, author, and valve disease survivor
Heart Valve Visionary Award
1:03 p.m. ET
Donnette Lovell Smith I retired from Civil Service after serving 30 years as a Technical Writer with the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Early in my career I was employed with the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Since retirement I have devoted my time to the Mended Hearts, Inc. where I am the National Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors. I am the founder of Mended Hearts Chapter 260 in Huntsville, Alabama, an accredited visitor, and a member of Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary. I also am the current Chairman of the Board of Directors at Heart Valve Voice – US, and have been a Patient Advocate both on the Local, State and National level. My reason for doing all I can to help educate others about heart disease is because I have been a member of the heart community my entire life. Born with a bicuspid aortic valve I have had numerous surgeries and heart procedures. I just recently found myself needing my valve replaced once again and was fortunate to be a good candidate for a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which I am so grateful for! Compared to my previous four heart surgeries, this was a breeze!! I am a recent widow, mother of two grown children and grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren – all currently in college. I am also “mom” to three rescue dogs.
Donnette Smith, Patient and President of the Board, Heart Valve Voice US
Michael A. Mussallem was appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Edwards Lifesciences in 2000, when it became an independent, publicly traded company. Under his leadership, Edwards has established its position as a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations with the introduction of lifesaving and life-sustaining therapies such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, new resilient surgical valves designed for active patients and non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring. Driven by a passion to help patients, the company collaborates with the world's leading clinicians and researchers to address unmet healthcare needs, working to improve patient outcomes and enhance lives while delivering value to the healthcare system. Mussallem has not only led the development and successful implementation of the company’s patient-focused innovation strategy, but also established Edwards’ commitment to philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Since 2004, the company and Edwards Lifesciences Foundation have gifted almost $90 million to non-profit organizations around the world supporting underserved patients and strengthening communities where its employees live and work. In 2014, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation launched Every Heartbeat Matters, which has impacted more than 1.7 million underserved people and aims to improve the lives of 2.5 million additional underserved structural heart and critical care patients by the end of 2025. During Mussallem’s tenure, Edwards has been recognized among the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, an organization that defines and advances standards of ethical business practices. In 2019, Edwards was named as one of the Management Top 250 by The Wall Street Journal in partnership with the Drucker Institute, and was also cited as one of the 8 “all stars” achieving high marks in five dimensions of corporate performance. Mussallem has been honored by the Harvard Business Review in its annual Best-Performing CEOs in the World list, including, most recently, in 2019. He has been included in the Forum for Corporate Directors Hall of Fame and received a number of honors including the UC Irvine Medal, a lifetime achievement award from The Phoenix Conference and the Wenger Award for Excellence in Corporate Leadership by WomenHeart. Prior to his current position, Mussallem held a variety of positions at Baxter International from 1979 until 2000, when Edwards was spun off from Baxter. Currently, Mussallem serves on the board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and is an advisory board member for the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California. He is a trustee of the University of California, Irvine Foundation and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. Mussallem has served as board chairman of both AdvaMed and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI). He received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and an honorary doctorate degree from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Michael A. Mussallem, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Edwards Lifesciences
Heart Health Equity Champion Award
1:20 p.m. ET
Icilma V. Fergus, MD is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Disparities at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Prior to that she served as Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Harlem Hospital Center for three years. Her undergraduate and graduate education was at Barnard College, Columbia University and SUNY Downstate. She completed her residency and Chief residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center. Dr. Fergus completed her cardiology fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Dr. Fergus is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Heart Association including immediate past President of the Westchester Board. She is also past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists. Dr. Fergus is the founder and director of the series of Healthy Hearts projects addressing Cardiovascular Disparities including - “Harlem Healthy Hearts (HHH) which she founded in 2012. These programs focus on addressing lifestyle motivation for cardiac prevention as well as education, demonstration and screening to promote optimal health management of cardiovascular risk factors and chronic conditions in underserved communities.
Icilma Fergus, MD, FACC, Director of Cardiovascular Disparities, Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai
Cassandra McCullough is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. (ABC), and was appointed to this position in 2014. The ABC is a 46- year nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, in Blacks and other minorities and committed to achieving health equity for all through the elimination of disparities. As CEO, Ms. McCullough oversees administration, fund development, education, research and advocacy initiatives, and marketing and communications. ABC has a staff of 6 and annual budget of $3.5 million. Cassandra has more than 30 years of experience in the health industry. She joined the staff at the ABC in 1996 and served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Continuing Medical Education prior to accepting the CEO position. She was employed in the Continuing Medical Education Division at Morehouse School of Medicine from 1993-96, and in medical office management at Kaiser Foundation Health Plans of Georgia from 1987-1993. Cassandra’s early career work was in the energy industry at The Southern Company. Since 2017, Cassandra has served on the Board of Directors for the National Health Council (NHC) and reappointed to 2020-23 term. At NHC, Cassandra was a member of the Executive Committee as Chair of the Finance Committee and Treasurer for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019). Following her tenure on the Executive Committee, she accepted the role of NHC’s Co-Chair of the 2020 Chief Executive Officers Affinity Group/Health Leadership Conference (HLC) Task Force and Chair of the Audit Committee. Also in 2020, Cassandra joined the board of the Preparedness and Treatment Equity Coalition (PTEC). This new Coalition was founded to bring together companies and organizations that have expertise, treatments and services that will narrow the race based gap in pandemic preparedness, morbidity and mortality through more effective use of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines to combat infections and to address underlying cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors that make infections more deadly. Cassandra also serves on the board of Pfizer’s Multicultural Health Equity Collective (MHEC). Other volunteer work includes honorary board member of the Open My Heart Foundation. Cassandra is listed among multi-authored publications, including “Physician and Learning in the 21st Century” in ABC Digest of Urban Cardiology; “Increasing Diversity in Clinical Trials: Overcoming Barriers” in Current Problems in Cardiology; and “The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) Cardiovascular Implementation Study (CVIS): A Research Registry Integrating Social Determinants to Support Care for Underserved Patients,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The University of Phoenix is where Cassandra received her MBA with a concentration in Health Care Management. Undergraduate coursework in Business Administration (Management) was completed at St. Leo University
Cassandra McCullough, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Black Cardiologists
Partner with Heart Award
1:38 p.m. ET
Andrea is the Executive Director of The Mended Hearts, Inc. She has a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and is a Board-Certified Patient Advocate. Andrea has been a part of the Mended Hearts® organization for 12 years when she founded Mended Little Hearts of Southwestern, PA shortly after her son was born with a congenital heart defect in 2009. She has held a variety of roles including Director of Patient Advocacy and Vice President of Mended Little Hearts. Andrea has been deeply involved in advocacy efforts; working to assure that the patient voice is at the table and to empower patients to become better healthcare consumers and improve their quality of life through support, education, and advocacy. Andrea lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and four children.
Andrea Baer, MS, BCPA, The Mended Hearts, Inc
Lindsay Clarke is the Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy at the Alliance for Aging Research. As Vice President, Lindsay oversees the Alliance’s educational and advocacy initiatives and campaigns that focus on diseases and conditions that disproportionately impact older Americans. Lindsay produces a wide variety of resources including brochures, films, websites, tip sheets, workshops, surveys, and traditional and social media campaigns that educate and empower patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Lindsay also works closely with the Alliance’s public policy team on issues of access, research, and awareness. Additionally, as a member of the Alliance’s senior team, Lindsay is closely involved in the strategic planning and execution of the Alliance’s mission and goals. Prior to joining the Alliance more than 15 years ago, Lindsay was an attorney in Chicago and worked for Chicago-Kent College of Law as director of institutional projects. In that capacity she oversaw projects related to the institutional progress of the school, conducted extensive research and legal analysis, and produced key reports and proposals. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in biology; and a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Lindsay Clarke, JD, Vice President of Health Education & Advocacy, Alliance for Aging Research
Heart Valve Innovation Awareness Award
1:50 p.m. ET
Dr. Vinod Thourani is the Bernie Marcus Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at Piedmont Healthcare and the Marcus Heart and Vascular and Valve Center of the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI) in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the Director of the PHI Structural Center of Excellence. He is currently the President of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (2019-2021), the President of the Heart Valve Society (2020-2022), and the President of the South Atlantic Cardiovascular Society (2019-2021). He serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and is the Treasurer-Elect (2020-2021), the Board of Trustees and the Vice-President of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), and is on the Surgeons Council of the ACC. He is the adult cardiac tract co-chair of the 100th (2020) and 101th (2021) Annual Meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS, 2020-2021). He is co-chair of the STS/ACC National Transcatheter Valve Therapies (TVT) database and the chair of the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database Research sub-committee. Dr. Thourani has authored over 550 peer-reviewed articles and is PI or on the steering committee for 10 valve trials in the U.S. He specializes in valve surgery and is passionate about working with a multidisciplinary team allowing options for traditional, minimally invasive, and transcatheter surgical options.
Vinod H. Thourani, MD, Marcus Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery, Piedmont Heart Institute
Neil Moat joined Abbott as the Chief Medical Officer for the company’s Structural Heart business in August 2018. In his role, Neil leads the global Medical Affairs organization for the business and provides clinical and scientific leadership for Abbott. Neil has more than 30 years of experience as a medical practitioner, surgeon and thought leader in the cardiovascular space. Previously a Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and Director of Surgery at the prestigious Royal Brompton Hospital (RBH) in the United Kingdom, Neil’s many achievements in the field of structural heart include co-founding the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVR) program at RBH in 2007 and playing a major role in the development and evaluation of TAVR nationally and internationally. He also established and led the RBH transcatheter mitral intervention program, which is the largest in the UK. Neil is a recognized thought leader in the fast-emerging field of Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement and has been closely involved in the early development of some of Abbott’s first-of-their-kind technologies. In addition to his medical degree, Neil holds a Master’s degree in surgery from London University and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Neil Moat, MB BS; MS; FRCS; Divisional Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Structural Heart, Abbott