WellStar Cardiac Cerebrovascular Clinical Symposium

October 5, 2019
JW Marriott
Atlanta, GA 30326


$35 for all attendees
Download Brochure

Program Committee

Rishi Gupta, MD
Amar Patel, MD, FACC
Arthur Reitman, MD, FACC
Kevin Wall, RN, BSN

For More Information:

Melissa Connor


Mailing Address:

4850 Golden Parkway
Suite B-417
Buford, GA 30518

Urge Your Member of Congress to Cosponsor H.R. 3107



Congress has heard our demands for reforming the prior authorization process and will be voting on HR 3107 (details of bill below).

PLEASE Use the link below to write, email, and call your congressperson.

Using the link below, we emailed our representatives in less five minutes and included a personalized story. You can too!


Jason Reingold, MD, FACC
Pascha Schafer, MD, FACC
GA Advocacy and Regular Committee Chairs

Significant, bipartisan federal legislation was recently introduced that would provide necessary reforms to the prior authorization process. We urge you to ask your member of Congress to support the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019 (H.R. 3107). The legislation would make several changes to items and services in Medicare Advantage plans. Specifically, the bill would: 

  • Create a “real-time” electronic prior authorization process, developed by the Secretary of HHS, for items and services that are routinely approved;
  • Improve transparency by requiring plans to report to CMS on the extent of their use of prior authorization and the rate of approvals or denials;
  • Require plans to adopt transparent prior authorization programs that are reviewed annually, adhere to evidence-based medical guidelines, and include continuity of care for individuals transitioning between coverage to minimize any disruption in care; 
  • Hold plans accountable for making timely prior authorization determinations and to provide rationales for denials;
  • Prohibit additional prior authorization for medically-necessary services performed during a surgical or invasive procedure that already received, or did not initially require prior authorization. 

The ACC has been a driving force behind the introduction of this legislation, working with the authors to ensure that this will make a series of positive reforms to improve patient care. It is our hope that this important step forward will bring about much needed changes to the prior authorization process.

Urge Your Member of Congress to Cosponsor H.R. 3107

Join the ACCPAC State Giving Challenge!

Finish Strong for ACCPAC Challenge

In the last week we didn’t make much of a dent in the ACCPAC Challenge! We’ve fallen behind in the race. Only 3 members have donated to the ACCPAC. We can do better than this. Make your donation today! It’s important!

Jeff Marshall, MD, FACC
Council Governor


Dear Colleagues,

The ACCPAC State Giving Challenge starts today and will conclude on Sunday, May 26 at 11:59 pm EDT. I personally invite you to join this exciting event. ACCPAC is the non-partisan political voice of the College, formed by members, for members. Recognition will be awarded to each state for its fundraising efforts during the challenge in the following categories:

  • most dollars raised
  • most contributors
  • highest average dollars contributed
  • highest participation rate
  • best all-around

These states will go down in ACCPAC history and receive special recognition at the ACC’s Legislative Conference and in ACCPAC publications throughout the year. All ACC members, including those who have already given this year, are encouraged to contribute May 3 – May 26.

Contributing is EASY:

    1. Go to the ACCPAC website: https://www.accpacweb.org
    2. Sign in with your ACC.org credentials
    3. Click on the Contribute button
    4. Donate
    5. Encourage colleagues in Georgia to follow your advocacy lead!

Whether this is your first time giving to ACCPAC or you have already contributed this year, please give now in support of this challenge. Your contribution will help Georgia come out on top and AMPLIFY the voice of ACC.


Pascha E. Schafer, MD, FACC
Advocacy Chair
Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology


Join ACC’s Member Hub Today

Sign Up for ACC’s MEMBER HUB Today

ACC has launched a new initiative designed to be the focus of communication within the specialty. It’s called Member Hut. We urge you to sign up today so you will not miss important developments on the national level as well as in our state.

What are the benefits of ACC’s Member Hub?

  • It’s going to be our one-stop shopping for all things ACC.
  • Members will have a place to connect with their colleagues, whether it be through mentoring, getting advice on the discussion boards, or posting pictures from that awesome poster session. And that’s just a few of the possibilities!
  • There will be private groups; for Chapters, for Sections, for Task Forces, for Committees, and other member groups.
  • Great place for our Council and committees to gather virtually, store and share documents, trade ideas.

We encourage you to join today; you can do that by going to MemberHub.acc.org and using your acc.org username and password to sign in. In the next few weeks, we’ll be adding sub groups for our Council and committees.



Call for Nominations for 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

Calling now for nominations for the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at our annual meeting at the Ritz Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee, November 22-24, 2019.

This award honors an adult or pediatric cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon that has made significant contributions to medicine through patient care, medical education, research or community service as a member of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, and whose lifetime of service deserves special recognition.

If you would like to nominate someone, please send your nomination directly to Donald Page, MD, FACC, Chair, Awards Committee, donald.page@wellstar.org. Please explain the basis for your nomination and why you think the person is worthy of this coveted award.

Our committee will then prioritize the nominees and present them to the Chapter’s Council for selection.

The deadline for receipt of nominations for the award is April 5.

Buy the Jeopardy Book

FITJeopardy – Battle of the State Chapters” is one of the most popular events at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Meeting. International and State teams composed of Cardiology Fellows-in-training participate to win this coveted contest. Is a phenomenal learning experiences for both the participants and the audience.

This book is intended to help participants practice and win this competition. We have compiled the top 400 jeopardy-style questions for review.

This book can also be helpful for last minute review before the cardiology board exam!

All proceeds from the sale of this book support FIT’s participation in ACC events. Order your copy today!

Soft cover: $24.99 E-book: $14.99 Free Shipping

Buy Now


#GAACC2018: Bigger and Better and “Tech-ier”

This year’s GA ACC Scientific Meeting was the largest to date with over 180 member cardiologists and cardiovascular team members in attendance.

Our Program was rigorous with over 90 speakers, moderators, and panelists and included Cardiogenic Shock; Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease; Cardiology in GA; Stroke and Neuro Cardiology; Women in Cardiology; Imaging/Worried, Well-Patient; and our case presentations of Faux Pas to Fortune.

We also held our FIT’s Poster Presentations and Cardiology Jeopardy. We heard from ACC President Mike Valentine and the ACC’s strategic goals for 2019.

“Cardiology in GA” Session

Cardiology Jeopardy


Our new GA ACC conference mobile app was launched and attendees had all the details and contacts at the meeting right in the palm of their hands. Several members took to the app right away adding photos and comments on the activity stream. Our members could ask questions to speakers and our presenters could poll the audience.


We celebrated the Lifetime Achievements of Dr. John Cantwell and his extensive dedication to cardiology, the wellness of athletes, travels around the world and his incredible family. Congratulations, John.

Fun was also on the agenda with opening dinner in the Ritz’s new pavilion, Saturday activities on the lawn (thankful for fabulous weather), Santa by the fireplace and a children’s movie night.

We were all astonished by our Saturday night mentalist, Oz Pearlman! How did he do that? How did he know that?



We are grateful for our conference sponsors and
cannot hold this meeting without you!



Our exhibitor partners are also vital to the GA ACC.
Thank you Exhibitors!


  • Abbott Vascular
  • Abiomed
  • Akcea
  • Acist Medical
  • Actelion Pharmaceuticals
  • Aegerion Pharmaceuticals
  • Allergan
  • Ambry Genetics
  • Amgen Cardiovascular
  • Alnylam
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Astrazeneca
  • Biotronik
  • Boehringer lngelheim
  • Boston Scientific
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Cardionet
  • CHF Solutions
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Cryolife
  • iRythmn
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Gilead
  • Grady
  • Janssen
  • Lantheus Medical
  • Livanova
  • Medtronic
  • Northeast Georgia Heart Center
  • Northside
  • Novartis
  • Osprey Medical
  • Penumbra
  • Pfizer
  • Philips
  • Piedmont Heart Institute
  • Portola
  • Regeneron
  • Sanofi
  • Siemens
  • WellStar
  • Zoll
  • Zywie



Cardiovascular Team Update 2019
May 31, 2019
Piedmont Athens Regional
Athens, GA


GA ACC Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2019
Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee
Greensboro, GA

Lifetime Achievement Award – John D. Cantwell, MD, MACP, FACC

Dr. John  Cantwell is a third- generation   physician from Wisconsin, who is the father of a physician and a nurse. He is a cardiologist with the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, GA.

He attended Duke University where he majored in English, participated in varsity basketball, and was a member of Duke’ s first ACC championship team. After graduating from Northwestern Medical School, he interned at the University of Florida and obtained a medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic. Post­ doctoral fellowships in cardiology were served at the University of California, San Diego, and Emory University.

Dr. Cantwell is a Fellow in the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Sports Medicine, also a Master in the American College of Physicians. He has been a consultant to the President’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports, and served as a team physician for the Atlanta Braves for 41 seasons (1976-2016). He continues to work with Georgia Tech athletic screening and the Georgia Special Olympics. He was president of the Association of Major League Baseball Team Physicians in 2000. He co-founded the first outpatient Cardiac Rehab Program in Georgia in 1970 and opened the Preventive Cardiology Clinic in 1972, which was one of the first in the country.

Dr. Cantwell enjoys creative writing, reading, mountain trekking, and participation sports with his wife, two children and six grandchildren. He is an active member of the Explorers Club and has enjoyed adventure travels to all seven continents. Most recently, he and his wife participated in medical mission trips to Bhutan and Cambodia. He is a charter member of his high school’ s Sports Hall of Fame for his football, basketball, and baseball exploits, and still holds the school’s career basketball scoring record.

Awards and honors include the Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll for Scholarship and Athletics, the Aven Cup (highest award of the Medical Association of Atlanta), and the Morehouse Medical School Award of Excellence (other recipients include Archbishop Tutu, Jane Fonda, Lennie Wilkens, and Edwin Moses), and a 3- time winner of the Montague Boyd award for medical writing and editing. Dr. Cantwell served as editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia from 1999-2003. In 2007 he received the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award for exceptional work as a clinician, researcher, and educator. In 2008 Georgia Trend magazine cited him as one of their five “Healthcare Heroes” in the state. In 2011 he was honored with a mastership in the American College of Physicians.


Georgia Takes Large Delegation to Capitol Hill to Protect the Specialty

Almost 450 cardiovascular professionals, including 16 from the Georgia Chapter participate in ACC’s annual Legislative Conference. This essential event informs lawmakers about the difference cardiovascular professionals make in the lives of our patients and allows participants to share our vision for continuing the advancement of cardiovascular care.

Key issues presented by the participants to the
Senatorial and Congressional offices were:


      • Foster medical innovation and research through robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
      • Exercise careful oversight of issues that contribute to administrative burden and detract from patient care, including undue limitation on access to medication and other necessary therapies, prior authorization and lack of EHR interoperability.
      • Continue bipartisan collaboration on cardiovascular priorities. As an example, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 included provisions of great importance to cardiovascular clinicians and the broader healthcare community.

Thanks to the following for their participation on behalf of our chapter:

Drs Adam Berman, Charlie Brown, Tom Deering, Jackie Green,
Kunal Gurav, Gina Lundberg, Jerre Lutz, Tim Maddux (FIT),
Jeff Marshall, Arthur Reitman, Pascha Schafer, Prad Tummula,
Bo Walpole and Executive Director Hank Holderfield.


Dr. Jerre Lutz, ACCPAC Board member, was recognized for attending 26 of the 27 legislative conferences that have been held.


ManageAnticoag App Now Available

The ACC recently launched the ManageAnticoag App to help clinicians navigate periprocedural planning and bleed management scenarios for patients on oral anticoagulants. The app is comprised of three tools to help assess whether and how to interrupt and bridge anticoagulation, manage acute bleeds, and determine whether and how anticoagulation should be restarted. Download the app for free. A Guidance for Anticoagulation Reversal fact sheet is also available to provide clinical guidance for the administration of reversal agents, when needed, for patients on anticoagulation for any indication. Find out more at ACC.org/Apps.