Letter from the President – March 2021

Dear Colleagues,

What a whirlwind the last year has been! I’m extremely proud of all of our healthcare colleagues, especially all of you, who have worked tirelessly to provide care to our patients through extremely difficult circumstances. After the uniquely challenging year, I wanted to share that NYACC already has big plans underway for the year ahead and several announcements to make regarding its leadership.

As you can imagine, we are planning to continue to hold virtual programs for 2021 in lieu of major in-person conferences. The Annual Arvilla Berger Lecture’s speaker and date will be named shortly and will be a virtual session this year, and the Annual CVT Symposium, which is scheduled for June 4, 2021, will also be on a virtual platform.

My tenure as your President comes to a close this month. Dr. Chad Teeters and I have been honored to serve as respective leaders of NYACC and the New York Cardiological Society, but I can assure you that your two new co-Governors – Himabindu Vidula, MD, MS, FACC, and Srihari Naidu, MD, FACC, FSCAI – are up to the challenge of steering the Chapter toward continued success.

Dr. Vidula is Associate Professor of Medicine for the Advanced Heart Failure Program at the University of Rochester, Cardiovascular Director for its Comprehensive Sarcoidosis and Amyloidosis Programs, and Program Director for its Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship. She will take over as President of NYACC in March. Some of you may have caught the recent New York Cardiac Center Lecture, “Tele-Monitoring, Tele-Rehab, and Tele-LVAD: A Tele-VISION for Advanced Heart Failure,” in which Dr. Vidula presented her ongoing, randomized study of home-based exercise rehab using remote monitoring in LVAD patients, a topic on which she was recently published. Dr. Naidu is the Medical Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and the Director of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program at Westchester Medical Center and will take over as President of the Society; they will switch roles after 18 months.

I am also happy to share that we have several new Councilors coming aboard. Please extend a warm welcome to Drs. Luke Kim, Jay Doshi, Sonia Henry Zucker, Gregory Katz, Radmila Lyubarova, Avneet Singh, Vishal Parikh and James Youssef. We also thank Drs. Feldman, Roswell, Lense, Charney, Sidhu, Vidula and Ford-Mukkamala for their service as Councilors and Drs. Jay Dubowsky, Larry Phillips and Julio Panza for returning to their roles.

I am also pleased to share that the Society’s Executive Board named the winner of its 2020 Dr. Stephen S. Scheidt Memorial Scholarship: Austin Mercadante, MD.

“Dr. Mercadante is an astute clinician and his performance would be considered excellent by any standard,” said Daphne Hsu, MD, FACC, who nominated Dr. Mercadante for the Scholarship. He is a curious student and works well independently as well as a member of a team.”

As part of its commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive environment within and around the cardiovascular profession, the NYACC Diversity & Inclusion Task Force have formulated the basis of a new Mentorship Program that is designed to target underrepresented medical students, residents, FITs and hospitalists who are at a disadvantage when it comes to preparing their curricula vitae and demonstrating their achievements. The Task Force, now helmed by Chair Rachel-Maria Brown Talaska, MD, FACC, aims to pair up mentees with more seasoned cardiologists in an effort to build stronger pipelines into the cardiovascular profession.

Program participants will be offered the opportunity to present a capstone project, such as a case study or an abstract, with their mentors in conjunction with an NYACC-sponsored event. The program, which launched in December, was met by incredible interest from both mentees and mentors. We’re still accepting mentorships, so if you are interested, please email us at [email protected] with your current CV.

Finally don’t forget to mark your calendars for important upcoming events:

  • May 15-17, 2021: The Annual Conference of the ACC (ACC.21) – Now all virtual
  • June 4, 2021: The Annual CVT Symposium

We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Norma Keller, MD, FACC
President, New York State Chapter of the American College of Cardiology
Immediate-Past President, New York Cardiological Society