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Two UB doctors speaking at international cardiology conference

By GROVE POTTER

Published July 12, 2017

“We have guidelines in many areas of medicine as to how to take care of patients, but a big problem is that they are often not used.”
Anne Curtis, SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Charles and Mary Bauer Professor
Department of Medicine

World-renowned electrophysiologist and UB faculty member Anne B. Curtis will deliver the opening plenary lecture at the 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease in Vancouver on July 14.

Curtis, SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Charles and Mary Bauer Professor in the Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will give a talk titled “Improvement in Quality of Care for Atrial Fibrillation In Get With The Guidelines — Atrial Fibrillation (GWTG-AFIB).” It is the 11th J.H.C. Swan Memorial Lecture.

Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB medical school, will introduce Curtis. Cain also will serve as chair of a plenary session on cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death, and present a lecture titled “New Electrocardiographic Predictors of Sudden Cardiac Death.”

Curtis, who is also president and CEO of UBMD Internal Medicine, is among the world’s leading clinical cardiac electrophysiologists. Her research has helped transform the evaluation and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, and has advanced knowledge of human cardiac electrophysiology and heart-rhythm abnormalities. She has been a key contributor to guidelines on atrial fibrillation issued by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines.

“We have guidelines in many areas of medicine as to how to take care of patients, but a big problem is that they are often not used,” Curtis said of her lecture. “The challenge is getting doctors to use the guidelines.”

Curtis will discuss improved results at hospitals that have adopted guidelines for atrial fibrillation, which puts some at risk of stroke.

“There are over 80 hospitals and over 20,000 patients registered in ‘Get With The Guidelines,’ which started in 2013, so there are a lot of data,” Curtis said. “The initial results I am presenting examine compliance with prescribing blood thinners for patients with atrial fibrillation, and the good news is that compliance is improving through the ‘Get With The Guidelines’ program.”

The event, hosted by the International Academy of Cardiology, runs July 14-16 and draws heart experts from around the world.