Florida Region


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Innovations in Cardiovascular Care 2018

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Cathleen Biga Portrai

Cathleen Biga RN, MSN

Movement to Value: How Does it Impact Me?
President & CEO
Cardiovascular Management of Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

Cathleen Biga is president and chief executive officer of Cardiovascular Management of Illinois, a cardiology physician practice management company. She works with more than 48 providers in the Chicago area and partners in their cardiovascular service lines. She has more than 40 years of experience as a registered nurse, service line director, hospital vice president and chief executive officer, and served more recently for 20 years in physician practice management. She earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Mayo/College of St. Teresa and her master of science in nursing at Northern Illinois University. She has been active nationally in strategic planning, operational efficiencies, integrated financial and quality initiatives, and growth and development of the cardiovascular service lines. She is focused on facilitating the integration of strategic, financial, and quality perspectives between the practices and the hospital cardiovascular service lines. She has been active nationally, both as a consultant and a lecturer, on physician/hospital integration, governance, movement from volume to value, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), episodes of care, physician compensation modeling, development and formation of cardiovascular service lines, quality initiatives, development of clinical service line agreements, designing balanced quality score cards, and remains engaged in advocacy issues.


James H. Black

Timothy Byrne, DO, FACC

Percutaneous Transcatheter Mitral Valve Therapies
Physician Executive Director of Cardiac Services
Abrazo Community Health Network
Phoenix, Arizona

Dr. Byrne graduated from Ohio State University and received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.

He trained in medicine at Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and received his cardiology fellowship training at Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, where he served as Chief Fellow in 1993-1994. He then pursued his Interventional Cardiology Fellowship training at Allegheny General Hospital in Pennsylvania.

He has undergone advanced qualification training in interventional cardiology including mitral and aortic valve balloon valvotomy, coronary and renal stent placement, rotoblater atherectomy, carotid stenting. He has also developed areas of special expertise in coronary and peripheral angioplasties/limb salvage.

Dr. Byrne has been chosen to be the Cardiology Consultant for the Phoenix Suns, and the Phoenix Mercury professional basketball teams.


James H. Black 2

James H. Black, III, MD, FACS

Endovascular Aortic Repair and the End of Open Aortic Surgery
The David Goldfarb, MD Associate Professor of Surgery
Chief of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy
Regional Director of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy
Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Black is an expert in the care of patients with aortic aneurysms. Dr. Black has been invited to lecture his colleagues, both across the nation and worldwide, on his techniques to manage and repair aneurysms in the abdomen (AAA), thoracic aneurysms (TAA) and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA). Dr. Black has unique experience with management of aortic dissection and genetically inherited conditions that may predispose patients to aortic aneurysm and dissection such as Marfan Syndrome, Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Familial Thoracic Aneurysm and Dissection Syndrome. His experience in this regard has many important implications for all patients with aneurysms, and through these insights, he advocates for his patients to invoke many non-surgical approaches therapies that can reduce the future risk of aneurysm events and thus improves the length and quality of his patients' life.

Dr. Black is the most experienced surgeon in the mid-Atlantic Region with both traditional surgical, and more recently complex endovascular repairs using the FDA approved fenestrated endovascular devices. Additionally, he is one of the few surgeons nationwide who has FDA approval for next generation devices that may be suitable for patients with all types of aneurysms that involve the chest and abdomen (TAAA). Dr. Black and the Vascular Team at Hopkins take pride in the fact their techniques and results have been published in the flagship journals in the field of Vascular Surgery.

Dr. Black joined the surgical faculty of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2004. He completed his General Vascular Surgery Fellowship in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and received his General Surgery Training in the Halsted General Surgery Training Program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr, Black maintains an active practice in all aspects of vascular surgery. In addition to his interest with open surgical reconstruction of complex aortic disease, he aggressively pursues the application of minimally invasive endovascular technologies for patients with occlusive disease of the carotid, renal, mesenteric, and lower extremity arteries.


dr marcus

Belinda Marcus, MD, FACEP, CWS, PCHM

Multidisciplinary Approach to Limb Salvage
Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Marcus graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1996 and entered an Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati. She practiced emergency medicine at Emory University as an assistant professor from 2000-2003. In 2003, she immersed herself into the field of hyperbaric medicine and wound care. Over the last 14 1/2 years, she has continued to explore new technologies within this unique specialty and has lectured extensively on her clinical experiences. 


Christopher U. Meduri

Christopher U. Meduri, MD, MPH

Advances in Tricuspid Valve Therapy
Co-Medical Director, Marcus Heart Valve Center
Piedmont Healthcare
Atlanta, Georgia

Christopher U. Meduri, M.D., MPH, received a medical degree from University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Meduri then completed fellowships in general cardiology and interventional cardiology at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass., with a focus in Structural Heart Disease. He also has a Master's in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Meduri joins Piedmont Heart after recently completing his fellowship in interventional cardiology. He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology and a member of the American College of Cardiology Dr. Meduri has special interest in optimizing care of patients with valvular heart disease and spent several months learning a minimalist approach to TAVR patients at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He has received multiple educational grants to improve care of patients with aortic valve disorders and developed a mobile application, Post-TAVR Optimization, to assist centers performing TAVR in post-procedure management. In his spare time, Dr. Meduri enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, hiking and running.


Basel Ramlawi

Basel Ramlawi, MD, FACC, FACS

Transcatheter Valve Therapy: State of the Art in 2018
Chairman, Heart & Vascular Center
Director, Advanced Valve & Aortic Center
Valley Health System
Winchester, Virginia

Basel Ramlawi, M.D, is an attending cardiothoracic surgeon and chairman of The Heart & Vascular Center at Valley Health System in Virginia. He also serves as founding director of the Advanced Valve and Aortic Center.

Dr. Ramlawi is a nationally renowned surgeon for the repair of heart valves, aortic aneurysms and atrial fibrillation using minimally invasive and catheter-based procedures – leading to decreased pain and recovery time. He is a frequent speaker and faculty member at international cardiovascular conferences.

Prior to joining Valley Health, Dr. Ramlawi was associate professor of surgery and held a leadership position within the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantation at The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, TX. Previously, Dr. Ramlawi held a faculty appointment at Columbia University and NY-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.


David E. Thaler

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

PFO Closure/Stroke
Chairman, Department of Neurology, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine
Professor of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine
Director emeritus, The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Tufts Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts

David Thaler, MD, PhD is the Neurologist-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Thaler is a nationally-recognized leader in stroke research, treatment and prevention, has served as an attending neurologist within the Tufts Medical Center Neurology Department since 1998.

Over the course of his tenure at Tufts Medical Center, Dr. Thaler has been instrumental in building the Medical Center’s national reputation for excellence in stroke care and serves as the Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Tufts MC. Dr. Thaler also conducts cutting-edge research to identify treatments for preventing strokes in young people. He co-authored a 2013 New England Journal of Medicine article reporting the largest clinical trial for the prevention of recurrent stroke in young patients with patent foramen ovale, a hole between the upper chambers of the heart. Dr. Thaler also co-authored a Scientific Statement on behalf of the American Stroke Association about the association between chiropractic cervical manipulation and arterial dissection or stroke.

Dr. Thaler received his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and earned his PhD and medical degree from Oxford University. He completed his neurology residency at Longwood (Harvard) Neurology and his fellowship in Critical Care Neurology at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Boston.

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