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Read the latest news for February 2023 from the IU Cardiovascular Institute. 

February 2023 Newsletter

graphic reads "One IU CV Newsletter"

Cardiovascular Institute 

One diverse academic health enterprise where people come to receive the highest quality heart and vascular care in their community while also enabling relentless innovation that fuels better health for Indiana and beyond. Read on to learn about recent advances in realizing this vision. 



In February, eligible physicians will receive an email invitation (from Doximity) to complete the 2023-24 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals expert opinion survey and vote for the Best Hospital in Cardiology and Heart Surgery. The survey gives you the opportunity to vote for the top hospitals across the nation. Physicians are eligible to vote if they are board-certified and have a claimed Doximity profile. Please ensure that you have claimed a profile, as we strongly encourage participation in this year's survey by voting for Indiana University Health Medical Center.

In 2023, results of the expert opinion survey contribute to 24-27% of the adult specialty's ranking. Every vote counts - we hope you choose to further strengthen our hospital's distinction as a prestigious regional and national leader in cardiovascular care.


Top News


First Thoracic Branch Graft Device Implant

Dr. Raghu Motaganahalli and the vascular team performed the first thoracic branch graft device implant procedure on Nov. 8 at IU Health Methodist Hospital. This procedure eliminates the need for a bypass procedure in the neck (left carotid artery to left subclavian artery) and the complications that may be associated with them. This is a less invasive procedure that enables a quick recovery for patients. 

First Thoracic Graft Device Implant











Cardiac Care Blue Distinction Designations

A number of Indiana University Health hospitals have been recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield as Blue Distinction for providing our patients with safe, effective specialty care, including cardiac care. 

The following hospitals have met nationally established quality care and outcomes criteria developed by the medical community: 

• IU Health Arnett Hospital
• IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
• IU Health Bloomington Hospital
• IU Health Methodist Hospital


Fellowship Match Results

Following Fellowship Match Day on Dec. 1, we matched 6/6 openings for our Cardiovascular Disease program and 2/2 for our Electrophysiology program. We are excited to welcome a new group of physicians to our fellowship training program starting July 2023!

Fellowship Match Results


February is American Heart Month

Heart disease continues to be the greatest health threat to American and is still the leading cause of death worldwide. Find great information compiled by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to help take care of your heart and the hearts of those you love. The American Heart Association also has great online heart health lessons for co-workers, family and friends. 

American Heart Month










Annie Cheek, Executive Director of the CVI

Welcome To Our Team

Please join us in welcoming Annie Cheek, who now serves as the Executive Director of the Cardiovascular Institute. She comes to us with several years of experience, most recently from Grady Health System where she served as the Vice President of Cardiovascular Services. Annie earned her MBA from Webster University, masters in exercise physiology from Ball State University, and her bachelors in exercise science from Anderson University. Her vision and leadership will be instrumental in the growth of the Cardiovascular Institute. 








Clinical Trials 

Congratulations to Dr. Rohan Dharmakumar, whose pre-clinical findings in removing abnormal iron deposits were published in Nature Communications this fall. These iron deposits occur following damage to the heart muscle caused by acute myocardial infarction and in half of patients who undergo reperfusion therapy who experience delayed healing and ongoing fatty degeneration. A first-in-human clinical trial is now underway at IU Health to address hemorrhagic MI. This pilot study tests a novel therapy to efficiently remove the abnormal iron deposits within the heart muscle of hemorrhagic MI patients so that their hearts can be directed toward favorable remodeling and away from major adverse cardiovascular events. The pilot study has the potential to define a disruptive new therapy for heart attack patients that is fundamentally different from other therapies that are available to acute MI patients over the last 40 years.  


Keyur Vora, MD, MS, George Revtyak, MD, and Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD with the first patient to enroll in a new cardiovascular clinical trial.













Dr. Wayne Gray

50 Years of Service!

Congratulations to Dr. Wayne Gray who has been in practice for 50 years at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital! Over the course of his career, Dr. Gray has made innumerable contributions and has brought IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital to the forefront of cardiac care. He is an eminent figure in cardiology and his work has improved the lives of countless patients, both locally and abroad.








Atrial fibrosis is thought to play a role in initiating and increasing atrial fibrillation. A way to evaluate the extent of fibrosis becomes important, especially for therapy. One current approach is to use bipolar voltage mapping of the atria, but there are several limitations to this, which are discussed in the recent editorial commentary written by Dr. Chirag Shah and Dr. Thomas Everett and published in the Heart Rhythm Journal. These include limitations of the electrodes used to measure conduction as well as atrial tissue properties that can make measurements difficult. Additional research is necessary before bipolar voltage mapping could be considered as a guide for ablation therapy. 


In December, Dr. Andrew Gonzalez served as faculty at the 2022 Stanford AI + Health Online Conference during the session, Overcoming Key Barriers to Healthcare Provider Adoption of AI Tools. His panel discussed the recent joint Government Accountability Office/National Academy of Medicine two-part technology assessment on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, in a report entitled  "Meeting the Moment: Addressing Barriers and Facilitating Clinical Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Diagnosis". As a group, the authors expressed concern about the rapid expansion of healthcare AI technologies at the point of care. They provided a model for understanding the key drivers of clinical adoption and key determinants of success. These determinants fell into the domains: (1) reason to use; (2) means to use; (3) method to use; and (4) desire to use. Dr. Gonzalez led the primary responsibility for drafting the "means to use" section on infrastructure. 

In the Media

WTHR featured Dr. Richard Kovacs in a piece about Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, who collapsed from cardiac arrest during a football game. Dr. Kovacs said Hamlin's   terrifying injury on national TV can be a teaching moment about having an emergency action plan ready.  

Dr. William Gill warns that snow shoveling could trigger a heart attack in this recent WishTV8 news article

Do you have a story that reflects the strength of our statewide system for cardiovascular care? Please email OneIUCV so we can share with the team!

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Cardiovascular Institute

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide—and in Indiana. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives each year than the next three leading causes combined. To meet this challenge, the Cardiovascular Institute brings together highly skilled caregivers, researchers, and educators into close collaboration to improve the health of patients and communities across Indiana.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.