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Read the latest news for October 2021 from the IU Cardiovascular Institute.

October 2021 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. 


Connect to Promise

Kudos to IU Health Bloomington for their remarkable, multidisciplinary team effort treating an individual who noticed blood in his urine; a CT scan identified a tumor on his kidney. In the operating room, it was found to be invading a vital vascular structure. Though she was at another facility, Dr. Cuddy's specialized vascular skills were needed - and she responded, arriving in the OR to help within 10 minutes. The patient underwent meticulous removal of the tumor and repair of the blood vessel, and is on his way home. Cheers to the South Central Region for delivering high quality vascular care to patients in their community! 

Top News


Get With The Guidelines Gold AFIB AwardAmerican Heart Association Gold Performance Award Recipients

IU Health Methodist Hospital is proud to be recognized with a GOLD Quality Achievement Award for our achievement in the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines AFIB quality program. This award recognizes a select group of hospitals achieving the highest compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 2 consecutive calendar years. For patients with this most common heart rhythm disorder, IU Health's recognition in this quality program assures patients are being treated according to the latest scientific guidelines. Award recipients are publicly recognized on the AHA/ASA website as well as in a US News and World Report recognition add that appears in the "Best Hospital" edition. 


Ventricular Assist Device Program Re-Certification

The Joint Commission Gold SealThe Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program at IU Health Methodist Hospital has been re-certified by the Joint Commission, earning the Gold Seal of Approval. The certification cycle is effective beginning May 29, 2021 and is customarily valid for up to 24 months. 



Welcome to our Team

Dr. Brendan CavanaughBrendan Cavanaugh, MD, FACC, recently joined IU Health Arnett Hospital as the Chief of Cardiology. Dr. Cavanaugh began practicing medicine in 2006. He earned his medical degree from Rush Medical College. and completed a residency in Internal Medicine with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Cavanaugh also completed a fellowship in Cardiology with Northwestern Medical Center. He is board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease.

Dr. Cavanaugh chose cardiology because he feels that when heart disease is identified early, it can be modified dramatically and help prevent life threatening events. He believes in providing personalized care to each of his patients. Dr. Cavanaugh strives to make his patients and their families feel comfortable throughout their healthcare journey. In his free time, Cavanaugh enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, cycling, hiking and coaching baseball.

Dr. Duangnapa CuddyDuangnapa S. Cuddy, D.O., RPVI, recently joined Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital as a Vascular Surgery Specialist, having more than 15 years of diverse experiences. She graduated with honors from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie in 2006. Dr. Cuddy completed her internship in General Surgery in 2008 from  Peninsula Hospital Center and her residency in General Surgery at NYU School of Medicine, Brooklyn Campus, in 2012. 


Dr. Emily FarkasEmily Farkas, MD  recently joined the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical center via IU Health as a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, focusing on restarting the Cardiac Surgery Program, and is also involved with Global Health. Dr. Farkas earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Pepperdine University and her International Studies from the University of Canberra in New South Wales, Australia. She earned her MD from the Chicago Medical School in Chicago, IL and completed her residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Farkas holds the distinction of being the first woman to train as a heart surgeon at Yale University. She currently serves as an Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon through Global Cardiac Surgical Volunteerism, CardioStart International, Emergency International.


Dr. Bharath RajuBharath G. Raju, MD is originally from the Chicago suburbs and is a graduate of the University of Illinois. He completed cardiology fellowship at Baylor University where he worked closely with and published with Dr. Peter McCullough. Dr. Raju joins IUHP Cardiology trained in general cardiology and advanced cardiac imagining. Dr. Raju will practice at IUH North Hospital. He and his wife, Anusha, also a physician, reside in Zionsville with their new son, Yohan. 

Dr. Behzad SharifBehzad Sharif, PhD,  from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California Los Angeles, has been selected as the Director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Research at Indiana University School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at the newly established Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center (KCVRC) within IU Health/IU School of Medicine Cardiovascular Institute. He most recently served as Director of the NIH-funded laboratory for Translational Imaging of Microcirculation at Cedars-Sinai Biomedical Imaging Research Institute. He concurrently held faculty appointments as Assistant Professor-in-residence of Medicine and Bioengineering at UCLA. Dr. Sharif earned his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, and MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the development and clinical validation of innovate MRI technologies for quantitative imaging of the dynamics in the cardiovascular system, all geared towards solving ongoing challenges in non-invasive testing of coronary microvascular health and imagining-guided evaluation of therapies targeting coronary microcirculation. 

Dr. Aaron WhippAaron M. Whipp, DO, is from the Dayton area, and is a graduate of Ohio State University. He completed cardiology fellowship at the University of Arizona where he served as Chief Fellow. Dr. Whipp has been recognized with teaching and mentorship awards at both the resident and fellow level, and comes to IUHP Cardiology trained in general cardiology and advanced cardiac imaging. Dr. Whipp will see patients at IUH Saxony and IUH Tipton Hospitals. He and his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Maddie, reside in Fishers. 






Dr. Georges Ephrem was recently announced as an American College of Cardiology Clinical Trial Research Awardee. The ACC CTR program is intended to grow the next generation of cardiologists doing impactful clinical research by increasing the number of future leaders in cardiovascular clinical trials research. As part of this program, Dr. Ephrem submitted a research proposal entitled "Sacubitril/Valsartan Outcomes in Adult Congenital Heart Disease Patients With a Systemic Right Ventricle" aimed at prospectively studying the impact of Entresto in this subgroup of ACHD patients. The ACC's Research Fellowship Awards Committee (RFAC) reviewed and ranked the submitted proposals according to the NIH criteria and granted Dr. Ephrem the 20,000 USD prize to assist in launching this ambitious research project. 

Honors and Recognitions

Kovacs Richard_6 5×7Richard Kovacs, MD, MACC Named ACC Chief Medical Adviser/Chief Medical Officer

Richard Kovacs, MD, MACC has worked with the American College of Cardiology to become its inaugural Chief Medical Advisor/Chief Medical Officer. Best wishes to Dr. Kovacs as he transitions 50% of his time to this ACC position effective November 1.



Raghu Motaganahalli, MD, selected as the 44th President of the Midwestern Vascular Surgery Society

Dr. Raghu Motaganahalli with Dr. Kellie BrownCongratulations to Raghu Motaganahalli, MD, for his appointment as the 44th President of the Midwestern Vascular Surgery Society. This esteemed organization is one of the largest regional vascular societies to offer various opportunities for vascular surgeons to gather and discuss current trends, techniques and participate in special programs designed to advance its practice. Out of the organizations 45-year history, Motaganahalli is only the third person from the state of Indiana to hold this position. He is pictured below with the former president, Kellie Brown, MD. 


Courtland Blount, MD, MS, accepted into the ACC African American Cardiology Program

Dr. Courtland Blount "As a new member of the American College of Cardiology's African American Cardiology Committee, I am excited to be given the opportunity to fulfill this organization's mission as it aligns with my own. I look forward to assisting with the improvement of cardiovascular health and increasing health literacy within the black community. As a native of Memphis, TN, I understand the importance of sharing the passion and concern for health and wellness with my patients, as I have seen first-hand how beneficial it is to build trust between healthcare professionals and the community. This organization consists of a cohort of physicians, from marginalized backgrounds among various professional levels, all focused on networking and strengthening the relationships amongst Black medical professionals interested and within the Cardiology field. Through stronger relationships amongst ourselves, we can better facilitate ways to create a leveled playing field for African Americans within the health care system." - Courtland Blount, MD, MS


Mohammed Homsi, MD, Awarded the IUH West Physician Sanctuary Award

Cheers to IUHP Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Dr. Mohammed Homsi, for being awarded the Physician Sanctuary Award at IU Health West Hospital, selected by his physician peers on the medical executive committee. This award is to recognize physicians who emulate the core values of IU Health. Dr. Homsi's attributes of respect, kindness, empathy for others, and knowledge elevate the care to patients in this institution. 

Dr. Mohammed Homsi and IU West Team

Pictured left to right: Liz Nichols, RN; Kristen Combes, NP;
Dr. Mohammed Homsi; Theresa Giannini, NP



In the Media

2021 Health Care Heroes: Recognition of our Team's Support of Heart Transplant Patients' recovery

Read on to learn how the IU Health Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant (COLTT) was awarded the Health Care Hero Award by the Indianapolis Business Journal

Dr. Roopa Rao and Lindsay Tucker

Pictured: Dr. Roopa Rao and Lindsay Tucker representing IU Health


Onyedika Ilonze, MD, Featured in the IU Health Plans Commercial

Cheers to Dr. Onyedika Ilonze for his participation in the IU Health Plans Medicare Advantage commercial. It will air on the following channels: WISH-TV (CW), WRTV-TV (CW), WRTV-TV (CBS), WTHR-TV (NBC), WTTV-S2 (ABC), WXIN-TV (FOX), ESPN, HGTV, and more.  


Cheers to Dr. Pantila Bateman for her lecture entitled, "Heart Health and COVID-19" at the 2021 Women of INfluence 10th Annual Virtual Symposium by IU National Center of Excellence in Women's Health on September 15th, 2021. 


Dr. Balaji Tamarappoo's manuscript was recently accepted to the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. Women with breast cancer are surviving longer thanks to early diagnosis and excellent targeted chemotherapy and radiation. One of the major causes of non-cancer death in these women is cardiovascular disease. Thus, early detection and treatment of coronary artery atherosclerosis has the potential to reduce cardiovascular events in breast cancer survivors. Women with metastatic breast cancer undergo whole body PET-CT for detection of metastases or to monitor effectiveness of treatment. In these women, coronary atherosclerosis can be detected by measuring coronary calcium in the CT scan. In Dr. Tamarappoo's research study, they demonstrated that CT from PET-CT scanning can provide an opportunity to identify women with coronary artery calcium who were previously not diagnosed as having coronary atherosclerosis and hence were not treated with lipid lowering therapies. In this study, in a small cohort of women, they concluded that breast cancer survivors with subclinical atherosclerosis and who were eligible for lipid lowering therapy could be identified using PET-CT that was performed for other clinical indications. Whether early detection of subclinical atherosclerosis in women with breast cancer will result in mortality benefit needs to be tested in multicenter studies in large population of women with breast cancer.  


Opportunities within #OneIUCV


  • Find your place at the Indiana University School of Medicine with this newly created Program Management Leader opportunity. The Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center (KCVRC) is seeking an experienced Program Management Leader who thrives in a dynamic team environment. This position will provide programmatic support for the KCVRC and will be responsible for the Center's fiscal and operational oversight. To learn more and to apply, visit the IU careers page, browse staff positions and search for keywords: Cardiovascular Research Program Management Leader. 
  • The KCVRC is also seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow with expertise in physiological data acquisition and analysis. To learn more and to apply, visit the IU Career Page

Do you have a story that reflects the strength of our statewide system for cardiovascular care? 
                    Please email 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.