- August 2012 -
GW Cardiologists volunteer time and technology to screen student athletes for heart conditions

Drs. Allen Solomon, Brian Choi, and Miriam Fishman, screened nearly 100 high school student athletes on August 16, 2012 at Albert Einstein High School in Silver Spring, MD. The heart screenings were performed using an innovative handheld ultrasound machine, called GE's V-scan. This advanced screening using portable technology to allow physicians to view an individual's heart image on site in one or two minutes provided a more accurate method to determine if young athletes can safely participate in sports.

Students examine their genomes in innovative course

Tim McCaffrey, PhD, professor of Medicine at GW Medical Faculty Associates; director of the Division of Genomic Medicine at GW's School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and board member of the GW Heart and Vascular Institute, teaches a course called Personalized Genomics: An Exploration into the Heritable Elements of Disease. This course, which is offered at only three medical schools in the country, is pushing the curricular envelope by giving students the chance to have his or her genetic makeup or genome scanned to predict the relative likelihood of developing more than 100 diseases. Students send a sample of their DNA to a company called 23andMe, which analyzes DNA for disease risk, drug resistance, and ancestry. The course not only reveals personal risk for disease, it also teaches the students about each condition through slides, video explanations, and physician's perspective - stressing the important difference between risk for disease and actual diagnosis. Dr. McCaffrey notes that by exploring their own genome and heritable risk, students will become familiar with the terminology, methods, and proper interpretation, which will foster an informed and responsive physician.

Photograph by Holger Thoss, courtesy of Medicine + Health

The Institute is walking with Chef Ris Lacoste to promote heart health 

Chef Ris Lacoste, who launched Ris Walk 60, a walking program to encourage an active lifestyle for heart health, has set a personal goal to lose weight and walk for sixty minutes everyday. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, for both men and women. Ris invites people to join her daily in the Ris Walk 60 challenge to raise awareness and take steps towards a healthier life. Each walk will start at Ris (23rd and L St., NW) from noon to 1 p.m. Ris is asking walkers to donate $1 for every mile walked. Her goal is to walk 25,000 miles. Proceeds from Ris's walk campaign will benefit the Women's Heart Center at the GW Heart & Vascular Institute.