- October 2014 -
Zogbhi Serves as Understein Memorial Visiting Professor

William A. Zogbhi, MD, a national leader in cardiac imaging and past president of both the American Society of Echocardiography and the American College of Cardiology, was the GW Heart & Vascular Institute's 2014 Understein Memorial Visiting Professor. Dr. Zoghbi holds the William L. Winters Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Imaging at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and is Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Institute at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Dr. Zogbhi delivered cardiology grand rounds on "Multimodality Cardiac Imaging" on October 8th and medical grand rounds on "Achieving the Triple AIM in Cardiovascular Healthcare: An Individual and Global Imperative" on October 9th to more than 200 GW faculty, and trainees. The Understein Memorial Lecture Fund was established in 1978 by the family of Jack Understein, in gratitude for the care provided at GW. The Institute is grateful to the Understein family for their generous contribution that makes this annual lectureship and tribute to their father possible. Jack Understein's sons, Norman Understein and Robert Understein, attended the lecture on Wednesday and joined Dr. Zogbhi and GW's cardiology fellows for dinner following the event.

Institute Partners with Food & Friends to Launch Alliance for Nutrition in Health and Disease

GW Heart & Vascular Institute in partnership with Food & Friends and GW's Rodham Institute is starting a pilot program,  Alliance for Nutrition in Health and Disease, to improve the care of patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and co-morbidities such as heart failure, amputations and hospital admissions. Gurusher Panjrath, MD, director of Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at GW is co-founder of this alliance and leading the program. The 12 month study will evaluate the effectiveness of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to reduce the need for hospitalization and urgent care visits and improve glycemic control and prevent further end-organ injury associated with poor metabolic control and co-morbidities. MNT will be provided by Food & Friends in the form of fresh cooked meals or groceries delivered to the patient's home three times a week at no cost to them.  A registered dietitian will provide on-going nutrition education to all participants. Results of this program may serve as basis for expanding these services to a larger population. The GW Heart & Vascular Institute is proud to be a leader in efforts to prevent and reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in our patients and communities with such novel programs.  

Institute Investigates Using Smartphone Applications in Improving Mediterranean Diet Adherence


Brian Choi, MD, and Kelli Metzger, MS, RD, are conducting a study with Vignet to investigate whether dietary counseling supplied through FitNinja, a mobile phone application, will result in improved adherence to a Mediterranean diet when compared to traditional standard-of-care dietary counseling. A Mediterranean diet has proven efficacy in reducing the incidence of major cardiovascular events among persons at high cardiovascular risk. However, the high rates of noncompliance indicate that it may be difficult to keep patients participating long enough in order to gain the benefits of the diet. FitNinja introduces a more convenient and engaging system to improve adherence rates to a Mediterranean diet. The system offers more continuous monitoring and communication between the provider and the patient through frequent mobile consults without increasing the provider's time commitment. Study participants will use their smartphone to report a wide variety of outcomes including dietary patterns, vitals, medication, activity, sleep, behavior, symptoms, emotions and psychosocial measures. The RD will use a personalized web portal to monitor the participant's progress, provide detailed feedback, and set goals and daily tasks for patients. If successful, this study may demonstrate that asynchronous dietary counseling delivered through a smartphone will result in improved dietary adherence to a Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Borden Participates in Health Entrepreneurs Roundtable


The Institute's faculty, William Borden, MD, director of Healthcare Delivery Transformation at GW, represented the American College of Cardiology at the 1776 "Innovation that Matters" and "Challenge Cup" health care roundtable discussions. 1776 is a Washington, DC based innovation incubator that supports entrepreneurs in the education, energy, health care, and government sectors.