The Pulse

Welcome to The Pulse, the biannual UPMC Cardiovascular Fellowship Program e-newsletter. This publication is issued twice a year to keep graduates up to date on what’s happening with the program. It is our hope that this will help everyone to stay in close contact and promote ongoing interaction among graduates, new and old.

Welcome to the
Incoming Cardiology Fellowship Class of 2019

We had an awesome recruitment year! After 700+ applications from across the nation, we are happy to report a fantastic match. We thank all current fellows, faculty, and staff for the dedication and spirit shown to help recruit our new trainees. We can’t wait to have the following join the HVI family in July 2019!

Michael Bashline, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Ann Canterbury, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Michael Winslow Gardner, MD
Oregon Health and Science University

Allexa Allyn Hammond, MD
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Agnes Koczo, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Ivan Nimrod Mugisha, MD
Washington University in St. Louis

Ricardo Andrés Nieves, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Natalie Rose Stokes, MD
University of Pennsylvania Health System Program

HVI Well-Represented at AHA and ACC Scientific Sessions

The UPMC HVI was well-represented at both AHA Scientific Sessions in Chicago and ACC Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, with over 70 posters and presentations. Please join us in congratulating the follow award recipients:

AHA Poster Presentations

Emily Guhl
Women with Atrial Fibrillation have Lower Quality of Life.

Ahmad Masri
Obstetric and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Pregnant Women With Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: A Nationwide Cohort Study.
Incidence and Predictors of Venous Thromboembolism at 30-Days in Patients Admitted With Syncope: A Nationwide Cohort Study.

Zach Rhinehart
Atrial Fibrillation Outcomes and Sex in a Tertiary Care Center, 2006-2017: The Burden is on Women.

Anum Saeed
Change in Galectin-3 Levels and Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease: Insights From the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

AHA Oral Presentations

Malamo Countouris
Primary Presentation of Pulmonary Hypertension in the Peripartum: Preparing for Patients With Eisenmenger’s Physiology.

Stephen D’Auria
Tissue Plasminogen Activator Conjugated Microbubbles for the Treatment of Coronary Microvascular Obstruction.

Emily Guhl
PCSK9 Inhibitor Use in the Real World: Data from the National Patient Centered Research Network (PCORNet).

Ahmad Masri
Obstetric and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Pregnant Women With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Nationwide Cohort Study and a Propensity Score-Matched Analysis

AHA Awards

Malamo Countouris
Laennec Young Clinician Award Finalist

Emily Guhl
Clinical Cardiology Minority Travel Grant

Anum Saeed
Paul Dudley Award for Highest Ranked Abstract

ACC Poster Presentations

Amber Makani
Opioid Withdrawal Induced Stress Cardiomyopathy With Recurrent Cariogenic Shock

Michael Genuardi
The Association of Sleep Apnea With Invasive Cardiopulmonary Hemodynamics

Lindsey Cilia
The Impact of Chronic Kidney Disease and Anemia Upon Outcomes in the Revascularized Patient Population

Becky Lolley
Single-Center Outcomes of Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral Post-Myocardial Infarction

Ricardo Nieves (incoming fellow)
Initial Results From a Newly Established Solid State SPECT Myocardial Flow Quantification Program

ACC Oral Presentations

Malamo Countouris
Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy and Subsequent Structural Changes by Echocardiography

Amber Makani
The Safety and Efficacy of Anticoagulation For Atrial Fibrillation With DOAC Versus Warfarin in Patients With Various Stages of Renal Function

ACC Notable Presentations

Anum Saeed
So You Know Your Lipids! Let’s Ask Some Questions & Discuss Some Cases

Anum Saeed
Top 3 Presentations in Global CVD Prevention Most Likely to Impact or Change Clinical Practice or Future Research Agenda

Ahmad Masri
Pulmonary Hypertension in Aortic and Mitral Valve Disease Pathophysiology and Outcomes

Estes Rounds

Dr. Roy Sriwattanakomen

By Dr. Roy Sriwattanakomen (Chief Education Fellow)

One of the most exciting developments within the cardiology fellowship this academic year has been the advent of Estes ECG Rounds. First-year fellows rotate weekly to present interesting electrocardiograms (ECG) from service patients to renowned electrophysiologist and teacher, Dr. Mark Estes, who joined UPMC faculty this past fall. After the fellow presents the clinical context of the patient’s ECG, Dr. Estes guides fellows through the read with probing questions, testing knowledge and reasoning abilities. Irregular beats are dissected with a focus on mechanism. Through this Socratic methodology, knowledge gaps are recognized and remedied. Although fellows demonstrate improvement of basic reading skills, even more impressive are the application of newly-learned concepts such as concealed retrograde conduction and bypass tract localization that occur from genuine understanding and repetition.

The benefits of having such an experienced teacher are also evident as Dr. Estes is able to recognize more esoteric conditions and concepts, such as the Bainbridge reflex and permanent reciprocating junctional tachycardia, and apply them to patient presentations and ECGs. After each session, the presenting fellow meets with Dr. Estes to annotate the ECGs and they are uploaded to the fellow shared drive for anyone to review. The electrocardiogram is an indispensable part of a patient’s cardiac workup. With Dr. Estes’ instruction, we are learning the full extent of information that it can provide.

Note: Estes (ECG) rounds are open to all residents, fellows, and faculty.

Estes rounds

Innovative Cardiology Careers: Dr. Alicia Topoll

One of the strengths of the Cardiovascular Fellowship training at UPMC is our ability to offer innovative career paths. In the prior edition of The Pulse, we highlighted the UPMC fellows that are pursuing careers in Cardiac Critical Care, a burgeoning field that only a few places in the country offer standing pathway for training. In this issue, we highlight another fellow who is paving a new path in the field of cardiology by combining her interests in palliative care medicine with cardiology. Dr. Alicia Topoll is now a third-year fellow who has expressed a passion for improving end-of-life care and decision making for cardiology patients since her initial interview for fellowship in 2015. She successfully matched into UPMC’s Palliative Care fellowship last month and will matriculate in July 2019. Congrats Alicia!

"Palliative and end-of-life care are important aspects for all patients with serious comorbidities. Patients with diseases specific to cardiology are complex and can be quite confusing for both patients and care teams. By studying both cardiology and palliative and hospice medicine, I hope to enhance the care our patients receive by providing additional support and to improve their quality of life throughout their disease trajectory. With experience in these two fields, I will better be able to assist patients in navigating treatment plans that best align with their goals and to add an additional layer of care, symptom management and support. I am excited to transition to UPMC's Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship and I am so appreciative of everyone's support!"


5th Annual Advanced Transradial and Complex Cardiac Care Interventions Symposium

Please join the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at the 5th Annual Advanced Transradial and Complex Cardiac Care Interventions Symposium on March 30, 2019 at the Marriott City Center. This one-day CME event will feature a wide range of topics on the transradial approach to cardiac catheterization /PCI, case-based discussions, and videos presented by the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute faculty. Internationally recognized guest lecturers will be featured. This event is approved for a maximum of 5.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits and is designed for cardiologists (both invasive and non-invasive), advanced practice providers, cardiac cath lab nurses, as well as technologists, and other interested health care professionals. Registration is open and more information can be found at

A New Home for the HVI Family!

We just celebrated our one year anniversary in the new HVI suite at the Presbyterian Campus. It houses space for our executive administration, physicians, APPs and administrative assistants, as well as two conference rooms and a variety of respite spaces. As you can see, it allows for lots of sunshine and beautiful views of the surrounding Oakland area. Built in the space that was previously Children’s Hospital, it has easy access for visitors and is directly connected to inpatient floors. We would love to show you around if you’re in the area. Please stop in and say hello!

Share Your Publication News

Have you had an article published recently? Share this news with the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute for inclusion in a new section of the Our Research page on the HVI website! Email the link to your article, along with a brief description, to

Request for Updates

We know how much you value the education you received here, and invite your input and support. One of our first priorities is to gather contact information for all of our former trainees.

Please email Denise Goppman at with your current email address and any updates that you might like to share.

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