HCA Midwest Health
September 01, 2022

More than 500 cardiology specialists and healthcare professionals from around the country convened in-person and online for the two-day event that focused on latest advances in electrophysiology and patient care.

HCA Midwest Health’s DJ Lakkireddy, M.D., renowned leader in electrophysiology research and an education leader in atrial fibrillation, convened symposium.

Kansas City, MO – More than 500 participants from multiple countries and 22 states recently gathered in Kansas City for presentations on groundbreaking, current cardiology topics and future trends including the evolution of disease processes, diagnostic tools, therapeutic strategies, COVID-19’s impact on cardiology patients and the advancement of quality, compassionate patient care at the fourteenth annual Kansas City Heart Rhythm Symposium (KCHRS), an intensive two-day event with an agenda of Electrophysiology (EP)-focused medical education. More than 30 leading cardiac experts—including cardiology physician leaders from Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at HCA Midwest Health—and from across the globe presented to electrophysiologists, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other healthcare professionals.

The symposium was hosted and directed by Dhanunjaya “DJ” Lakkireddy, M.D., a board-certified, fellowship-trained cardiac electrophysiologist, researcher and renowned leader in complex arrhythmia. Dr. Lakkireddy, executive medical director of the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at HCA Midwest Health, also delivered a keynote address. HCA Midwest Health is Kansas City’s leading healthcare system and nationally-known for high-quality, cutting-edge cardiology care.

“As an internationally known and respected industry veteran, educator, researcher and leader in atrial fibrillation, Dr. Lakkireddy has a unique ability to bring an incredible vision for world-class cardiology care, while offering valuable educational events like the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Symposium,” says HCA Midwest Health President Keith Zimmerman. “The event underscores not only the tremendous contributions of patient care that cardiologists and cardiology specialists make, but the level of commitment to education and excellence in patient outcomes.”

“Every year this major symposium updates medical practitioners around the country on the future of cardiac electrophysiology and on new diagnosis and treatment guidelines in the care and management of patients with atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and heart failure,” Dr. Lakkireddy says. “Not only are significant advances shared in this rapidly evolving field that directly impact patients, the symposium highlights the clinical excellence and fierce passion in the field of cardiology by professionals who care for the most vulnerable, cardiology patients who fear their life is ending.”

The Symposium speakers discussed the future of cardiac EP, and on new diagnosis and treatment guidelines in the care and management of patients with arrhythmias, heart failure and other issues impacting the electrical system of the body. Participants learned about advances in ablation techniques, device management, appropriate use criteria, and new developments in guidelines and recommendations. New clinical trials that have helped change the clinical practice of EP were reviewed, and speakers examined the latest trends in Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) treatment options to provide more advanced cardiology care.

A key element of this year’s symposium included the unprecedented era that healthcare providers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic which led to countless unanswered questions and forced clinicians and patients to adapt to the current environment. Evidence indicates that COVID-19 infection and its recovery period are associated with cardiac compromise. For example, between 9%-17% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 have evidence of arrhythmias. (Chung 2021) As such, the diagnosis, management, and risk stratification of these complications were discussed, including best practices in the cardiology care with patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

KCHRS faculty presented Dr. Eric Prystowsky with The Pioneer in EP Award at the symposium. Dr. Prystowsky was a full-time faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he was Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory for ten years. In 1986, he returned to his Alma Mater, Duke University, as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center. He joined St. Vincent in 1988. In addition to co-authoring two textbooks, he has also authored over 700 publications concerning cardiac arrhythmias. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology and is also on the editorial board of 15 journals. Additionally, he is past chairman of the American Heart Association’s Committee on Electrocardiography and Electrophysiology, past president of the Heart Rhythm Society, and past chairman of the Test Writing Committee for Clinical Electrophysiology for the American Board of Internal Medicine.  He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Pennsylvania State University (2007), the Distinguished Physician Award from St. Vincent Hospital (2014), the HRS Distinguished Teacher Award (2002), President’s Award (2009), and Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award (2018).

Learn more about HCA Midwest Health and its comprehensive cardiology and electrophysiology services.