Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Continuing Medical Education, CME, Medical Conference - Baptist Health
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2017 Faculty________________________



Michael Ozner, M.D., FACC, FAHA
Medical Director, Center for Prevention and Wellness
Baptist Health South Florida
Miami, Florida

Biography   Dr. Ozner is one of America’s leading advocates for heart disease prevention. He is a well-known regional and national speaker in the field of preventive cardiology. Dr. Ozner has frequently appeared in the print, radio and television media including The New York Times, NPR radio and CBS News. He was the recipient of the 2008 American Heart Association Humanitarian Award and has been elected to Top Cardiologists in America by the Consumer Council of America. Dr. Ozner is also the author of The Great American Heart Hoax and Heart Attack Proof. His most recent book, The Complete Mediterranean Diet, was released worldwide in 2014.

Theodore Feldman, M.D., FACC, FACP

Medical Director, Wellness and Prevention, Baptist Health South Florida
Medical Director, South Miami Heart Center
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Miami, Florida
Biography   Dr. Ted Feldman is extensively involved in clinical research and education in cardiovascular disease prevention. He serves as a director for the International Symposium on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, one of the largest and most prestigious such meetings in the U.S. He also is director of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute’s Comprehensive Cardiovascular Symposium. Board-certified in internal medicine with a subspecialty in cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Feldman currently serves as medical director of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute at South Miami Hospital and is a medical director for the Center for Prevention and Wellness at Baptist Health South Florida. Dr. Feldman is a clinical associate professor of medicine at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, as well as the cardiology clerkship director and an interviewer for the medical school’s admissions committee. Dr. Feldman is in private practice in South Miami and is a member of the executive committee and board of directors of Heartwell LLP, a large single-specialty cardiovascular practice closely affiliated with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute.  


Arthur S. Agatston, M.D., FACC
Medical Director, Center for Prevention and Wellness
Baptist Health South Florida
Cardiologist, Baptist Hospital of Miami
Professor, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Miami, Florida

Biography   Dr. Agatston’s work with Dr. Warren Janowitz resulted in the Agatston Score, a method of screening for coronary calcium as an indicator of atherosclerosis that is used at medical centers throughout the world and considered by most experts to be the single best predictor of a future heart attack. Well-known as the author of the internationally best-selling book The South Beach Diet, his first nonacademic work, Dr. Agatston created his balanced approach to healthy eating to help his patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. Dr. Agatston has published more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in medical journals and is a frequent lecturer across the U.S. and around the world on diet, cardiac imaging and the prevention of heart disease. In recognition of his contributions to cardiac prevention, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography created the prestigious Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award in 2011, which is given annually to pioneers in cardiac prevention.

Julio Barcena, M.D.
Cardiologist, Advanced Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension
Baptist, Doctors and South Miami Hospitals
Miami, Florida
Biography   Dr. Barcena graduated from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at University Hospitals / Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed additional training in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio Dr. Barcena holds Board Certifications in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. Dr. Barcena specializes in General Cardiology treatment and prevention with a particular interest in heart failure, complex valvular heart disease, pericardial disease and pulmonary hypertension.

Roger Blumenthal, M.D.   

Professor of Medicine
Director, Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for Prevention of Heart Disease
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, Maryland
Biography    Dr. Blumenthal's principal clinical and research interests include the optimal management of ischemic heart disease, noninvasive detection of coronary atherosclerosis and the development of new strategies to optimize the management of cardiovascular disease risk factors. He is a member of the American Heart Association’s National Spokespersons Panel; former chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease committee; and current co-chair of the ACC/AHA subcommittee that is updating blood pressure, cholesterol, lifestyle and risk assessment guidelines. An experienced writer, Dr. Blumenthal is on the editorial board of the American Heart Journal, Clinical Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology Extended Learning Center. He is the Preventive Cardiology/Coronary Heart Disease section editor of Cardiology Today. He is editor of the annual Johns Hopkins White Paper on Prevention of Heart Disease and co-editor of the textbook Preventive Cardiology: A Companion to Braunwalds’s Heart Disease. He is also co-editor of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology’s Manual of Preventive Cardiology.

William Virgil Brown, M.D.    

Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Biography    Dr. Brown is the founder of the prestigious Southeast Lipid Research Forum (instituted in 1992) and has chaired several Gordon Conferences on Lipid Metabolism. He served as president of the American Heart Association in 1991-92 and the National Lipid Association in 2003-05. He also chaired the Metabolism Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, was on the Medical Advisory Panel of LipoScience and is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of InVasc Therapeutics. Dr. Brown was Charles Howard Candler Professor of Internal Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine from 1991-2009. He was the recipient of the Golden Heart Award, the highest honor given by the American Heart Association for service to its mission over a lifetime.


Natalie Castro-Romero, M.S., R.D., LDN    

Chief, Wellness Advantage Dietitian
Baptist Health South Florida
Miami, Florida
Biography    Ms. Castro-Romero is certified in adult weight management and works passionately on improving the health of both adults and children. Her clinical experience includes working with patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders and critically ill patients in intensive care, specializing in nutritional support. In addition, she has conducted research evaluating eating behaviors of overweight and normal-weight children. Her research conducted at the Behavioral Medicine Department at the University at Buffalo has been published in several peer-reviewed medical journals.

William C. Cushman, M.D.   

Chief, Preventive Medicine
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Professor, Preventive Medicine, Medicine and Physiology
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis, Tennessee
Biography    Dr. Cushman is a graduate of the University of Mississippi. In addition to being lead hypertension consultant to medical service for the VA, he is on the executive committee that wrote the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s National Committee Report on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of Hypertension. He has been an investigator in many clinical studies relating to hypertension and cardiovascular disease prevention. Dr. Cushman is principal investigator for the VA Clinical Center Network and chair of the Blood Pressure Working Group of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial conducted from 2000 to 2010. Dr. Cushman is also leading a clinical network of more than 20 VA centers in the United States, including the Memphis VA Medical Center, in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).


Thomas Dayspring, M.D., FACP, FNLA, NCMP

Chief Academic Officer, True Health Diagnostics
Richmond, Virginia
Biography    Dr. Dayspring is the author of several textbook chapters and peer-reviewed articles, CME publications relating to lipids (including sterols) and lipoproteins, including their pharmacologic modulation and their relationship to gender, estrogen and raloxifene. He also authors Lipidaholics Anonymous, a newsletter sent to several thousand healthcare professionals.

Ian Del Conde Pozzi, M.D.      

Cardiovascular Disease, Vascular Medicine
Baptist, Doctors, Homestead and West Kendall Baptist Hospitals
Miami, Florida
Biography    Dr. Del Conde Pozzi’s clinical expertise involves the study and treatment of diseases that affect the arterial, venous and lymphatic systems, including peripheral artery disease, carotid and renal artery disease, resistant hypertension, venous thromboembolic disease, venous insufficiency and less common vascular diseases, such as fibromuscular dysplasia and vasculitis. Dr. Del Conde Pozzi has focused his career on the study of thrombosis and vascular diseases. He has published widely in the field of cardiovascular diseases and is the author of several scientific articles and book chapters, and has been an invited speaker at several international medical meetings.

Felipe de los Rios La Rosa, M.D.

Medical Director, Stroke Program
Baptist Hospital of Miami
Miami, Florida
Biography    Dr. de los Rios La Rosa recently joined Baptist Health South Florida’s neurology department as director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center. Previously he was affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, University of New Mexico and SANNA Healthcare Network in Lima, Peru. Dr. de los Rios La Rosa received his medical degree from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru. He completed an internship in internal medicine, a residency in neurology and a neurovascular fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, where he also received a certificate in clinical and translational research. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialties of neurology and vascular neurology, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology and American Stroke Association.


Sergio Fazio, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine and of Physiology & Pharmacology
William and Sonja Connor Chair of Preventive Cardiology
Director, Center of Preventive Cardiology
Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, Oregon
Biography    Dr. Fazio is board-certified in clinical lipidology, and his studies focus on the role of cholesterol in cardiovascular disease. His clinical interest is the management of patients with abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood (dyslipidemia), which includes examining lipid-lowering drugs and identifying genetic mutations causing altered lipid levels in humans. His NIH-supported research focuses on the pathogenesis of genetic dyslipidemias, early cellular events in arterial plaque formation, and gene therapy approaches to treating hardening of the arteries. 

Adam R. Geronemus, M.D.

Diagnostic, Vascular and Interventional Radiologist
Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute
Baptist, Doctors, Homestead, South Miami and West Kendall Baptist Hospitals
Miami, Florida
Biography   Dr. Geronemus received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University and his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. He completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, as well as a fellowship in interventional radiology at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. Dr. Geronemus is Board-Certified in Diagnostic Radiology with a Certificate of Added Qualification in vascular and interventional radiology. He is a program director for the Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) and Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO).

Anthony M. Gonzalez, M.D., FACS, FASMBS

Chief of Surgery, Baptist Hospital of Miami
Medical Director, Bariatric Surgery, South Miami Hospital
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Associate Director, General Surgery, Baptist Health Medical Group
Miami, Florida
Biography    Dr. Gonzalez graduated from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and continued his surgical training at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Medical Center, where he was chief resident. He is a board-certified general surgeon with interest in general surgery, laparoscopic surgery, robotic and bariatric surgery. He has been involved in the care of bariatric patients since 1994. He is a member of multiple professional societies, including the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. His reputation has motivated surgeons from all of Central and South America to travel to South Florida to benefit from his expertise in bariatric and laparoscopic surgery. When doctors are unable to travel from afar or when a large number of physicians and surgeons must be reached, he televises his surgeries “live” to the society meetings.


Efrain Gonzalez, M.D.

Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Baptist, South Miami, Doctors and West Kendall Baptist Hospitals
Miami, Florida

Biography    Dr. Gonzalez completed his medical degree in Asuncion, Paraguay. He completed his internal medicine residency at Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana, along with a cardiac fellowship. He also completed a cardiac electrophysiology fellowship at the University of Miami, Florida. Dr. Gonzalez is currently in private practice and is board certified in Cardiac Electrophysiology.

Timothy Grant, M.D., FAASM

Medical Director, Baptist Sleep Center
Baptist, South Miami, Homestead and Mariners Hospitals
Miami, Florida
Biography    Dr. Grant earned his medical degree at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and completed an internship and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Veterans Administration Hospital. He is certified by the American Boards of Sleep Medicine, and Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as the National Board of Medical Examiners. With over 30 years of experience in neurology, Dr. Grant is recognized as an expert in sleep medicine. He specializes in the study and treatment of sleep disorders, and is a frequent lecturer in the field of sleep medicine.


Carl “Chip” J. Lavie Jr., M.D., FACC, FACP, FCCP

Medical Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention
Director, Stress Testing Laboratory
John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute
Ochsner Clinical School, The University of Queensland School of Medicine
New Orleans, Louisiana
Biography    Dr. Lavie earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical School and completed an internship and residency at Ochsner followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular training at the Mayo Clinic Foundation Graduate School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and has been on staff at Ochsner since 1989. His expertise includes noninvasive imaging, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, preventive cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology. Dr. Lavie is an active researcher and has written numerous articles and chapters for scientific medical publications, including a cardiology textbook. He serves as a scientific reviewer or editorial board member for several prestigious scientific journals, including The Ochsner Journal, for which he is associate editor for population medicine.


Peter Libby, M.D.    

Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Cardiovascular Specialist
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts
Biography    Dr. Peter Libby directs a research laboratory that focuses on the basic mechanisms of diseases of the arteries, including atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. He and his colleagues are exploring the concept that the body's own defense mechanisms against such injury as cholesterol may eventually lead to a maladaptive reaction that leads to blood vessel disease. The research group studies various messengers produced by the body that may be involved in producing blockages in arteries. These blockages, often called arterial plaque, can trigger formation of blood clots that cause heart attacks, strokes and gangrene of the limbs. In addition to probing the basic mechanisms of important arterial diseases, the studies underway in these laboratories may help to understand how modern medications used to treat high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease may produce their benefit. Such studies may also point to new targets for developing therapies to further lessen the burden of the heart and blood vessels, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.


Ramon L. Lloret, M.D., FACC, FSCAI
Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute
Miami, Florida

Biography    Dr. Lloret earned his medical degree from the University Of Miami School Of Medicine, completed an internship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and finished his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami Affiliated Hospitals in Miami. After serving as an assistant professor of internal medicine at the VA Hospital in Miami, he completed a cardiology fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Dr. Lloret is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology. A member of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, he has specific interests in management of acute coronary syndromes including the expeditious management of heart attacks revascularizations of chronic total occlusions and congestive heart failure management.


Khurram Nasir, M.D.

Research Director, Center for Prevention and Wellness
Director, High-Risk Cardiovascular Disease Clinic
Baptist Health South Florida
Miami, Florida
Biography    Dr. Nasir’s area of expertise lies in population health management, the role of cardiovascular imaging for identification of high-risk individuals, with a particular emphasis on innovative healthcare delivery-based paradigms to improve patient outcomes and appropriate resource allocation. Dr. Nasir is a recipient of the NIH training award for the cardiac imaging training program at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has published nearly 300 articles in his area of interest. He is an associate editor for the journals Atherosclerosis, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes and Journal of American Cardiology: Cardiac Imaging, and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Cardiac CT. He is currently chair of the prevention council for the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging and Prevention, as well as a member of the board of directors for the Society for Cardiac CT. In 2013 he received Johns Hopkins University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which honors alumni who have brought credit to the university by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement or humanitarian service.

Ramon Quesada, M.D.

Medical Director, Structural Heart and Complex Coronary Intervention and Cardiac Research
Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Miami, Florida

Biography     Dr. Quesada graduated from the University of El Salvador School of Medicine, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami. Dr. Quesada went on to complete fellowships in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology  at the University of Miami where he was awarded the Martin H. Stein Memorial Award for Superior Performance as Cardiology Fellow.  He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Chest Physicians. Dr. Quesada is very active in clinical research, serving as the Principal Investigator of studies on acute myocardial infarction, structural heart disease, and on new technology to improve patient care. He lectures at both National and International meetings and has authored articles and book chapters - most recently on the use of the Transradial Approach for Coronary Interventions.  He is ISET Director for the Interventional Cardiology Program.


Peter P. Toth, M.D., Ph.D.    

Director, Preventive Cardiology, CGH Medical Center
Sterling, Illinois
Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Peoria, Illinois
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
East Lansing, Michigan
Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland
Biography    Dr. Toth received his B.A. in biochemistry from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Michigan State University. He graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed residency training in family medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and Sigma Xi, and is a past president of the National Lipid Association. Dr. Toth is president of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology and a member of the board of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology. He has authored and co-authored over 400 publications in medical and scientific journals and textbooks. He is editor-in-chief of the Year in Lipid Disorders (Atlas Publishing, Oxford, UK) and an associate editor for the Yearbook of Endocrinology (Elsevier, New York). He is co-editor with Antonio Gotto of the textbook Comprehensive Management of High-Risk Cardiovascular Patients (Taylor and Francis, New York), with Michael Davidson of Therapeutic Lipidology (Humana, Philadelphia), with Dominic Sica of Current Controversies in Dyslipidemia Management (Atlas Publishing, Oxford), with Kevin Maki of Practical Lipid Management (Wiley-Blackstone, London), with Christopher Cannon of Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care in the Primary Care Setting (Springer Humana, Philadelphia), with Domenic Sica of Clinical Challenges in Hypertension, vols. I and II (Clinical Publishing, Oxford, UK), with Vasu Raghavan of Cardiac Lipoglucotoxicity, and with Alicia Jenkins and Timothy Lyons of Lipoproteins in Diabetes Mellitus. He has lectured on many topics in cardiovascular medicine throughout the world.


James Underberg, M.D., M.S., FACPM, FACP, FASH, FNLA

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine
NYU Medical School and NYU Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Director, Bellevue Hospital Primary Care Lipid Management Clinic
New York, New York
Biography    Dr. Underberg is an American Society of Hypertension-certified specialist in clinical hypertension and a Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. He is president-elect of the Northeast Chapter of the National Lipid Association and served on the National Board of the National Lipid Association in 2011-14. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, co-chairs the communication committee of the NLA and is the co-editor of the NLA quarterly newsletter, Lipid Spin. Dr. Underberg also serves as co-chair and faculty for the National Lipid Association’s Lipid Academy & Lipid University. He currently serves on the CME committee of the American Society of Hypertension. Dr. Underberg graduated from Yale University with a B.S. and M.S., and from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. His internship and residency were completed at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Society of Vascular Medicine, the National Lipid Association, the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Hypertension. He is currently involved in several clinical trials in the areas of hypertension, lipids, diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention. He sees patients both in a university-based referral practice and in the Bellevue Hospital Lipid Clinic.


Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., FACC  

Professor of Medicine/Cardiology
Geffen School of Medicine
Director, Barbra Stresisand Women’s Heart Health Program
Co-Director, Program in Preventative Cardiology
Director, Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Diseases
University of California Los Angeles 
Los Angeles, California

Biography     Dr. Watson received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School, magna cum laude, and her PhD in Physiology from UCLA. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at UCLA, and continued there as part of the UCLA Specialty Training and Academic Research program and as Chief Fellow in Cardiovascular Diseases at UCLA. Dr. Watson’s is a well published author. She is also a Principal Investigator for several large NIH studies, and serves on NIH Data, Safety, and Monitoring Boards and Steering Committees.  She serves on the Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel of the Food and Drug Administration.  She is the chairperson of the national advisory board for WomenHeart (a national organization dedicated to women with heart disease), a former member of the advisory board for the California Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program, and Chairperson of the FDA Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel.


Paul E. Ziajka, M.D., PhD, FNLA    

Cardiologist, Private Practice
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences
Florida State University School of Medicine
Orlando, Florida
Biography    Dr. Paul Ziajka obtained his medical degree at the University of Miami, after earning both a master’s degree and a Ph.D in. physics. He did his internship in internal medicine at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he later served as chief of internal medicine. In private practice, his interest turned to lipid disorders and heart disease. He has been an investigator in more than 50 clinical trials involving heart disease and has been published numerous times in peer-reviewed medical journals. He has authored five books on lipid management, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology and helped create the standards used for board certification by the Board of Clinical Lipidology.

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