The Heart Rhythm Society is proud to recognize these exemplary individuals for their unique contributions.
Recognition Award Winners
Michael J. Ackerman, MD, PhD
Michael J. Ackerman is the Windland Smith Rice Cardiovascular Genomics Research Professor and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pharmacology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As Director of Mayo’s Genetic Heart Rhythm/Long QT Syndrome Clinic and the Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory, Dr. Ackerman strives to fulfill the two-fold objective of medical education and biomedical research as stated by Dr. Charles H. Mayo: "to heal the sick and to advance the science." He has published over 500 articles and chapters across the continuum of basic, translational, and clinical research focusing on the cardiac channelopathies, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and sudden death in the young. Dr. Ackerman received his MD and PhD from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and residency and fellowship training in Pediatric and Pediatric Cardiology in the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Ackerman also serves as the president of the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation.
Introduction by Arthur A. M. Wilde, MD, PhD
William G. Stevenson, MD, FHRS
Bill Stevenson has been a thought leader in our community, has developed new techniques for managing patients with complex arrhythmias and has, through his teaching abilities, transmitted these to his fellows who have come from all over the world to learn from him and to the wider community.
His studies extend from early work on pace mapping and entrainment through refining criteria for successful ablation, application to more complicated substrates such as sarcoid and dilated cardiomyopathy, the use of epicardial approaches, and most recently the needle electrode that he has pioneered. He has not only led our understanding of how best to manage patients with VT but has participated in and led key studies on major problems in our field such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure, and multiple task forces charged with developing guidelines for arrhythmia management. He served 10 years as founding editor for Circulation A&E.
One of Bill’s greatest talents is not only applying a deeper understanding of mechanisms to advancing care of patients with arrhythmias, but also educating others in these now familiar but highly complex methodologies. His teaching talents have been recognized at many institutions around the world. He founded one of the first formal training programs in clinical cardiac electrophysiology as well as an advanced fellowship program for research in clinical training. He has served our society and community in many leadership capacities. He was a member of the ABIM’s test committee on clinical cardiac EP (1997-2002), founding editor-in-chief of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology (2008-2017), Vice President (2005-2007) and President (2007-2009) of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society, and Chair of the Canadian Arrhythmia Network International Advisory Committee since 2016.Introduction by Usha B. Tedrow, MD, MS, FHRS
Distinguished Allied Professional
Susan L. Song, BSN, RN, FHRS
Suzie started her nursing career in 1968, working at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center for ten years. In 1978, she joined Dr. Michael Bilitch as the Assistant Director of the USC Pacemaker Center. Her responsibilities included producing statistical reports for the Food and Drug Administration and for publication in the journal, PACE. After Dr. Bilitch’s passing in 1987, she continued to manage the Multicenter Pacemaker Registry until the final publication known as "The Bilitch Report" in April 1994.
As the Nurse Coordinator for the Pacemaker Clinic, she was present from the inception of these device technologies through their current evolution, defining the role of the allied professional in device management. Her loyalty, dedication and personal concern for her patients has provided great emotional support for their continued care. She has also educated generations of USC staff and cardiology fellows on device programming.
She was one of the original members of NASPE, later renamed the Heart Rhythm Society. She supported the limited staff and worked tirelessly behind the scenes. As a pioneer in the field and an allied professional member of NASPE since 1980, she served as a role model, spearheading the development of the Council of Associated Professionals (NASPE/CAP). She was tireless in advocating for the recognition of allied professionals. She has served on countless committees including CME, Program Committee, 25th Anniversary Task Force, Governance, Marketing, Patient Care and AP Leadership. The most memorable was the History Project, working with Dr. Seymour Furman from 1997-2004.
She has been unwavering in her support of HRS through the years and through its transition from NASPE. She received a Dedication to the Purposes of the Society Certificate in 1990, Distinguished Service Award in 1994 and Heart Rhythm Foundation Certificate of Appreciation in 2011. She served on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee as Secretary in 2007–2009. She has dedicated herself to preserving and sharing the rich history of HRS with passion in her present role in the History Subcommittee.
Suzie makes herself known to every member of the Society with her effusive warmth and hugs. She is always someone who allied professionals can run to with ease for professional advice and fellowship.Introduction by Marleen E. Irwin, RCVT, RRT, FHRS, CCDS
Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology
Eric N. Prystowsky, MD, FHRS
Eric N. Prystowsky, MD, FHRS, is a pioneer of clinical cardiac electrophysiology. After training in EP with John Gallagher at Duke, he served on the faculty of Indiana University and Duke University. At both institutions, he led clinical and research programs that allowed for fundamental physiology discoveries related to cardiac EP, including accessory pathway function, supraventricular tachycardia mechanisms and autonomic influence on cardiac conduction. His discoveries were especially relevant, since his substrate was the human heart and his laboratory was the clinical electrophysiology lab. Outside the lab, he was also instrumental in forwarding clinical research, including development of the MUSTT grant. In 1988, Eric moved back to Indianapolis to develop the arrhythmia service at St. Vincent Hospital. In this practice environment, he has continued to extend his national and international leadership in the field of cardiac EP almost 30 years. For example, soon after starting his practice in Indianapolis, he recognized that atrial fibrillation was rampant, but was almost ignored by electrophysiologists at that time. He helped bring this critically important arrhythmia to the attention of cardiologists and electrophysiologists alike through studies of his own clinic population and through development of clinical practice guidelines.
Eric Prystowsky is a consummate educator. While he is perhaps happiest and most effective sitting at the stimulator and imparting wisdom to those in attendance, he has brought fundamental lessons in EP to international audiences of fellows and cardiac electrophysiologists. Through the development of the first fellow-only intracardiac electrogram course, he has provided over 30 generations of students, a total of 4,000 attendees, a "rite of passage" in learning the physiology principles that underlie our discipline.
Even with his beloved clinical practice and fellowship training activities, Dr. Prystowsky continuously contributes to the field of clinical cardiac EP. He has served as a leader of committees for the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology and as the Chair of the ABIM Test Writing Committee for EP Boards. His contributions to the Heart Rhythm Society have been profound and longstanding, including service as President of the Society and Chair of the Heart Rhythm Foundation.
Dr. Prystowsky is equally devoted to his family, including his wife, Bonnie, their sons Daniel and David, and their grandchildren. Bonnie Prystowsky has especially been an important partner in helping lead the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology since 2004. Overall, Dr. Prystowsky has touched the lives and careers of countless electrophysiologists and has personally mentored numerous leaders in the field. His pioneering spirit and enthusiasm for life and clinical cardiac electrophysiology are both infectious and inspiring.Introduction by Richard L. Page, MD, FHRS
Abstract Award Winners
Eric N. Prystowsky Early Career Researcher Award
Jorge Romero, MD
Eric N. Prystowsky Fellows Clinical Research Award
Mohamed Al Rawahi, MD
Fellow with the Highest-Scoring Abstract
Kevin M. Trulock, MD
Highest Scoring Abstract in the Category Allied Professionals Category
Kimberly Mallory, BSN, RCES, RN
Lectureship Award Winners
Douglas P. Zipes Lectureship Award
Connie R. Bezzina, PhD
Eric N. Prystowsky Lectureship Award
Pierre Jais, MD
Founders Lectureship Award
Bruce L. Wilkoff, MD, FHRS, CCDS
Ralph Lazzara Lectureship Award
Silvia G. Priori, MD, PhD
J. Warren Harthorne, MD, FHRS, CCDS
Victor Parsonnet, MD, FHRS, CCDS
Young Investigator Awards
Hailey J. Jansen, PhD
Shohreh Honarbakhsh, MBBS
Jae Hyung Cho, MD
Antonio Frontera, MD
Shijie Zhou, MASc
HeartRhythm Outstanding Publication Awards for Young Electrophysiologists
Gareth J. Padfield, PhD
Wei-Chung Tsai, MD
Joan and Douglas P. Zipes Publication of the Year Award
Lucas V. A. Boersma, MD, PhD
Research Fellowship Awards
The Kenneth M. Rosen Fellowship in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology
Anna Pfenniger, MD, PhD
Clinical Research Award in Honor of Mark Josephson and Hein Wellens
Albert Joseph Rogers, MD