The Heart Rhythm Society is proud to recognize these exemplary individuals for their unique contributions.
Recognition Award Winners
Distinguished Allied Professional Award
Aileen Ferrick, PhD, ACNP, RN, FHRS
Aileen Ferrick, PhD, ACNP, RN, FHRS is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Allied Professional Award.
Ms. Ferrick has been an active member of the Heart Rhythm Society since 2001 and is a strong advocate for the Allied Professional (AHP) role. She has participated on the Patient Education Committee, which developed the first web-based Educational Program. She was a participating member of the Ethics Committee, Governance Committee, Strategic Planning Task Force, AHP Task Force, Education Committee, Continued Medical Education Task Force, Nominations Subcommittee, Publications Committee, the Patient and Caregiver’s Task Force, and she served as the AP Team Lead on the Scientific Sessions Program Committee from 2004-2007. Her committee work ultimately provided her with the prestigious opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Heart Rhythm Society from 2009-2012. She also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology.
Aileen is currently employed at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY as the Coordinator of their Cardiac EP program. She has an appointment as an Instructor of Medicine at the New York Medical College. She received her PhD in Nursing Science from New York University in 2013.
Ms. Ferrick is an outstanding professional, mentor, teacher and colleague. One of her most notable contributions is her leadership on the development of a “white paper” that outlined the role of the Allied Professional within the Society. This “white paper” provided the foundation for the development of the new “Allied Professional Council” which was added to the Governance Structure in 2018. Without Ms. Ferrick’s vision many years ago, this may have never come to fruition.
Aileen is one of the finest examples of a true professional, role model and inspiration, not only to new Allied Health Professionals, but to seasoned professionals as well. She has long exemplified a high level of commitment to the Society that can serve as a role model for others.
Submitted by Erica S. Zado, PAC, FHRS
Distinguished Scientist Award
Mario Delmar, MD, PhD
Mario Delmar, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Delmar received his medical degree in 1980 from the Universidad Metropolitana and his Doctor in Science degree in 1986 from CIMVESTAV in Mexico City. In 1986 he moved to the United States to work as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY, became an assistant professor in 1988 and rapidly grew through the ranks to become full professor and vice-chair of the same department in 1998. In January of 2008, he was recruited by the University of Michigan as the Frank N. Wilson Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of Basic Science and Co-Director of the Center for Arrhythmia Research. In 2010 he moved to New York where he has attained his present position as the Patricia and Robert Martinsen Professor of Cardiology, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Cell Biology at the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, New York University School of Medicine.
Mario Delmar is universally recognized as an outstanding scientist and a world leader in cardiovascular research for his groundbreaking research in basic and translational cardiac electrophysiology. His sustained contributions to the understanding of the structure, function and regulation of the proteins and signaling pathways that control intercellular communication and cardiac impulse propagation have significantly advanced the mission of the Heart Rhythm Society. Dr. Delmar’s vision of science drives from his conviction that collaborative research is the best approach towards success in the current environment. The scope of the problems, the quality requirements for publication in highly rated journals, and the standards currently applied to grant applications all demand multidisciplinary approaches that require strong collaborative efforts. This philosophy has driven Dr. Delmar’s career through the years and drives his vision for the future.
Submitted by Jose Jalife, MD, FHRS
Distinguished Service Award
Richard I. Fogel, MD, FHRS, CCDS
Richard I. Fogel, MD, FHRS, CCDS, recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Service Award, graduated from Brown University Medical School and did his Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology fellowship at Boston University Medical Center. In 1992 he did a second year Fellowship in Clinical Electrophysiology with us at St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana, and we were delighted that he joined our Electrophysiology Faculty. This was the start of a wonderful friendship!
Rich quickly got involved in what was then NASPE. He rapidly progressed through the ranks as yearly faculty of the national Scientific Sessions meetings, abstract grader, and then involvement in many NASPE/HRS committees. His keen intellect and cooperative attitude led to his nomination to the Board of Trustees where he served from 2008 to 2017.
In 2011 he entered the Presidential Track and was President of HRS 2014 to 2015.
Many significant accomplishments occurred during Dr. Fogel's years of service for HRS. Including helping to develop the coding and billing framework for in-office and remote ICD and pacemaker interrogations and reprogramming, and development of the HRS Leadership Series programs at the HRS Scientific Sessions. However, I think Rich would tell you that his most meaningful achievement for our members was convincing. He fought tirelessly for the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) to recognize Clinical Electrophysiology as an independent subspecialty of medicine, apart from cardiology. As a result, EP physicians could now bill separately from general cardiology on mutual patients. We now were reimbursed for our time and input with the patient who was already seen by a general cardiologist.
Dr. Richard Fogel has dedicated his time and expertise to HRS for over 2 decades with countless hours of service that have improved the education of our membership and their ability to practice as an independent subspecialty of medicine. He is well deserving of the HRS Distinguished Service Award.
Submitted by Eric N. Prystowsky, MD, FHRS
Distinguished Teacher Award
N. A. Mark Estes, III, MD, FHRS, CCDS
The recipient of this year’s HRS Distinguished Teacher Award, N. A. Mark Estes, III, MD, FHRS, CCDS, has taught and mentored thousands of students, trainees, and young physicians throughout his stellar career.
Dr. Estes began as a student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by medical school at the University of Cincinnati. He trained in medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, cardiology at Tufts Medical Center, and clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. After three decades as the Director of the Tufts New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, he recently joined the University of Pittsburgh, where he is currently Professor of Medicine. He has served as President of HRS, Chair of the AHA Council of Clinical Cardiology, and Chairman of the Board of Moses Brown School. He is the Editor-In-Chief of the Cardiovascular Section of UpToDate and serves on the editorial board of 11 journals. He is on the ABIM CCEP and IBHRE Exam Writing Committees, and currently Chairs the AHA Scientific Publishing Committee. Dr. Estes has been recognized as a Best Doctor in Boston (1997-2018) and Pittsburgh (2019). He has served as Co-Director of the HRS Board Review Course (1999-2013), Director of EP 101 (“Fundamentals for Fellows”), and Founder and Director of EP 301 (“Advanced Ablation Course”). He has produced over 600 publications, including authorship or co-authorship of 9 books.
Among his awards and honors are the Moses Brown Distinguished Achievement Award, University of Pennsylvania Award of Merit, University of Cincinnati Distinguished Achievement Award, Tufts University School of Medicine Distinguished Faculty and Teaching Awards, Tufts Medical Center Medicine and Cardiology Teaching Awards, UPMC Cardiology Teaching Award, AHA Paul Dudley White Award, AHA Distinguished Achievement and Leadership Awards, the HRS President’s Award, and the Distinguished Achievement Award of the European Cardiac Arrhythmia Society.
Submitted by Daniel P Morin, MD, MPH, FHRS
Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award
Sanjeev Saksena, MBBS, MD, FHRS
Sanjeev Saksena, MBBS, MD, FHRS is the recipient of the 2020 Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award.
By definition, a pioneer is a person who is among the first to explore, use or apply a new method, or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress. The field of EP has progressed by nurturing the seeds sown by its pioneers. Dr. Sanjeev Saksena is a true EP pioneer, whose work has had far reaching impact for EP professionals, our patients, and to our field.
Dr. Saksena is Medical Director of the Electrophysiology Research Foundation and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rutgers’ RWJ Medical School. His research since 1980 has focused on the non-pharmacologic therapy of tachyarrhythmias. He pioneered the first successful ICD implant without thoracotomy, which has since become the standard implant technique, in 1987, and intraoperative catheter laser ablation for SVT and VT ablation in 1985. His subsequent research established antitachycardia pacing as first line ICD therapy, refined transvenous cardioversion/defibrillation, and pioneered dual site right atrial pacing and bi-atrial mapping resulting in hybrid therapy approaches for atrial fibrillation. His innovative research has been supported by NIH and AHA and has resulted in over 350 original manuscripts and several US patents.
Sanjeev has been a great leader and steward of HRS. He is a past President of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (NASPE), initiated its restructuring into HRS in 1998 with McKinsey & Company, was a co-founder of Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS), and established and led the Health Policy Committee for NASPE and HRS for over a decade. He is the original author of current CPT coding for EP procedures and played a key role in developing collaborative initiatives between NASPE/HRS and organizations such as FDA, NHLBI, ESC, ACC/AHA and ECAS.
Sanjeev’s ‘mentoring tree’ is vast, with his trainees now leading EP programs in three continents. He is the Founding Editor in Chief of the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology (JICE) and has served on the planning and steering Committees of several NIH trials such as AVID, AFFIRM and TOPCAT.
For all his accolades, Sanjeev is a delight, humble and always willing to help. Spending time with him is to have a fascinating walk down memory lane filled with stories and anecdotes of how Cardiac Pacing and EP as a field evolved in the US and overseas, and to realize how visionary and brilliant minds, including his, shaped the course for preventing death and suffering from heart rhythm disorders for millions across the world. A deserving honor indeed!!
Submitted by Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, MA, FHRS
Global Humanitarian Award in Memory of Dr. Ramasubba Lakkireddy
Sri Sundaram, MD, FHRS
Dr. Sri Sundaram received his Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in 1992. He then attended the University of Kentucky Medical School where he was awarded a full scholarship and received magna cum laude designation at graduation. He then received postgraduate training at Northwestern University in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology.
As an EP fellow, Dr. Sundaram was recognized with the Heart Rhythm Society’s 2005 Clinical Young Investigator Award. In the fall of 2006, he started practice with South Denver Cardiology Associates. Dr. Sundaram was awarded 5280 magazine’s “Top EP Doc” in Colorado for 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019. He was also Porter Hospital’s Physician of the Year in 2018. Dr. Sundaram’s primary interest is the treatment of atrial fibrillation, including the newest ablation technology. In the fall of 2016, Dr. Sundaram performed the 1st fluoroless atrial fibrillation ablation in the state of Colorado. Atrial Fibrillation and fluoroless ablation continues to be his main research interest. Dr. Sundaram currently serves as the statewide chair of Cardiac Electrophysiology for Centura Health Care.
Dr. Sundaram’s other interest is medical mission work. He has volunteered on numerous medical missions and currently organizes EP medical missions to South East Asia. His organization currently performs ablations and implants devices for the sick and poor in SE Asia. In addition, they provide upper level cardiology education at the only medical school in Cambodia, organize the largest cardiology conference in Cambodia and provide funding and training for EP fellows from SE Asia.
James H. Youngblood Excellence in Leadership Award
T. Jared Bunch, MD, FHRS
T. Jared Bunch, a native of Logan, Utah, graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine with alpha omega alpha honors. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic and received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Department of Medicine, Resident Research Award, and Donald J. Feist Primary Care Clinic Award for Clinical Excellence. He completed fellowships in cardiovascular diseases and electrophysiology at the Mayo Clinic and received the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award for clinical care and Donald C. Balfour Award for meritorious research. He served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic from 2003-2008. He joined the cardiovascular team at Intermountain Heart Institute in 2008, directed heart rhythm research, and served as medical director of heart rhythm services from 2010-2019. He received the Physician Researcher of the Year for Intermountain Healthcare in 2014 and 2017. In 2012, he was awarded a Healthcare Hero Award for Innovation by the Utah Business Association. He was an Affiliated Clinical Associate Professor for Stanford University from 2015-2019 while at Intermountain. Currently, Dr. Bunch directs the electrophysiology laboratory at the University of Utah as a Professor of Medicine.
He has served in the Heart Rhythm Society as an Ambassador for Central/South America and Southeast Asia, Vice Chair of the Atrial Fibrillation Task Force, HRS Interoperability Working Group member, and other writing committees and task forces. He is the founding editor of the Heart Rhythm Case Reports Journal, section editor for Current Cardiology Risk Reports, Heart Rhythm Journal, and guest editor for the American Heart Journal. He is on the editorial boards of Heart Rhythm Journal, Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, Heart, American Heart Journal, JACC Electrophysiology, and others. With an interest in heart rhythm treatments and outcomes, he has published over 200 manuscripts, 13 book chapters, and 40 editorial comments.
Douglas P. Zipes Lectureship Award
Cristina Basso, MD, PhD
Eric N. Prystowsky Lectureship Award
Doug Packer, MD, FHRS
Founders' Lectureship Award
Nora Goldschlager, MD, FHRS
Ralph Lazzara Lectureship Award
Jonathan Kalman, MBBS, PhD, FHRS
Wilton Wells Webster Lectureship Award
Samuel Asirvatham, MD, FHRS