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A Heartbeat Away From Stroke

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) affects more than 2 million people in the US.  People living with atrial fibrillation are at five times greater risk for having a stroke, which can change their lives and the lives of their family and friends.  The majority of AF-related strokes are due to a blood clot forming in the heart and traveling to the brain.  Unfortunately, many Americans who have AF are undertreated, or even untreated, for stroke prevention - this is especially true for women and minorities.

The good news is many of these AF-related strokes can be prevented.  In the groundbreaking documentary “A Heartbeat Away From Stroke”, Discovery Channel explores the connection between atrial fibrillation and stroke - in order for patients to learn about the importance of stroke prevention.



Get the podcast HERE.



Hugh G. Calkins, MD

Professor of Medicine and Cardiology
Director, Cardiac Arrhythmia Service
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr Hugh G Calkins is a practicing Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiac Electrophysiology specialist at Johns Hopkins with 26 years of experience. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and has 16 areas of special expertise including Atrial Fibrillation Ablation, and Atrial Flutter.


J. Marcus Wharton, MD

Frank P. Tourville Professor of Medicine
Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology and Tourville Arrhythmia Center
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston

Dr J Marcus Wharton is board certified in Cardiology and is Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He received his MD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, completed an internship and residency at the University of California at San Francisco and then his cardiology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina and 33 years of experience. He has been named among The Best doctors in America, 2001-2001 and Best Doctors in North Carolina, 2002, received awards and honors including the Albert Weinstein Prize in Medicine, and is widely published in journals including the American College of Cardiology, Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, and Circulation. His primary research is aimed at catheter ablation of Atrial Fibrillation and other arrhythmias and he has lectured internationally on these topics.


Elaine Hylek, MD, MPH

Director, Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Service
Boston Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine

Dr Hylek is a practicing internist at Boston Medical Center and is a clinical investigator, epidemiologist, and Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh, residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General and Harvard Medical School in Boston and a Masters in quantitative methods in Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health.

Dr. Hylek's extensive research includes helping to define the therapeutic index of warfarin for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation, risk factors for intracranial hemorrhage on anticoagulant therapy, the association between acetaminophen and warfarin, and predictors of INR normalization following supratherapeutic levels of anticoagulation. Her research interests also include novel risk factors for thrombus formation in atrial fibrillation, and optimizing the safety of antithrombotic therapy in the geriatric population.

Dr Hylek is on the Editorial Board of Thrombosis Research, and has served as a reviewer for numerous medical journals and is a member of several medical societies.


Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS

Professor & Chairman, Dept of Neurology
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr Ralph L. Sacco is the Chairman of Neurology, Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, Miller Professor of Neurology, Epidemiology, and Human Genetics at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and Chief of the Neurology Service at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

His extensive research includes founding principal investigator of the NY Columbia Collaborative specialized Program in Translational Research in Acute Stroke and co-investigator of six other INIDs grants and involved in the design and conduct of multiple randomized trials. He has published extensively in the areas of stroke prevention, treatment, risk factors and stroke recurrence, with more than 475 original articles, case reports, book chapters, abstracts and communications to his credit. He has been a principal author on numerous evidence-based guidelines from the AHA and ACCP. For the 2010-11 term, Dr Sacco served as President of the American Heart Association.



JoAnne M. Foody, MD

Director, Cardiovascular Wellness Center
Director, Pollin Program for Cardiovascular Wellness in Women
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr JoAnne M. Foody is Director of the Cardiovascular Wellness Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston. She maintains an active role in inpatient care, education and research. Her work is focused on improving cardiovascular outcomes through strengthening cardiac disease prevention and rehabilitation. Her research has focused on identifying and fostering greater use of clinical strategies that prevent adverse cardiovascular events in people with and without coronary artery disease. She is currently Editor of Braunwald's Preventive Cardiology text as well as serves as Editor of the American College of Cardiology's patient website,


Gervasio Lamas, MD

Chief, Columbia University Division of Cardiology
Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach

Dr. Lamas is Chairman of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center and Chief of the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. He received his BA in Biochemical Sciences cum laude from Harvard College and his MD with honors (AOA) from New York University. In January 2009 Dr. Lamas became Chief of the Columbia University Division of Cardiology and Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His interests and research include the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. He has authored over 300 scientific publications, and maintains an active clinical practice in Miami Beach and Key Biscayne.


Yale M. Samole, MD

South Miami Hospital

Dr. Yale Samole has served as Chief of Medicine and Chief of Cardiology at South Miami Hospital, and on the executive committee of the South Miami Heart Center. A graduate of Queen’s University in Canada, he completed his fellowship at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago where he served as director of its Coronary Care Unit. Board certified in both cardiology and nuclear cardiology, Dr. Samole specializes in clinical and preventative cardiology.


Mark E. Josephson, MD

Professor, Harvard Medical School
Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston

Dr Mark E. Josephson is a cardiologist and writer who in the 1970s pioneered the medical cardiology subspecialty of cardiac electrophysiology. His classic text, “Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Techniques and Interpretations” is widely acknowledged
as a definitive treatment of the discipline. He currently serves as chief of
cardiology at Harvard University's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

A graduate of Trinity College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he completed his residency training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City with his fellowship training in cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Josephson has published over 400 original journal articles and 200 book chapters and reviews.