New Cardiovascular Horizons (NCVH) is returning to New Orleans this year, after being forced to relocate to Miami last year due to Hurricane Katrina. What can attendees expect in the post-Katrina city? Barring the wrath of any other feminine hurricanes, by November 1st, 2006, the familiar downtown New Orleans will likely be back to 100%. The French Quarter and most of the historic downtown Garden District did not undergo the major damage that greater New Orleans received, and even today, you can hardly tell that one of the most devastating natural disasters known to our country hit New Orleans in August 2005. Most of the great restaurants are already open, the French Quarter hardly missed a beat and the Saints will open at the Superdome in September. From the conference and visitors’ standpoint, we expect New Orleans to be ready to showcase all that is unique and great about the atmosphere of this beloved city. Am I being a little optimistic? Yes! But that is the spirit of the wonderful people of Louisiana and the deep south. We hope people will want to join us in New Orleans not only for the great education and fun that New Cardiovascular Horizons has stood for over the last 7 years, but also to help New Orleans and the Gulf south fully recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. The Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP) is offering an RCIS Review Course at NCVH starting this year. How should allied health professionals incorporate the course into their plan? I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for what I used to call cath lab techs, but have now learned much more about this profession and the SICP society. As a clinically trained cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon starting out 25 years ago, I had no idea about cath labs and techs, and always wondered why the cardiologist and cath lab was considered the enemy. I learned the real truth when I began to enter that domain over 15 years ago and now spend more than half of my time in the cath lab. What little endovascular skills I now possess, I can attribute to two members of the SICP I’ve had the great luck to work with at Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS), Gary Chaisson, RT(R), RCVT/RCIS and Chris Hebert, RT(R), RCIS. Gary and Chris will be co-chairing our Saturday Horizons Cath Lab Tech Symposium. Over the last few years, I’ve worked with Dr. Morton Kern, Lynne Jones, RN, RCIS and recent President of the SICP, Cath Lab Digest and Marsha Holton, RN, RCIS, and learned about the SICP. Our goal this year was to offer an SICP review course with Marsha Holton and Kenneth Gorski, RN, RCIS as faculty embedded into the NCVH Wednesday-Thursday-Friday afternoon agenda. We’re keeping the morning open so review course attendees can experience all of the other great NCVH multidisciplinary educational agenda and live cases. Saturday is open for the morning Achievement Award ceremony (this year’s recipient is Dr. Michael E. DeBakey) and the afternoon Cath Lab Tech Symposium. SICP Review Course attendees can also attend the Global Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Summit, Masters Laser and Cryoplasty Summit, the 2nd annual International Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) Summit, Masters and Legends program with Drs. Julio Palmaz, Ted Diethrich, John Simpson, Tom Fogarty, etc., and multiple breakfast, lunch and dinner educational sessions. Cath lab professionals can attend the entire 4-day NCVH conference, the SICP Review Course and the Saturday Cath Lab Tech Symposium, all at the price of the SICP Review Course, with a discount to SICP members. It’s real opportunity for attendees to receive education and have a lot of fun in New Orleans. You mentioned that Dr. DeBakey is this year’s Achievement Award recipient. NCVH is thrilled to have our 2006 Achievement Award accepted by Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. Dr. DeBakey has been the most recognizable physician in the world for over 50 years and we are truly honored to have him join the distinguished list of prior NCVH Achievement Award recipients, which includes Dr. Julio Palmaz, Ted Diethrich, Marty Leon, Tom Fogarty and John Simpson, all of whom have remained faculty for NCVH. The medical and historical accomplishments of Dr. DeBakey are unmatched in our era and likely any era. It has been inspiring for us to learn a great deal about cardiovascular history while preparing our yearly video on the life of our award recipient. The video is presented during the Achievement Award ceremony on Saturday morning. NCVH is considered a multidisciplinary conference. How does the meeting address the new ways in which various medical disciplines are finding themselves working together, often in the same room on the same patient? We take pride in being considered multidisciplinary, because this goes back to the roots of the conference. We’ve been committed to not only the talk but also to walking the walk in maintaining a multidisciplinary focus. To put podiatrists, cardiologists, family physicians, pharmacists, cardiothoracic surgeons, RNs, internists, cath lab techs, diabetologists, PAs, wound care specialists, vascular surgeons, endocrinologists, plastic surgeons, nephrologists, industry, administrators, nutritionalists, PTs, interventional radiologists, doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs all together in one hotel for a weekend of education was thought to be crazy (to put it mildly) 6 years ago, but something about this concept must have been right. It has been interesting to watch the cross-pollination of information that occurs at NCVH between the multidisciplinary sessions. I’ll never forget the comment made by Dr. Craig Walker, an interventional cardiologist and our CIS founder, Co-Chairman of NCVH and one of the world’s authorities on CV disease, after our 2001 event. He said, I thought I knew everything there was to know about lower extremity PAD until I wandered into Dr. Bill Ennis’ presentation during a wound care session and was humbled by the fact that I had no idea there were about a hundred different kinds of leg ulcers. We’ve had hundreds of similar comments, and we do think NCVH has played a big role in the way different disciplines and even industry are now interacting and beginning to work together much more than just 5 years ago. Will there come a time when many of the medical specialists attending NCVH will ultimately be classified under one umbrella, simply as endovascular specialists? In my mind, that time occurred 6 years ago, when we expanded the inaugural conference from one day, 15 faculty, a couple hundred attendees, and a local vascular-podiatry conference to today’s truly multidisciplinary international conference of 4 days, over 140 faculty, and thousands of attendees. I look at our audience today as much more than endovascular specialists because the cardiovascular disease process is so global, associated with so many other medical conditions, has no cure, and is directly responsible for 2 of every 5 deaths in the U.S. yearly, as well as billions of dollars of economic and clinical costs to our society. Realistically, no one physician or healthcare specialty can provide all of an individual’s CV needs, but every attendee can realize that they are aware of the bigger CV team and at least know about the other specialties within that bigger team. Only with that knowledge will we really make a difference in our society’s healthcare outcomes. How can we make a difference until we are aware? NCVH kicks off with the Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) Summit. Last year was the first year for this summit. What were some of the highlights and what can attendees expect this year? Despite Hurricanes Katrina and Rita 6 weeks prior to last year’s inaugural multidisciplinary CLI Summit, and unbelievably, Hurricane Wilma about 24 hours prior to last year’s Miami CLI Summit, the CLI Summit and multiple live limb salvage cases not only went smoothly, but were attended by a standing-room-only audience. Highlights this year will include multiple live limb salvage case sessions and an agenda that will include U.S. and international vascular, surgical and interventional authorities on CLI, including Drs. Giancarlo Biamino, Dierk Scheinert, John Laird, etc. The uniqueness of this summit, however, is the truly multidisciplinary agenda, with topics presented by many of the world’s authorities in podiatry, diabetes, wound care, diabetic foot ulcers, plastic surgery, and the entire limb salvage team, including Drs. Larry Harkless, John Steinberg, Bill Ennis and Chris Attinger. It is with pride that NCVH hosts the 2nd annual multidisciplinary International CLI Summit, as we’ve always thought the biggest challenge in limb salvage is enhancing the awareness of its devastating incidence, as well as mortalities associated with amputations and the development of a pathway to limb salvage rather than amputation. We are proud to be a part of branding CLI in the sense of heightening awareness worldwide. We are also thrilled to have the Indo American Society of Interventional Cardiology (ISIC) as a sponsor of the CLI Summit, as ISIC members have identified peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and CLI as areas of interest and need. Can you share the general flow of session topics over this year’s NCVH? What were some of the factors that helped determine the topics for this year’s presentations? We’ve geared the 4-day event to have something of interest each day for each attendee and hope attendees considering the conference will take full advantage and attend the entire 4 days of educational sessions. One of the real challenges facing any conference is how do you improve and present fresh ideas and information each year, and in today’s world, differentiate yourself from the explosion of CME events now occurring in the spring and fall. No easy task, to say the least. We hope to accomplish many of these goals in 2006 by responding to the changing needs of our audience. We will have many more breakfast and lunch symposiums, and add a Wednesday evening CTA dinner symposium recognizing the growing importance of CTA. The total number of live cases and live case sessions from 2004-2005 has increased in response to the very positive feedback we’ve received from our audience, especially in CLI and limb salvage cases. Many of these live cases have been strategically placed so they can be viewed by a non-traditional audience of podiatry, wound care, primary care, RNs, etc., to heighten the awareness of what can be offered today to save limbs and lives. We are especially excited to have two important associations co-sponsoring and endorsing sessions within the main sessions of the conference. The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) will be hosting a Friday session entitled, Disparities in CV Healthcare. This important session will address the disparities in CV healthcare regarding the incidence and epidemiology of the disease, hypertension, sudden cardiac death, chronic heart failure (CHF), and especially CLI. The incidence of risk factors, including diabetes, hypertension and chronic renal disease, are much greater in the minority patient populations. We are already planning to greatly expand the ABC sessions at NCVH for 2007. We have purposely made the Thursday international CLI Summit the sole educational event that day and created an agenda that will be appropriate for all cardiovascular disciplines, including endovascular interventionalists, vascular surgeons, podiatry, wound care, primary care, and diabetes specialists, RNs and truly all disciplines involved with limb care and salvage. Dr. Sameer Mehta, President of the Indo American Society of Interventional Cardiology (ISIC), will co-moderate the CLI Summit. ISIC has identified PAD and CLI as clinical entities that require focus and training. Friday and Saturday’s sessions will provide multiple focused sessions for each specialty, including nursing, primary cardiovascular care, podiatry and wound care, and endovascular sessions for surgeons, interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists. Friday’s Masters and Legends program is not to be missed, with approximately 20 of the world’s true authorities presenting 20-30 minute lectures in their specialty. The Saturday morning session will be highlighted by our 2006 NCVH Achievement Award, to be presented to Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. No other educational sessions will be scheduled during this time and all multidisciplinary attendees are encouraged to attend this very special ceremony for one of the true giants of the 20th and 21st century. The remainder of Saturday will include more focused morning multidisciplinary educational sessions and afternoon sessions dedicated to hands on podiatry, wound care and cardiovascular workshops. I’d say that’s a pretty ambitious 4 days. What are some of the live cases you plan for this year? Keeping with the main overall theme of NCVH, any endovascular treatment from head-to-toe will be fair game for our continuous 3 days of live case transmissions. Day one on Wednesday, November 1st, features a Master Laser and Cryoplasty Summit, where multiple live cases will demonstrate complex infrainguinal and infrapopliteal disease, including SFA, popliteal, and below-the-knee CTOs. Long, complex CTOs, recurrent disease and in-stent thrombosis cases are examples of cases likely to be performed on day one. Day two, Thursday, November 2, will showcase multiple CLI and limb salvage cases from CIS, demonstrating many of the novel techniques and devices in our healthcare system’s toolbox to save limbs. This will be a session not to be missed, as Drs. Craig Walker, Peter Fail and Jody Stagg have perhaps the world’s largest accumulation of experience in treating CLI. Cases and strategies showcased during this 2nd multidisciplinary International CLI Summit will include crossing complex CTOs, re-entry devices, plaque excision and laser atherectomy, stenting, cryoplasty, plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA), new wires and sheaths, novel mechanical thrombectomy devices and possibly distal protection devices. The live case panels during the CLI Summit and all live NCVH cases will include many of the world’s authorities. Day three, Friday, November 3, will be within our renowned Masters and Legends session, with a live case discussion panel consisting of true legends, including Drs. Julio Palmaz, Ted Diethrich, John Simpson, Tom Fogarty and more. These cases will likely include carotid stenting and endovascular treatments of the aorta and its branches to include vertebral-subclavian, celiac-superior mesenteric artery (SMA), aorto-iliac, potentially interesting percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or even venous cases. Throughout the 3 days of live cases, many other aspects of cardiovascular treatment will be demonstrated, including the role of multichannel computed tomographic angiography (CTA) in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up in PVD and CLI; the role of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) and the live case demonstration of targeted renal therapy (TRT), a novel device that allows easy direct bilateral renal artery infusions to help prevent CIN and likely preserve renal function; and vascular access management, as this remains a significant source of mortality and morbidity, especially in the endovascular treatment of PVD. The novel 610-Boomerang Wire System will likely be demonstrated, in which post-interventional access site management can be safely and effectively managed without leaving anything behind. The live case sessions should be challenging, provocative, informative and fun¦all in the spirit of the entire New Cardiovascular Horizons conference. NCVH offers attendees a chance to unwind and explore the city at the end of the day. What can attendees expect? All the great and interesting sites, and tastes and sounds of New Orleans should be available, including all the entertainment provided by the conference, for which NCVH has become well-known. It will include everything from educational dinner symposia to our unique New Orleans jazz-style reception on Thursday evening, including plenty of music, food, drink and the true spirit of New Orleans. We will provide some surprise entertainment, which in the past has included the likes of Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers and Charmaine Neville. Immediately after Friday’s educational sessions, attendees will gather in the lobby of the Marriott for New Orleans hurricanes (we pour thousands) and we are one of the few events that close down Canal Street for our annual New Cardiovascular Horizons Mardi Gras Parade, with real Mardi Gras floats, horse-drawn carriages, live marching bands and plenty of beads. The parade then ends with several parties in the center of the French Quarter. So what can attendees expect? Great education and great fun, and more than a few attendees through the years have quickly learned about throw me something mister and other interesting customs surrounding throwing and catching Mardi Gras beads! Is there anything else you feel we should know about NCVH? It has been a very challenging 12 months for NCVH as we approach and attempt to eclipse the August 29th devastation of Hurricane Katrina and October nightmare of Hurricane Wilma. It’s obviously been even more challenging for the people of the entire Gulf south and the great city of New Orleans. It was a very difficult decision to make just 6 months ago regarding even the feasibility of bringing NCVH back to its home in New Orleans in 2006. The decision was made and similar tough decisions were made by the great state of Louisiana and Mississippi and the city of New Orleans. A tremendous amount of hard work and love has been put back into bringing New Orleans back to its pre-Katrina glory. Are things in New Orleans perfect? Of course not, but for those hesitating making the trip this year to New Orleans, I say NCVH and New Orleans will be ready. Join us in N’Awlins for some CME and fun!