Course Description:

Each year, the American Heart Association (AHA), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies update the data pertaining to heart disease. The 2015 data shows that cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Heart disease strikes someone in the U.S. about once every 43 seconds and kills more than 375,000 people each year.

The Heart Course provides an opportunity for front line providers of emergency cardiology to learn, discuss, and apply emerging data, new guidelines, and optimal treatment strategies for the management of cardiac and vascular emergencies.

Target Audience:

The Heart Course is intended for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and advanced practice professionals that provide care to patients with acute cardiovascular problems.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to initiate safe and effective management of a wide variety of patients who present with cardiovascular emergencies including:

  • Identify optimum treatment strategies and anti-platelet/anticoagulant therapies for patients with acute coronary syndrome (STEMI, and UA/ NSTEMI)
  • Describe ‘can’t miss’ findings on ECG
  • Understand emerging and guideline recommended management of the atrial fibrillation patient
  • Review emerging heart failure management strategies including diagnosis, classification, risk-stratification, prognosis, and optimization of volume status
  • Understand and apply optimal management strategies for the treatment of stroke and VTE
  • Describe the mechanisms of action and optimal evidence based use of new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) therapy

Desired Educational Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will demonstrate effective management of cardiovascular emergencies in the acute setting including:

  • Implementation of state-of-the-art resuscitation strategies
  • Demonstrate immediate lifesaving actions for high-risk, high-threat electrocardiography (ECG) findings and unusual dysrhythmia
  • Evaluate and treat patients with complex dysrhythmias
  • Apply latest evidence for risk-stratification and management of chest pain and acute coronary syndromes
  • Review the evidence based strategies for the management of transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke, and cerebral hemorrhage
  • Discuss the emerging data on current and novel biomarkers in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease
  • Identify optimal Emergency Department antiplatelet and anticoagulant management strategies for patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), atrial fibrillation (AF), venous thromboembolism (VTE) and stroke
  • Implement strategies for effective emergency department management of the acute heart failure patient, including diagnosis, classification, risk-stratification, prognosis, optimization of volume status, hyponatremia management, organ protection, and potential impact on both short and long-term outcomes
  • Review the indications, contraindications, and applications of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) in the emergency department
  • Review the new guidelines and emerging management strategies for aortic dissection
  • Discuss the benefits, limitations, and utilization of novel anticoagulants for stroke prevention in AF
  • Determine evidence based best practices in the management of device related emergencies in patients with cardiac disease, including ventricular assist devices (VAD, pacemakers, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (AICD)

Heart Course Topics:

  • Focused echocardiography for acute care physicians and advanced practice providers
  • Advanced ECG interpretation:
    • Syncope
    • Sudden death
    • ACS
    • Brady and Tachydysrhythmias
    • Wide complex tachycardias
    • Where correct interpretation can save a life!
  • Management of Dysrhythmias:
    • Atrial Fibrillation
    • SVT
    • VT
  • Cardiogenic Shock
  • Resuscitation
  • Focused Cardiovascular Literature Update for the acute care physicians
  • Neurovascular emergencies:
    • Stroke
    • SubArachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Vascular emergencies
  • Acute Heart Failure
  • Syncope
  • Device emergencies:
    • Pacemakers
    • ICD
    • VAD – ventricular assist devices
  • Acute coronary Syndromes
  • Chest pain: how to determine low risk
  • Hypertensive emergencies
  • Venous thromboembolism – DVT and PE
  • CV focused board review

Planning Committee:


Course Director:

J. Stephen Bohan, MS, MD, FAAEM, FACP, FACEP

Executive Vice Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Associate Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Boston, Massachusetts


Course Director:

Peter S. Pang, MD, MS, FACEP, FACC, FAHA

Associate Professor | Emergency Medicine

Indiana University School of Medicine

Indianapolis, Indiana


Amer Z. Aldeen, MD, FACEP

Medical Director, Emergency Department

Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, Joliet IL

Emergency Medicine Physicians, Ltd.

Director, Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service​


Laura J. Bontempo, MD, FACEP

Assistant Professor

Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland


Amal Mattu, MD, FAAEM, FACEP

Professor and Vice Chair

Director, Emergency Cardiology Fellowship

Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland


95% of participants reported that The Heart Course addressed clinical issues they face in their practice.


98% of participants reported that The Heart Course will improve their ability to provide excellent patient care.


100% of participants reported that The Heart Course increased their knowledge, skills, and abilities related to their profession.

Past Participant Quotes:

  • The Heart Course was GREAT! EKG Workshop was very helpful.

    - Attendee
  • I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the ECHO workshop. I would like to see more of this in the future.

    - ECHO Workshop Attendee
  • The Heart Course taught me stuff about SAH I never knew and I’ve done 6 months of neurosurgery as a resident!

    - Attendee
  • Excellent, great delivery and lectures! Board review portion was great.

    - Attendee