World health organization statistics from 2015 identified cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of deaths globally accounting for 17.7 million deaths; of which approximately 7.4 million deaths were from coronary heart disease.
Penn Cardiology International Leadership
Marietta Ambrose, MD, MPH, FACC
Director of Penn Cardiology International
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Penn Cardiology International's Mission
We at Penn Cardiology International (PCIL) are committed to improving global cardiovascular health; via active collaborations with our global community members through research, education, training and clinical activity worldwide. We prioritize creating sustainable programs and infrastructure that align with the unique goals and mission of the local environment; to deliver excellent cardiovascular care. We also provide specific services to international patients desirable of further consultation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Electrophysiology International Collaborations
Our Electrophysiology section at Penn Cardiology strives to improve the care of patients by providing state-of-the-art and patient-oriented diagnosis and treatment. This mission of state of the art care and patient oriented diagnosis and treatment plans is a mission that our Electrophysiology section is internationally dedicated to.
Biotronik International Fellows Program - offers advanced electrophysiology educational opportunities. Through the course of one year, Biotronik International Fellows Program brings together fellows and world renowned experts to discuss hot topics, gain practical experience as well as create collaborations at various world wide locations. This February The Biotronik International Fellows Program asked some of our Penn Faculty to be their expert lectures. Francis Marchlinski, MD was the keynote speaker at the conference as well as presenting about Approaching Septal VT's in NICM. Fermin Garcia, MD was a presenter speaking about Mastering the Coronary Venous System to Pace and Ablate. David Callans, MD was also asked to be a presenter speaking about How to Recognize and Manage the Sick VT Patient: Before... During... and After Catheter Ablation
Guatemala and Ecuador
Helene L. Glassberg, MD has worked with The Healing Hands Foundation (THHF) in both Guatemala and Ecuador. THHF is a volunteer, non-profit organization. Their mission is to provide high quality health care to areas that are lacking in resources by providing medical and surgical expertise. The aim is to be able to improve the quality of life and enable people to become productive members of their community through medical intervention that would otherwise be out of reach.
THHF has been traveling to Patzún, Guatemala since 2009. Through THHF's dedication and the devotion of doctors like Dr. Glassberg, a group of citizens now help patients with the logistics of traveling many hours by bus in order to receive treatment. The community even holds local fundraisers for the mission. To showcase example of THHF's success in Patzún, Guatemala through numbers, in 2016 THHF's volunteers performed 95 surgeries and over 610 dental procedures in only four and a half days.
Dr. Glassberg has also traveled with THHF to Riobamba, Ecuador. Much like her time with THHF in Guatemala, THHF's mission in Ecuador is to provide excellent medical and surgical resources to patients who would otherwise be unable to receive adequate care. During the 2017 mission to Riobamba, Ecuador volunteers were able to perform 56 procedures on 49 patients, ranging in age from seven weeks to 86 years old in only five days.
Dr. Glassberg's work with THHF has helped make the availability of quality care accessible to those in need.
Belgium and Peru
Julio A. Chirinos, MD, PhD is one of the Asklepios Study Investigators at the University of Ghent in Belgium, where he holds an academic appointment as a Visiting Professor. The Asklepios Study is a large community based study designed to study the biologic determinants of human cardiovascular aging in middle-age and on. There is a focus on deep non-invasive phenotyping and bioengineering approaches to modeling human physiology.
Dr. Chirinos also has strong collaborations with Santa Maria Catholic University and the PREVENCION Research Institute in his home country of Peru. He participated in the design and execution of the first phase of the PREVNCION study, which was designed to assess the prevalence and patterns of cardiovascular disease in Latin American population living at medium altitude above sea level. This study was one of the first population-based studies on cardiovascular disease in Latin America. It has since been included in several ancillary studies. This study has also contributed to characterizing the patterns of hypertension in altitude, which differ from those at sea level. The PREVENCION study has motivated the INTERVENCION trail, which is the first clinical trial designed to assess the role of chronic altitude exposure on modulating responses to antihypertensive therapy. Dr. Chirinos works closely with the Vice-Dean of Research at Santa Maria Catholic University to enhance local research capabilities.
China and India
Yuchi Han, MD, MMSc has been involved in research and education internationally since 2014. Every year for the past five years Dr. Han has been mentoring one to two physicians from China in cardiac imaging. Dr. Han is also invited to give lectures at multiple Chinese International Conferences yearly.
In 2015, her proposal for “Cardiac Imaging Project” was chosen as one of the first 15 awards from Penn China Engagement Fund through the Provost Office. Through this project, she led a team of cardiologists (Drs. Howard Herrmann, Dinesh Jagasia, Victor Ferrari, and Ron Jacob) and radiologists (Drs. Harold Litt and Walter Witschey) to establish collaborations with PLA General Hospital in Beijing, West China Hospital in Chengdu, and Renji Hospital in Shanghai.
The team has given one CMR level 1 training course each year from 2016-2018. In the summer of 2016, the team visited the three hospitals in China and gave symposiums. In 2018, the team’s proposal “Ultrafast cardiac MRI in India” was awarded the Penn India Engagement Fund and is poised to conduct research and promote education of cardiac MRI in India.