Newswise — CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – February 12, 2018 – The UNC School of Medicine will host a continuing professional education (CPE) symposium on March 10, 2018 in Chapel Hill to educate medical professionals on the streamlining of care for patients with Atrial fibrillation or Afib.

This symposium will provide education to primary care providers and cardiologists on the importance of an integrated model of care for Afib and strategies for implementing such an approach. It will be presented as a satellite symposium in connection with the 42nd Annual Internal Medicine Conference (March 7-9). 

Integrated Care of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation” will take place at Chapel Hill’s Friday Center from 7:00 a.m. – 12:15 pm.

Highlights of the program will include:

  • Patient perspective: My life with Atrial Fibrillation - Marcia Van Riper, RN, PhD
  • Integrated care of Atrial Fibrillation: What is it and how do we get there? Anil Gehi, MD
  • Importance of shared decision-making in discussions about anticoagulation and stroke prophylaxis - Zack Deyo, PharmD
  • Addressing obesity/physical inactivity - Sriram Machineni, MD
  • Identification and management of obstructive sleep apnea in patients with Afib - Adnan Pervez, MD
  • Coordination of care: benefits of a multidisciplinary model -  Jennifer Walker, NP
  • Building an AF care network – reaching the vulnerable patients. Heather Tuttle, RN/Tiffany Armbruster, NP
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation/UNC collaboration - Patricia Doykos, PhD
  • Panel Discussion
  • Small Group Session: How to set up your own AF clinic

REGISTRATION:  Interested medical professionals can register for the symposium at

This Activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Carolinas HealthCare System/Charlotte AHEC and UNC School of Medicine. The Carolinas HealthCare System/Charlotte AHEC is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Carolinas HealthCare System / Charlotte AHEC designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Grant

A three-year $1.7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is helping to fund this program, with a goal to improve health outcomes for underserved and vulnerable populations. The Foundation grant will help UNC School of Medicine Cardiologist Anil Gehi, MD further innovate and scale a care model, piloted in 2015, that reduced hospitalizations for patients with atrial fibrillation presenting in the emergency room by more than 30 percentage points in its first year.

Atrial fibrillation affects more than 2.7 million Americans.  It is characterized by an irregular heartbeat and is associated with an increased risk for blood clots, stroke, heart failure and multiple other heart complications. It is best managed through treatment as a "chronic disease" with episodic symptoms which can be successfully managed through a coordinated multidisciplinary model.

Dr. Gehi originally established the Afib protocol at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill through a pilot grant from the UNC Center for Health Innovation.


 Afib Transition Clinics vs Hospitalization

“We’re trying to address the problem of poor access by setting up a new pathway for care for patients who have the most challenging and urgent medical needs, primarily those who are coming into the emergency room,” Gehi said. “We have set up a new pathway here at UNC Medical Center by developing a new protocol for the emergency room so that ER physicians can triage Afib patients. Those patients who aren’t particularly high risk for poor outcomes might be discharged from the ER and sent to an Afib transition clinic.”

For more information on Afib, visit the UNC Health Care website at:

About UNC School of Medicine

The UNC School of Medicine (SOM) is the state’s largest medical school graduating approximately 180 new physicians each year. It is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the US and is among the most well funded for its research efforts.  More than half of the school’s 1,700 faculty members served as principal investigators on active research awards in 2016. Two UNC SOM faculty members have earned Nobel Prize awards.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is committed to promoting health equity and improving the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases by strengthening healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and addressing unmet medical need. The Foundation engages partners to develop, execute, evaluate and sustain innovative models of care, treatment and support focused on cancer and cardiovascular disease in the United States, pediatric cancer and cancers in areas of high HIV prevalence in Africa, hepatitis B and C in China and India, and veterans’ mental health and well-being in the U.S.

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