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PACES Spring Newsletter


Dear PACES members,

And just like that, we are looking ahead to spring, and our reunion at PACES events at the Heart Rhythm Society Scientific sessions, taking place in Chicago, May 9 – 13. Our pre-HRS activities will be taking place at Lurie (Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago,11-142 conference center, 225 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611), starting with the research meeting on Tuesday May 9th at 8AM.

Please contact Dr Maully Shah (, VP Research if you have not already registered to present your research project. There will be several sub-committee meetings at lunch time, before the PACES Symposium. This year, the format of the symposium is a little bit different than in past years, with very few podium presentations. The title “Controversies in Pediatric and Congenital EP” is meant to inspire group discussion and an environment where we will learn from each other. My hope is that this format will generate clinical learning and initiate research collaborations. It is almost sold out, so if you have not registered yet, you might not get in.

Our annual meeting takes place on Wednesday night, at the Chicago Hilton. This year’s meeting will see a new recipient of the lifetime achievement award, provide you an update from PACES leadership about our past year, and appoint a new VP Administration. The nominations are in, so watch your emails for voting instructions! We are hopeful that we will get a visit from the new HRS president, the first pediatric EP to hold that position since the creation of HRS from NASPE. (Who was the first pediatric EP president of NASPE?). There will be a cocktail hour followed by dinner and speeches. Brynn Dechert-Crooks and I are working on a surprise for you all to enjoy.

Of course, thanks to program chairs Susan Etheridge and Beth Stephenson, we have several days of fantastic talks, abstracts, posters and opportunities to engage. Beth is done her term and we thank her for her many hours of work to deliver the excellent curriculum we take for granted.

There will be several openings on PACES committees and subcommittees coming up. We did create some new committees this year and I have included our current “org chart” so you can see how PACES Leadership is currently structured. We are working on details in anticipation of engaging more of our members.

This will likely be my last newsletter as President, and I must say that the 10 months have flown by. I think we made some strides as a society and I thank my fantastic Executive for being absolutely wonderful to work with, and for their level of engagement and commitment, not only to the Society but to the betterment of what we do every day. I know that Mitch Cohen will take us to new heights and won’t be building any walls.

Shubhayan Sanatani



As part of PACES’ commitment to an international vision, the Executive created up to two travel awards for members from developing countries to receive support to attend the PACES and HRS meetings. This year, we were honored to support Dr Michel Cabrera Ortega from Cuba, and Dr Gonzalo Calvimontes from Guatemala. We are looking forward to hearing more from them at the Annual meeting.

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The second biennial PACES Advancing the Field conference was held in Orlando, Florida on February 20 and 21st 2017 under excellent weather after being rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew. A big thank you to all those that made double travel arrangements to make this meeting a success!

Organized in conjunction with Florida Hospital and the Nicholson center, nearly 100 participants attended the high-powered meeting which included expert faculty from around the world. The meeting was highlighted by the adult congenital heart disease symposium in which some of the pioneers of our field gave their insight into the past and the future of our field. Incoming Heart Rhythm Society President Dr. George Van Hare kicked off the conference, and was joined by pediatric and adult congenital EP pioneers Drs. Ed Walsh and MacDonald Dick.

Conference attendees then had the pleasure of interacting with two of the first people to ever perform intracardiac ablation on humans, Drs. Mel Scheinman and “Sonny” Jackman Who share their insights on the new genetics of electrophysiology and new ways to think about accessory pathway mapping and ablation.

The conference included a collaborative research session, a fellows’ session in which fellows and Young graduates had the chance to interact with Drs. Van Hare, Walsh, Dick and Kanter in a very intimate sit- down roundtable session. There was a very vibrant Allied professionals’ break out symposium which included pediatric specific management strategies for electrophysiology programs. The conference included a PACES Expanded Executive Committee meeting which was a rare chance for the team to meet in person outside of HRS.

PACES Advancing the Field Will continue to be held every other year. The date and location of the 2018 version are to be determined, stay tuned…

Vince Thomas
Tony McCanta
Bhavya Trivedi

Advancing the Field Co-Directors


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PACES and Project ADAM started teaming up over a year ago to find overlap in priority and mission and develop ways for our organizations to effectively partner.
We are still looking to start affiliate sites in 5 new geographic areas in 2017 by partnering with PACES physicians.


Over the past year, Project ADAM and PACES partners have launched exploratory conversations in regards to future affiliate sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Nebraska, West Virginia, Ohio and Texas.

Through our conversations with PACES physicians thus far, we have discovered many folks are already advocating for or supporting cardiac emergency preparedness in surrounding schools and communities. Teaming up with Project ADAM can provide the following additional benefits:

  • Access to shared program resources and models.
  • Mentorship from current program medical directors and coordinators.
  • Improved data collection and organization of efforts.

Medical director spotlights:

There are many ways Project ADAM takes shape as a part of medical practice. Here are a few recent examples:

Dr. Stuart Berger, Project ADAM co-national medical director, delivers a Project ADAM Grand Rounds presentation at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to build momentum within the local medical community.

Dr. Anoop K. Singh, Project ADAM Wisconsin medical director, represents the program with volunteers at a fundraising event of a SCA survivor.

Next steps:

We plan to continue conversations with current and future PACES contacts to help address barriers to setting up local efforts, build mentorship opportunities with successful programs and offer opportunities to learn more by attending upcoming meetings or events.

More information:

Please contact Alli Thompson, Project ADAM Administrator, 414-266-1666 or and check out our new national website by visiting

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PACES has joined forces with the FDA to advance the development and labeling of pediatric electrophysiology devices. There is an opportunity in the current environment to develop a collaborative relationship between care providers and industry that can be facilitated by the FDA. The goal is to improve the outcomes by improving the range of therapies available to the pediatric electrophysiology patient.

A seven-person task force, headed by Bryan Cannon and Anne Dubin, met with members of the FDA headed by Vasum Peiris, Chief Pediatric Medical Officer in the FDA Center for Devices and Radiologic Health (CDRH). At that meeting, the present state of device and catheter technology was discussed. The task force developed a list of possible opportunities for the development and labeling of technology specifically aimed at the pediatric patient. This included a 6 mm tip cryomapping catheter; a pediatric electrogram library to aid in tachyarrhythmia algorithm development for device companies; and a steroid eluting screw in epicardial lead. Next steps include meeting with industry and the FDA at HRS to continue these discussions.

This is an important role of advocacy for PACES for patient care and we look forward to a long, productive collaboration.

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It was great seeing so many of our AP members at the Advancing the Field conference in Orlando in February!

The AP patient education sub-committee has developed outstanding documents related to arrhythmias and CIEDs which are on the patient portal of the website. There were almost 600 patient/family website visits to these documents in the month of January alone! This is a great place to send your patients for education materials. A new batch of documents is in the pipeline, so be on the lookout.

Our AP members-only, document sharing area on the PACES website is up and running! Several helpful documents from our AP’s around the country related to patient care/education are available for your use. If you have templates of school/camp letters, device forms, patient education forms/documents, etc. that you find useful in your clinical practice and would be willing to share with other AP’s, please send them to me at, and I’ll add them to the website.

The Patrick Joyce Allied Professional Award- The application deadline has been extended to March 30, 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend HRS to present your research and/or to gain experience and knowledge for research development (up to $1500 per person will be awarded). Priority will be given to those who have submitted an abstract to HRS regardless if the abstract gets accepted, or to those who have demonstrated a strong interest or commitment to research either independently or collaboratively. Please contact Vicki Freedenberg at for more information. The application is available on the PACES website.

Some new AP initiatives that are coming down the pike include: An AP research sub-committee for us to generate research ideas and to develop/collaborate on studies together; and the development of a patient/family survey on the PACES website to help us learn how we can further enrich their resources on the website.

Hope to see you at HRS!

Vicki Freedenberg

Exec Board AP Rep

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The Education Committee is finalizing the production of a new workforce training survey that will capture information on individual and group practices, future staffing needs, current training experiences, and job search experiences for new graduates. The survey should undergo Beta testing within the next month, will undergo approval by the Executive Committee, and should be released to PACES membership around the time of HRS. The committee will also be working on a web-based teaching platform that will host an interactive case-based learning module and can serve as a foundation for future educational tools. Finally, the committee will soon embark on an ECG repository that can be accessible to all members for educational and teaching purposes.

The committee is always looking for help in these efforts and would welcome anyone who wants to join the committee and participate in the case building activities. We would also welcome non-PHI interesting ECGS to post for membership. Please send the ECGs to either Scott or me at the emails below along with a short description of the findings as well as your name and institution.

Scott Ceresnak                   Andy Blaufox

Co-Chair                                Co-Chair

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In an effort to support our junior faculty, PACES is developing an “Emerging Leaders” group targeted at pediatric electrophysiologists in their first five years of practice. An introductory meeting will be on Tuesday, May 9th at Lurie Children’s Hospital, beginning just after the PACES Research Meeting. Topics will include the PACES leadership organization, conducting PACES multicenter research, and exploring regional mentorship. Lunch will be provided! If you are in your first 5 years of practice and interested in attending, please email Aarti Dalal ( Space is limited. If you are interested in this initiative, but not attending HRS in Chicago, please send an email, so you can be placed on the email listserv for an update after the meeting and future activities.

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Thanks to everyone who has paid their dues. If you are having trouble with your account or logging on to pay, please contact Bryan Cannon at If you have not done so, please renew your membership as soon as possible. Only members who have paid their dues will be allowed to participate in the annual business meeting at HRS. We will have a sign in table this year to keep track of attendance. Also, encourage your trainees to join, even if they are categorical cardiology fellows as we have some exciting new educational opportunities for any trainee interested in EP.

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