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President's Message

june 2021

Hello Virginia ACC Colleagues!

VCACC Council Update - Thank you for the excellent response to the call for volunteers. I’d like to welcome the newest members to the Chapter Council.

Michael Ayers, MD, FACC

Dr. Ayers is an Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UVA with a special interest in preventative cardiology and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Benham Tehrani, MD, FACC

Dr. Tehrani serves as Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at INOVA Heart and Vascular Institute. He has a particular interest in the management of cardiogenic shock and is pioneering the launch of the Virginia Cardiogenic Shock Initiative.

Mohammad Abuannadi, MD, FACC

Dr. Abuannadi is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the UVA in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, publishing papers in both these aeras. 

ACC.21 Scientific Sessions - The American College of Cardiology's  70th Annual Scientific Session & Expo was a great success with excellent virtual participation. We look forward to meeting in-person next Spring in Washington, DC for ACC.22.

Congratulations - We want to congratulate our colleagues who were recognized as new fellows (FACC) and associates (AACC) of the American College of Cardiology!

Mohammad Abuannadi, MD, FACC

Mitabh Parashar, MBBS, MD, FACC

Jennifer Shea, MD, FACC

Peter Dean, MD, FACC

Dhavalkumar Patel, MD, FACC

Matthew Cauchi, DO, FACC

Vasutakarn Chongthammakun, MD, FACC

Eric Pauley, MD, FACC

David DeMaria, MD, FACC

Raymond Vlacancich, DO, FACC

David Kopin, MD, FACC

Ramiro Lizano Santamaria, MD, FACC

Bryant Self, DO, FACC

Arehzo Jahangiri, MD, FACC

Michael Ayers, MD, FACC

Lorenzo Azzalini, MD, FACC

Venu Vadlamudi, MD, FACC

James Dingess, FNP-C, AACC

Lauren Feeney, FNP-C, AACC

Advocacy Update - Significant, bipartisan federal legislation was recently reintroduced that would provide necessary reforms to the prior authorization process. We urge you to ask your member of Congress to support the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act of 2021. The legislation would make several changes to items and services in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Specifically, the bill would: 

      • Establish an electronic prior authorization process (ePA) and require MA plans to adopt ePA capabilities;
      • Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a list of items and services eligible for real-time decisions under an MA ePA program;
      • Standardize and streamline the prior authorization process for routinely approved items and services;
      • Ensure prior authorization requests are reviewed by qualified medical personnel;
      • Increase transparency around MA prior authorization requirements and their use;
      • Protect beneficiaries from any disruptions in care due to prior authorization requirements as they transition between MA plans.

The ACC has been a driving force behind the reintroduction of this legislation, working with the authors to ensure that this will make a series of positive reforms to improve patient care. It is our hope that this important step forward will bring about much needed changes to the prior authorization process.
Please urge your member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 3173 to reduce unnecessary barriers to patient care. Contact Your Member of Congress Here


Evan D. Ownby, MD FACC

President, Virginia Chapter ACC

BCS annual meeting screen shot

VCACC is proud be the official international exchange partner with the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS). Above, VCACC members participate in the BCS Virtual Annual Meeting.

BVS and VCACC leadership


Our purpose is to contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, to ensure optimal quality of care for individuals with such diseases, and to foster the highest professional ethical standards.

Congress All Ears on Telehealth Expansion Post-Pandemic 

With Medicare and many private payers now covering an expanded list of telehealth services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress continues to wrestle with post-pandemic virtual care, particularly around quality of care and patient safety, privacy and security, and appropriate payment. Several key House and Senate committees have met to discuss options. Most recently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing this week to discuss the expansion of access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. This continues to be a priority issue for your ACC Advocacy team in ongoing discussions with Congress. ACC members are encouraged to help amplify these messages by meeting with lawmakers and sharing expertise and lessons learned. For help with scheduling a meeting, email

ACC Membership Renewal

The ACC and Chapter membership renewal deadline is just around the corner on December 10th. This year, the greater ACC community has rallied together to face unprecedented challenges to our practices and our communities. 

Be sure your voice is at the table in 2021. Our membership prices are the same. Additionally, if you’re unable to pay your full renewal amount—contact us. Your membership is worth more than a single year’s dues payment, and we’re happy to work with you on alternate payment options for 2021.

Additionally, at the Chapter level, we’ve been hard at work providing you with localized opportunities for involvement, education and networking—plus providing you with representation to lawmakers and decision makers at the local and state levels.

Keep ACC as your cardiovascular home as together we transform CV care and improve heart health.

Renew online or by calling ACC Member Care at 202-375-6000, ext. 5603.


The ACC has pulled together COVID-19 information and resources and is updating it daily. Click here for the COVID-19 Hub.  

For the free Summer Education Series, click here 


ACC CardioSmart recently published the infographic below to emphasize the importance of maintaining heart health through the epidemic. Click here for additional information.

Heart Health during COVID-19 graphic

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Virginia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology

3445 Seminole Trail, Suite 253

Charlottesville, VA 22911

Phone: 877-793-8171

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