Paul A. Levine, MD, FHRS, CCDS Increases Pledge Commitment to Next Level of Giving: Ambassador
Society member since 1980 voices a strong commitment to the Heart Rhythm Foundation so that it can continue to carry on with its current programs and develop and advance new programs, to support the basic sciences within EP
Paul A. Levine, MD, FHRS, CCDS, a member since 1980 of the Heart Rhythm Society, recently upgraded his commitment to the Heart Rhythm Foundation to the Ambassador level.
Please join Dr. Levine in making a donation to the Heart Rhythm Foundation.
"My interest in pacing and the electrical problems of the heart began long before I ever knew about this field. It began with my father who was an electrical engineer who so wanted me to follow in his footsteps but I simply could not compete with him. As such, my interests as a child turned to the biological sciences eventually leading me to pursue a career in medicine. In my first year physiology course in medical school, I was fascinated by the cardiovascular system and particularly, the ECG. On a Freudian level, I attribute this to my father and I have gotten as close to electrical engineering as one can while still staying on the medicine side of the fence.
"Although not a founding member of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, I joined NASPE in its first year and originally had member number 219. As a junior faculty member at Boston University and already Director of the Pacing Service, I wrote a letter to Sy Furman, who was then the President of NASPE. [Learn more about The Furman Fund, named for Seymour Furman, MD, FHRS.] I no longer have a copy of that letter, but in essence, after introducing myself, I wrote was that I was academically-based and that I was a member of multiple different medical societies including NASPE, and that I thought that I should do something more than simply pay my dues, receive their journal and attend the annual meeting. In that my interest was pacing and arrhythmias (the field of electrophysiology was not yet recognized as a dedicated subspecialty) and as such, I wanted to volunteer my services to NASPE in any way that the Society could use the help.
"That is all that it took. It also helped that NASPE's offices were in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston where I was based. When I got involved, the office staff consisted of Carol McGlinchey and Betsy Bogdansky. Shortly thereafter, Barbara Krause (Education) joined the team. They often enlisted their children in preparing mailings, stuffing envelopes and even attending the early scientific sessions to register physicians and allied health professionals. I would go the NASPE office to help whenever called, and became active on some of the committees such as Continuing Medical Education. I developed a three day post-graduate educational program sponsored by NASPE, The Electrocardiography of Pacemaker Rhythms, which was held in Boston for a number of years.
"My activities within the Society grew along with my own knowledge and reputation. Here was a professional society focused on an area of medicine that I thought was so valuable and critical and, although given lip service by the other more established organizations, was not the focus of their efforts. As the Society has continued to grow, its name as the North American Society did not convey the true extent and influence of this organization. It became the Heart Rhythm Society with an international membership and reach no longer being restricted to North America. It has served as the model for similar organizations in other parts of the world. The Society, via its dedicated, knowledgeable and committed members, has worked over the years to develop guidelines and standards for the evaluation and management of a multiplicity of diseases within this field and with guidelines for training and assessment of clinical competence for the professionals within this field. It has gained acceptance among the longer established organizations as an integral participant in their efforts when it comes to heart rhythm disorders.
"Equally important, the Heart Rhythm Foundation has accepted a mission to develop information and outreach programs to the lay community, to our patients and their families, for families who have unexpectedly come face to face with the tragic consequences of a life-threatening rhythm disorder but one, under the proper care of the knowledgeable physician, is able to be managed with the individual living a long and healthy life. This is a phenomenal legacy, greatly expanding what I am able to do as an individual physician working one-on-one with my patients.
"I wish that I could support every good cause, and there are many that are deserving of support. My funds, unfortunately, are not unlimited. After providing for my family, I have decided to make a strong commitment to the Heart Rhythm Foundation so that it can continue to carry on with its current programs and develop and advance new programs, to support the basic sciences within electrophysiology that may some day — via stem-cell research, genetic engineering or fields that have not yet even been developed but will be by the very creative minds that devote themselves to this area of medicine — cure or at least modify the life-threatening channelopathies, the conduction system problems that develop as we get older and even develop ways to restore the conduction system or modify the substrates for atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachyarrhythmias eliminating the need for implantable devices and ablation procedures.
"This will happen, even if not in my lifetime, but it will not happen without financial support. To the degree that I can, I want to be a part of this process long after I am no longer an active participant in this process. The way that I can best do this is by supporting the Heart Rhythm Foundation."
Contributions or matching gifts can be sent to the Heart Rhythm Foundation at 1400 K Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005 or you can donate securely online. Contact Betsy Bogdansky at (202) 464-3454 or bbogdansky@HRSonline.org to learn more about how you can help support the Heart Rhythm Society and Foundation’s missions and initiatives.