Keynote Speakers


Melissa Davis
Dr. Melissa M. Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, CNS, CBN, CNOR, RNFA
Medication Management of Excess Weight and Co-Morbid Conditions

Dr. Melissa Davis is a board certified adult nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, and assistant in surgery, and is nationally certified in perioperative and bariatric nursing. She has been caring for bariatric medical and surgical patients since 2001, and has been an active member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and AANP. Melissa has been a co-investigator for several FDA trials, presented at both local and national conferences, and has had numerous publications, most recently as lead author of the chapter “Pregnancy in the Woman with a History of Bariatric Surgery”, in Bariatric Surgery Complications (2017).

Cindy Lamendola
Cindy Lamendola, MSN, NP, FAHA, FPCNA
Anti-Hyperglycemic Therapies: Improving CVD Outcomes

 Cindy Lamendola, MSN, ANP-BC, FAHA, FPCNA is a nurse practitioner/clinical research nurse coordinator at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Cardiology in Stanford, California. She received her MSN, from the University of California in San Francisco in 1997. In her current position, Ms. Lamendola's time is divided between clinical research and clinical practice. Her clinical research focus is on insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and its relationship to cardiovascular disease. Her clinical practice is focused on caring for complex patients with type 2 diabetes. Ms. Lamendola has been involved in cardiovascular nursing and primary and secondary prevention most of her career. Previously, she was an associate director/director of a large community cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program with a focus on risk factor education, lipid management and research. She also developed and managed a lipid clinic in a cardiovascular medical practice. Cindy Lamendola is a founding member, past president and current board member of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. She is also a member and fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Nursing Council and participated in the American Heart Association Prevention Conference VI: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Writing Group IV: Lifestyle and Medical Management of Risk Factors. She is also a member of the American Diabetes Association. 

T. Jennifer Walker, ANP-BCJennifer Walker
Medications to Manage Rate, Rhythm and Symptoms Associated with Atrial Fib and Flutter

 Jennifer earned her Master’s degree in nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. She currently serves as adjunct faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Nursing, and has been an adult nurse practitioner at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for 8 years. She works in the Department of Cardiology and EP and manages patient with CIEDs, arrhythmias, and cardiac diseases. Her research focus is on atrial fibrillation, specifically improving quality of AFIb management.



Eric D. Peterson, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACC
Cardiovascular Risk Reduction and LDL-C: Evolving Perspectives

Dr. Peterson is the Fred Cobb, Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, a DukeMed Scholar, and the Executive Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).  Dr. Peterson is a recognized leader in outcomes and quality research, with over 1000 peer-reviewed publications in the field.  Dr. Peterson is the Principal Investigator of the NHLBI’s Coordinating Center for its Outcome Research Network, and the AHRQ Cardiovascular Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs).  He is also the PI of the Data Coordinating Centers’ for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Cardiac Surgery Database, the American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiac Database (ACC-NCDR) and the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines Database (AHA GWTG).  Dr. Peterson participates on multiple national committees, as well as CV guideline and performance measure development groups.  Dr. Peterson is also a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP),and the Association of University Cardiologists (AUC).  Dr. Peterson received the American Heart Association Meritorious Achievement Award.   He is also a Contributing Editor on the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Colleen CaleshuColleen Caleshu, ScM, CGC
Big Data and the Future of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Treatment

Ms. Caleshu is a Lead Genetic Counselor in the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and a Clinical Assistant Professor in Medical Genetics at Stanford University. She served as vicechair of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Education committee. She served as Chair of the NSGC Cardiovascular Special Interest Group.

Laura HaymanLaura Hayman, PHD, RN, FPCNA, FAAN
Pediatric Prevention Guidelines: Its Never Too Early (Or Too Late) to Focus on Heart Health

Dr. Laura L. Hayman, PHD, RN, FPCNA, FAAN is Associate Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Nursing at UMass Boston. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, UMass Medical School.   Dr. Hayman earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Her program of research and scholarship has focused on primary prevention of obesity and risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children, adolescents and families from diverse populations.  Her current interdisciplinary projects combine clinical and community-based approaches designed to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and reduce risk for obesity and cardiometabolic disease in school-aged children and adolescents and community-based research designed to reduce health disparities and promote health equity.

Kim WilliamsKim Allen Williams, MD, Sr., MACC, FAHA, MASNC, FESC
It's Easy Being Green: Lifestyle Medicine and Plant-based Diets

Kim Allan Williams, MD, MACC, FAHA, MASNC, FESC was born in Chicago, and attended the College of The University of Chicago (1971 to 1975), followed by the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine (1975 to 1979), internal medicine residency at Emory University (1979 to 1982), and overlapping fellowships in Cardiology at the University of Chicago (1982 to 1985), Clinical Pharmacology (1984 to 1985), and Nuclear Medicine (1984 to 1986).  He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.


George MensahGeorge Mensah, MD, FAHA
The Weight of the World: Reducing Stroke and CVD Disparities

 Dr. George Mensah is a cardiologist in Bethesda, Maryland. He received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Cheryl R. Dennison Himmelfarb, RN, ANP, PhD, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN
New Hypertension Guidelines: Matching Risks and Treatments

Dr. Cheryl R. Dennison Himmelfarb is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Department of Health Systems and Outcomes and School of Medicine Division of Health Sciences Informatics. She is a deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and Director of the ICTR Office of Recruitment and Retention. Dr. Dennison Himmelfarb’s research involves developing and testing interventions to promote self care and reduce cardiovascular risk among high risk populations in the acute care and community settings. She has been an investigator or principal investigator on numerous NIH-funded randomized controlled trials testing interdisciplinary models of care and telehealth-based interventions. She has over 60 publications and has presented on issues in cardiovascular risk management and self care at local, national, and international scientific meetings.

Daniel FormanDaniel E. Forman, MD
Managing CVD Risks in Older Adults: Lessons from a Geriatric Cardiology Practice

Daniel E. Forman, MD is a practicing Cardiologist (Heart Specialist) in Boston, MA. Dr. Forman graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1986 and has been in practice for 32 years. He completed a residency at Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Forman also specializes in Internal Medicine. He currently practices at Brigham & Women's Hospital Cardiology and is affiliated with Boston Children's Hospital, Boston Medical Center and Brigham & Women's Hospital.

Daniel E. Forman MD focuses his research on novel approaches in cardiac problems in older adults. With support from a VA Merit award, he is studying the functional impact of skeletal muscle morphology, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and gene expression in older patients with heart failure. In a complementary effort, funded by the NIH and VA, Dr. Forman is evaluating the benefits of exercise training in older cardiac patients to improve physical and cognitive function, focusing particularly on skeletal muscle as the key mediator of these benefits. He is also studying novel strategies to improve the caregiving process, specifically targeting improved enrollment and adherence, supported by the VA and PCORI.


Roger BlumenthalRoger S. Blumenthal, MD, FACC, FAHA, FNLA
CVD Risk Stratification and a Life-Course Perspective on Risk Communication

Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal is The Kenneth Jay Pollin Professor of Cardiology,
Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, MD.  Dr. Blumenthal graduated with honors from the Landon School in Bethesda and the Johns Hopkins University. He received his medical degree from Cornell Medical College, where he was awarded the Weiss Prize for Excellence in Clinical Medicine. He did his Internal Medicine and Cardiology fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital before joining the Hopkins Cardiology faculty. He is an expert in the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of atherosclerotic vascular disease. An experienced writer, Dr. Blumenthal is on the editorial board of Circulation, Cardiology Today, the American Heart Journal, The American College of Cardiology and Extended Learning Center (ACCEL). He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention Council. In 2017, he was named by as one of 27 Top Cardiologists in the U.S. based on his academic publications and leadership in Preventive Cardiology.

Barry FranklinBarry Franklin, PhD, FACSM, MAACVPR, FAHA 
Cardiac Rehab in 2018: Incorporating New Populations and Approaches

Barry A. Franklin, PhD, FACSM, MAACVPR, FAHA serves as Director of Preventive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Beaumont Health, Royal Oak, Michigan. He also holds faculty appointments as Professor of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and Professor of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Dr. Franklin is a past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention as well as a past president of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR, 1988) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 1999).

Cynda Hylton Rushton PhD, RN, FAANCynda Rushton
Caring for Ourselves, so We Can Care for Others

Cynda Hylton Rushton is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics in the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the School of Nursing, with a joint appointment in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. A founding member of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Dr. Rushton co-chairs the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. An international leader in nursing ethics, Dr. Rushton in 2014 co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit, convened by the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and School of Nursing. The Summit, supported by strategic partners from nine national nursing organizations and seven collaborating organizations, developed a Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics. Her current scholarship in clinical ethics focuses on moral distress and suffering of clinicians, the development of moral resilience, palliative care, and designing a culture of ethical practice. Dr. Rushton is the recipient of three post-doctoral fellowships: a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship (2006-2009), a Kornfeld Fellowship in end-of-life, ethics, and palliative care (2000), and a Mind and Life Institute Fellowship in Contemplative Science (2013-2014). She has served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on increasing rates of organ donation and was a consultant to its project When Children Die. She also was appointed the first chair of the Maryland State Council on Quality Care at the End-of-Life, has been recognized as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women, and is an American Academy of Nursing "Edge Runner." She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Hasting’s Center Fellow.

Dr. Rushton is currently designing, implementing, and evaluating the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) to build moral resilience in novice nurses. Her forthcoming book, Moral Resilience: An Antidote to Moral Distress, to be published by Oxford University Press, aims to transform current approaches for addressing moral distress by focusing on innovative methods to cultivate moral resilience and designing a culture in health care that supports ethical practice.