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Libin members to take home top prizes at this year's Canadian Cardiovascular Congress

Submitted by lthorson on Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:59pm
Thu, 10/20/2016 - 01:00

This year, Montreal hosted the 2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) – Canada’s largest medical conference. The four day event ran from October 22-25 and brought together some of the country’s leading medical professionals and industry to learn about the latest cardiovascular innovations, research and care in the country. 

Each year the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) and its affiliates honours individuals who have contributed immensely to the advancement of cardiovascular care and sciences through a variety of awards. This year, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta’s Drs. Robert Sheldon and L. Brent Mitchell were honoured with the CCS’ Annual Achievement Award (Sheldon) and the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society (CHRS)’s Annual Achievement Award (Mitchell). These two individuals have pioneered the advancement of the Libin Institute and their legacy has contributed to scientific progression in the domain of cardiovascular research, education, and care delivery in the country.

"The Libin Institute is very proud of the recognition given to Drs. Robert Sheldon and Brent Mitchell at the CCC this year,” says Dr. Todd Anderson, Libin Institute’s director. “Having benefited from the wisdom of both of these individuals during their leadership roles in Calgary, I can attest to the fact that the CCS and CHRS could not have chosen finer individuals. Congratulations on being recognized for all of your outstanding contributions."

Dr. Robert Sheldon

The Annual Achievement Award is given to a Canadian in recognition of their outstanding contributions in their career within the cardiovascular field.

Dr. Sheldon has had a long and distinguished career as a clinician scientist, leader and mentor in the Canadian cardiovascular environment. 

He is a cardiac arrhythmia specialist who specializes in syncope (fainting) and arrhythmia care. As a clinician-scientist, he is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in syncope. He has played a pivotal role in its guideline development such as writing for every major syncope guideline for the last 10 years and continuously advocates for the importance of a detailed medical history in the assessment of syncope.

He is a professor of Cardiac Sciences at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine; is actively involved with the Libin Institute’s residency training committee; and is the Libin Institute’s cardiology training program research director where he has trained dozens of scientists now working in Canada and abroad. His expertise has contributed to the success of some Libin Institute members including Drs. Satish Raj, Sarah Weeks, and Vikas Kuriachan. 

He has held/holds a variety of national and provincial leadership roles such as, but not limited to, deputy principal investigator of the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (present); co-founder and associate scientific director of the Canadian Arrhythmia Network of Canada (present); vice-chair of research for international Heart Rhythm Society (present); president of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Academy (2013-2015); and senior vice-president of research for Alberta Health Services (2008-2012).  

Throughout his career he has published more than 230 manuscripts, 30 book chapters, and has had numerous high impact papers in publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine. He currently holds three Canadian Institutes of Health Research grants for clinical trials aimed at developing effective treatments and efficient treatment strategies.

Dr. Sheldon is an inspiration to many and has developed an excellent academic and clinical career to date. 

“Bob Sheldon is a very accomplished researcher and at the same time has held important leadership roles in Cardiology, in the Cumming School of Medicine, and in the provincial Health System,” says Dr. Eldon Smith, OC, emeritus professor and past Canadian Cardiovascular Society president. “Bob is an innovator, a collaborator and importantly, a mentor to many. I am personally delighted that the CCS has chosen to recognize him with their Annual Achievement Award.”

Dr. L. Brent Mitchell

The Canadian Heart Rhythm Society’s Annual Achievement Award is given to Canadians who have made outstanding contributions in their career within the cardiovascular heart rhythm field.

Over the last 34 years, Dr. L. Brent Mitchell has been a pillar within cardiovascular sciences in Canada. He is an expert in the area of clinical cardiac electrophysiology; specifically tachyarrthymias, and his contribution to the cardiac sciences has left an incredible and effective impact on Canada and the world. 

Dr. Mitchell is a professor in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, Former Division Head of Cardiology in Calgary; and was the inaugural director of the Libin Institute (2004-2010). He has served on the cardiology residency training program for over a decade, and he was instrumental in developing the cardiology curriculum for the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. As a leading instructor in electrophysiology, Dr. Mitchell’s mentorship has led to the educational advancement of some of the Libin Institute’s members including Drs. Kathryn Kavanagh, Robert Sheldon, Derek Exner, Satish Raj, George Veenhuyzen, Russell Quinn, Vikas Kuriachan, Steve Wilton, Michael Slawynch, and Jacques Rizkallah. 

His career has garnered a variety of distinctions such as president of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society (2014-2016); Distinguished Teacher Award from the International Heart Rhythm Society (2014); Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2013); and president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, NWT & Nunavut (2002-2004).

He has published more than 300 manuscripts, 81 book chapters/invited reviews, and has published in notable journals including the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Mitch is an excellent clinician, an outstanding teacher, a highly recognized researcher and an accomplished administrator - the perfect quadruple threat,” says Dr. Smith. “He has contributed greatly to the Libin Institute as its first director and we owe him much for all his years of service. It is highly appropriate that he be recognized nationally for his many achievements.”

For more award winners/leadership role holders of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Academy click here.

“Wow! It has been my pleasure to be an associate and friend of these two outstanding young men for over 30 years. They have so many exceptional qualities; it is hard to highlight only one. In Bob’s case I would emphasize his outstanding capability for lateral thinking. His mind will go from A to B to C to Q and I would be left wondering how he got there! Mitch has extraordinary patience and an uncanny ability to make complex ideas and situations seem simple and explain them so even a dummy like me can get the point. In reflection on the successes of the Libin Institute clinical EP group over the years, I am reminded of the aphorism, “lead, follow, or get out of the way”. The group members have had the extraordinary ability to understand and embrace their respective and changing roles in any given situation.” – Dr. D. George Wyse, emeritus professor and distinguished scientist of the Heart Rhythm Society.  


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