Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association Inc.
Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association Inc.

Abstracts & Program


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Our Full Scientific Program has now been released! Download our program via the download button below to start planning your ACRA 2017 ASM experience.

Confirmed Speakers

Anna Strömberg
Professor of Nursing, Linköping University, SwedenAnna Strömberg is a professor of nursing at Linköping University, Sweden. Her research and clinical guidance has led to implementation of nurse-led heart failure clinics throughout Europe and the development of a nursing curriculum for heart failure nurses. She has developed and evaluated computer-based educational materials for patients e.g., available in ten languages. Her research has contributed to international clinical guidelines and she has served on guideline committees for heart failure care. Anna Strömberg has a long-standing commitment within the European Society of Cardiology, working to increase the impact of cardiovascular nursing and she is the co-editor of European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. At present the main research track is to evaluate Information and Communication Technology to support self-care in patients with chronic cardiac illness and their caregivers.
Professor Susanne S. Pedersen
Head of Department/Professor of Cardiac Psychology, University of Southern Denmark
Susanne S. Pedersen is Head of Department, and Professor of Cardiac Psychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark, and also affiliated with the Department of Cardiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark. Her research focuses on the interplay between psychology and cardiology (heart and mind), with emphasis on the psychosocial consequences of heart disease and its treatment on patient-reported outcomes and prognosis, the role of the patient’s psychological profile on health outcomes, and how to optimize patient information provision and treatment using a multi-disciplinary approach, including e-health and ICT solutions. She has authored or co-authored more than 190 research papers in peer-reviewed international journals and contributed to several chapters on the interplay between psychological factors and heart disease, e.g. the ESC Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 2nd edition, 2009; 3rd edition, 2017; Heart and Mind, the Practice of Cardiac Psychology, 2nd edition, 2011; and Percutaneous Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine – the PCR-EAPCI textbook, 2012 & 2016.
Dr Michael J. Joyner
Professor of Anesthesiology, Mayo ClinicMichael J. Joyner, M.D., is the Caywood Professor of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic where he was named Distinguished Investigator in 2010.  His research focuses on exercise physiology, human performance, blood pressure regulation, metabolism, and transfusion practices.  He is also interested in the limits of scientific reductionism and de-hyping biomedical communications.  He attended the University of Arizona with residency training at Mayo.  His lab has been funded by NIH since 1993, and former fellows have established independent research programs at leading institutions throughout the world.   He has held leadership positions at Mayo, in the extramural research community, and with leading journals.

Dr Rolf Gomes
Founder of Heart Of Australia
Heart of Australia is the brainchild of Brisbane cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes, a father of three and the principal of Medihearts – his established private cardiology practice in Brisbane. Rolf comes from a family of 3 siblings (initially 4 siblings prior to the death of his eldest brother at the age of 5). Rolf was born in Calcutta and came to Australia at the age of 9 with his parents. From very humble beginnings Rolf later graduated from Electrical Engineering and worked for 2 years as an Electrical Engineer for a petro chemical company. He then left a good job to pursue a career in medicine because…as he would say… “I just wanted to be in a job where I was chatting to people all day and at the same time doing something useful with my life”. So he went back to wiping down coffee tables for another four years and eventually graduated from Medicine…and later Cardiology. Rolf was instantly attracted to Cardiology because … “in essence…the heart is just like a pump…it’s got plumbing, valves and electrics…also…obstetrics scared the hell out of me and the other stuff was just too hard!” Rolf recognised early what might be possible by mobilising healthcare technology. Perhaps this was his Engineering background resurfacing….by combining the dictum of medicine which is to “prolong life and ease suffering” with the mantra of engineers which is to “make things happen”, and with the aid of like-minded organisations and colleagues, Rolf was finally able to realise his vision – to bring services…many which people in the city take for granted….to the bush. Close to 6 years after taking the first step…and going down many dry gullies…on the 3rd of October 2014 Heart of Australia was launched. What has been achieved since is nothing short of amazing.
Professor David Dunstan
Head, Physical Activity, Baker Fellow, NHMRC Senior Research FellowDavid is Head of the Physical Activity laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne and is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Baker Fellow. He also holds the position of Professor within the Centre for Exercise and Nutrition at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University. His research focuses on the role of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers, including publications in high impact journals such as Circulation, Diabetes Care and Diabetologia. In 2016 he was invited to be a co-author on the American Diabetes Association’s position statement on Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes. David is currently the Chair of the National Physical Activity Committee of the Heart Foundation. Over the past 15 years he has extensive media interest in his research including interviews with ABC Catalyst, 60 Minutes Australia, National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, CNN, the New York Times and the LA Times.
Dr Christopher Reid
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Professor and Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement | Curtin University
Director, CCRE Therapeutics |  Monash UniversityChristopher Reid is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with appointments as Research Professor in the School’s of Public Health at both Curtin University in Perth & Monash University in Melbourne. He is Director of the Monash Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement (2016-2020).  He holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship in addition to being the Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant (2016-2020) focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention. His major research interests include clinical outcome registries, randomized controlled trials, and epidemiological cohort studies
Andrea Lloyd
ConsultantAndrea Lloyd & AssociatesAndrea has over 30 years experience consulting to organisations in both the public and private sectors across industries including health, mining, engineering, corrections and professional services. Her particular field of interest lies in helping organisations align the critical imperatives of vision, strategy, leadership and culture to create great workplaces that are adaptive to change and deliver results. This involves designing and delivering leadership and team development programs, facilitating workshops and leading organisational change and cultural transformation initiatives. Andrea heads up her own niche consulting business and has also provided consulting services through AIMWA-UWA Business School Executive Education. Andrea has an MBA from the University of Western Australia and a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Wales (Cardiff). She is an experienced practitioner in a wide variety of coaching, facilitation and leadership development tools.
Anthony Lock, DSM, Squadron Leader Res.
Director, Non-Technical Skills (Human Factors) Training, Royal Perth Bentley Group
Director, Team Development Programme, Royal Perth Bentley Group
Royal Australian Air Force, Reserve Squadron Leader Pilot at No. 2 Flying Training School, Perth, Western Australia
Air Transport Pilot’s License holder – Boeing 737 Domestic and International OperationsWith over 6000 flying hours on various high-performance aircraft, Anthony has extensive experience within the aviation industry. During his military flying career, Anthony developed an expertise for working within high-stress situations, whether during combat operations in theatres of war, humanitarian/peacekeeping missions throughout Asia or during instructional and training sorties in Australia. During this time Anthony saw immense value in Crew Resource Management (CRM) and became a facilitator for fellow pilots and crew members. On leaving the RAAF, he flew for a well-known Australian airline and again facilitated CRM, or as it is known today – Non-Technical Skills, to fellow flight and cabin crews and also to any member of the team that potentially had an impact on safety.Anthony gave up an airline career to work full time at the Royal Perth Bentley Group as the Director of Non-Technical Skills (Human Factors) Training and leads the Team Development Programme. This initiative works with healthcare teams to improve teamwork, leadership, and ultimately patient safety while equipping healthcare workers with specialist training in communication, situational awareness, threat and error management and decision-making.
A/Professor Tom Briffa
Clinician and Health Researcher, University of Western AustraliaA/Professor Tom Briffa, is a clinician/health researcher at the University of Western Australia. He is the Director of the Centre for Health Services and Cardiovascular Research and Deputy Director of NHMRC CRE in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement.He holds adjunct appointments at The George Institute and South Australian Health Medical Institute. He has expertise in cardiovascular disease prevention, treatment, outcomes and service delivery informed by linkage of health data. He works with a network of dynamic health professionals globally. He has published position statements on exercise, acute coronary syndrome and rehabilitation and holds honorary positions with national and state health agencies.
Dr Jon Spiro, MBBS, BSc, MD, MRCP, FRACP
Consultant interventional cardiologist, Royal Perth Bentley Group
Clinical lead, Team Development Programme, Royal Perth Bentley Group
Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Western Australia

During his medical training and consultant career Jon has built up a special interest in leadership and teamwork within healthcare groups and organisations. Through working with partners from other industry, such as military and aviation, Jon has developed a particular focus on improving patient safety and clinical efficiency.  In addition to working as a fulltime interventional cardiologist and senior clinical lecturer at UWA, Jon is also the clinical lead for the Team Development Programme at Royal Perth Bentley Group, described below.

Professor Gerald Watts
University of Western AustraliaProfessor Gerald Watts trained at Imperial and King’s Colleges, London University, United Kingdom. He is a senior consultant physician, specializing in cardiometabolic medicine, and current chair of The Familial Hypercholesterolaemia – Australasia Network. He is the clinical lead of Cardiometabolic Services in the Department of Cardiology at Royal Perth Hospital and is Professor of Cardiometabolic Medicine in the University of Western Australia. Research interests include lipid disorders, obesity and cardiovascular prevention, and clinical interest focuses on delivering improved health care for high risk dyslipidemias. He has authored over 500 published works and is on the editorial board of Atherosclerosis, Clinical Science, Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Lipidology, and Current Opinion in Lipidology.
 Dr Janet Bray
Senior Research Fellow, Monash UniversityJanet Bray is a former Critical Care Nurse who moved into acute cardiovascular research with the aim of improving access to emergency treatments for patients suffering AMIs, strokes and cardiac arrests. Currently Janet works as a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of the Australian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC) at Monash University.Janet has just been awarded a four-year Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship to conduct a broad range of research including exploring the impact of campaigns (e.g. the Warning Signs campaign) on prehospital behaviour. The public and even patients who have already suffered ACS are still not responding to symptoms appropriately -some because symptoms don’t present as they expect (i.e. not the “Hollywood heart attack”) or are different from a previous event.
Dr Sarah Moore
Medical Coordinator/Senior Lecturer Rural Clinical School of WAI am a GP obstetrician and medical educator with the Rural Clinical School of WA, based in Busselton. I am also a wife and mother of two young daughters. I am passionate about providing whole person care to myself, my family, my patients, my colleagues and my community. I have been exploring the benefits of mindfulness, meditation and compassion training over the past few years, and am currently running a mindfulness program for my Rural Clinical School students, which I am evaluating with the intention to publish in the near future. I also provide mindfulness and compassion workshops at my local hospital for staff and students, and have led self-care sessions with GP registrars in the South West. I established the Holistic Health Practitioner Network in the South West of WA, and organised the South West Wellness Expo in October 2016, a free community event introducing over 40 local holistic health practitioners to the general public.