Select Education Programs of Significance

Spring Desert Cardiovascular Update

Over a decade of Annual Cardiovascular Update Events

Jonathan Abrams, MD Professor/Department Chair, Cardiology University of New Mexico School of Medicine Desert Heart Foundation Honorary Lecture 1996

The Desert Heart Foundation inaugurated its Spring Desert Cardiovascular Update in the Spring of 1993. This program continued annually through 2007 drawing delegates from Tucson, Arizona and across the southwestern United States. This highly respected continuing medical education program brought leading clinicians and researchers from  around the world to share contemporary science and clinical strategies with community  physicians. Notable faculty have included HJC Swan MD, William Ganz MD, Henry Marriott MD, Proctor Harvey MD, Denton Cooley MD, William Kannel MD,  Randas Batitsta MD, J Ward Kennedy MD, Spencer King MD, Harvey Feigenbaum MD, and many others including past, and future, presidents of the American College of Cardiology.

The Desert Heart Foundation presented its first honorary Desert Heart Foundation Lectureship to Jonathan Abrams MD, Professor University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 1996 at the 3rd Spring Desert Cardiovascular Update. There have been many other notable recipients since then, including, Ronald Fogleman, United States Air Force Chief of Staff, in 2003.

First Contact Symposium

2007 & 2009

The Desert Heart Foundation launched a novel educational program specifically for the management of cardiovascular emergencies. The First Contact Symposium, the first of its kind in Southern Arizona, was directed towards emergency care providers and emergency room physicians. Guest faculty for the inaugural program in 2007 was Richard Carmona MD, a noted trauma surgeon in the Tucson Community, and later United States Surgeon General under the presidency of George W. Bush. Repeated 2 years later, the program was recognized as an innovative pilot for continuing medical education for emergency providers.

The Art & Science of Atrial Fibrillation Conference

November 1, 1997

The Desert Heart Foundation brought this focused conference to the medical communities of Southern Arizona in 1997 for study of Atrial Fibrillation, a common, but significant, arrhythmia plaguing many patients who suffer from Cardiovascular Disease. Guest faculty had included Eric N Prystowsky MD, and Gerald Naccarelli MD, pioneers in Cardiac Electrophysiology.

International Wine & Heart Health Summit

HELD BI - ANNUALLY since 2001

Since the early 20th century, and certainly by the time initial epidemiological data from the historic Framingham Heart Trial began to report in the early 1970’s, the research community began to understand that there was a clear and consistent benefit in the reduction of cardiovascular disease events in moderate alcohol drinkers compared to non-drinkers or heavy drinkers. In the early 1990’s Serge Renaud PhD and R. Curtis Ellison MD, appeared on 60 Minutes and reported Renaud’s findings that the French appeared protected from cardiovascular disease because of their consistent red wine consumption. The French Paradox, an explanation of the French’s low incidences of cardiovascular disease despite a diet rich in cheese, sauces, and fats, was born. Shortly thereafter, the Desert Heart Foundation launched its Wine & Heart Health Research Initiative, with guidance from Serge Renaud PhD, Curtis Ellison MD, and John Deanfield MBBS, pioneer in vascular endothelial physiology. The Desert Heart Foundation, restricted from accepting funding from the beverage industry, inaugurated the International Wine & Heart Health Summit in 2001, in order to raise needed research funding. The Desert Heart Foundation recognizes iconic wine personalities for their early assistance in developing this initiative, including Robert and Michael Mondavi, Robin Lail, Richard Arrowood, Margaret Duckhorn, and Ann Colgin.

From this initiative several important papers, abstracts, and international presentations have added to the understanding of the salutary relationship of responsible moderate wine consumption and cardiovascular health, and the mechanism by which wine acts to prevent atherosclerosis and its consequences.

ISMCS 2017 - 25th Anniversary Scientific Session

The Desert Heart Foundation was proud to sponsor this prominent International Educational Program on Heart Failure - Structural Heart and Therapy Options, held on the campus of Scientific Innovation at the University of Arizona. The International Society for Mechanical and Circulatory Support honored Marvin Slepian MD, its 2017 program chairman. Dr. Slepian is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Desert Heart Foundation. This global platform for presenting the latest issues in a most complex and technological was hosted in Tucson Arizona in 2017, home to the Desert Heart Foundation. Its next program sessions is to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

WineHealth International

In 2013, the Desert Heart Foundation, threw its support to Winehealth, an International program with a mission similar to its International Wine & Heart Health Summit. The combining of efforts served to strengthen the global platform for the academic understanding of the impact of moderate wine consumption and human health and disease. Programs over the next several years included venues in Sydney, Australia; Lyon, France; Valencia, Spain. A program in Davis, California, USA is in the works for 2019.

WineHealth 2013
International Wine & Health Conference Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Sydney, NSW
18 – 20 July 2013 - Information and Abstracts

Select Research Programs of Significance

Dayle Lanzmann, RN
Research Nurse

WICS - Wine in Cardiovascualr Subsets Project

Lynn Hodges, RDCS
Research Assistant
Wine & Heart Health Research Lab
Tucson, Arizona

Moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lower risk of total mortality than are either abstinence or heavy drinking. Read more on the International Forum on Alcohol Research website. Barrett-Connro E, de Gaetano G, Dejousse L, Ellison RC, Estruch R, Finkel H, Goldfinger T, Keil U, Lanzmann-Petithory PL, Thellr DS, Ursini F, Waterhouse A. Comments

Goldfinger T, Hodges L, Donald AE, Deanfield JE. The Effect of Red Wine, White Wine, and Non- Wine Beverage Alcohol on Endothelial Function in Patients with Severe Atherosclerosis. Heart: May 2004 (90) Supplement III; (47) A10-11

Neil Shay, PhD, Professor of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University was the recipient of significant grant from the Desert Heart Foundation in 2016 for the study of oak barrel tannins and red wine in cardiovascular health.  Some of the results of this sponsored work can be reviewed in the presentation below.  

Click to view the Abstract on the American Society for Enology and Viticulture website ( Goldfinger TM, Waterhouse A. Chemistry of Red Wine Aging: Implications for Health and Biologic Activity. Proceedings of 7th Int’l Conf on Polyphenols and Health. Nov 2015

Goldfinger T. Beyond the French Paradox: The Impact of Moderate Beverage Alcohol and Wine Consumption in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiol Clin 21 (2003) 449 – 457.

In 2018 the Desert Heart Foundation provided a grant to The Jake Feinberg Show. Jake Feinberg is a progressive modern media personality who has made his reputation interviewing people of significance in the music industry over decades of time and mixed genres. He has recently advanced a novel and ambitious project exploring the relationship between lifestyle and better cardiovascular health. He has embraced the Mediterranean Model and has explored, with artistic interviews, personalities in the California wine industry as well as physicians and researchers, who promote lifestyle as a means to better cardiovascular health.

The Desert Heart Foundation and its Wine & Heart Health Research Initiative recognizes the Jake Feinberg Show, lauding its ability to integrate issues important to our mission into an entertaining and informative on-line telecast.