The HFSA Virtual Heart Failure Patient and Caregiver Day 2020 is LIVE NOW!

Heart Failure Beat Podcast: Healthy Living

This podcast series delivers episodes featuring interviews with patients, caregivers, and heart failure clinicians highlighting what patients and caregivers need to know about healthy living with heart failure.

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Heart Failure affects over 6.5 million people globally.  Each month, join the Heart Failure Society of America as we interview patients, caregivers, and heart failure clinicians highlighting key things patients and caregivers need to know about healthy living with heart failure. 

The Heart Failure Beat: Healthy Living series is part of the Heart Failure Awareness 365 campaign led by HFSA. Learn more about the campaign >>  



Listen to the Latest Episode! 


Explore Episodes Below

S01 E09: Equity in Heart Failure Across Racial/Ethnic Groups: The POSSIBLE Dream

Tune into this episode to learn about steps necessary for achieving heart failure equity across racial and ethnic groups.

Host: Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine - Division of Cardiology - Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant, The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center (full bio below)


Sabra C. Lewsey, MD MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant, Johns Hopkins University SOM

Ileana L. Piña, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACC, Professor of Medicine Wayne State University, Clinical Prof of Medicine, Central Michigan University, Senior Staff Fellow, FDA, Medical Reviewer


Full Bios

Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, FACC, FAHA, FHFSA is Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine- Tucson, Division of Cardiology, and advanced heart failure & transplant cardiologist. Dr. Breathett is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School with distinction in service. She completed training in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and cardiology and advanced heart failure/transplant subspecialty fellowship at the Ohio State University. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship funded by the National Institute of Health and the American Heart Association while obtaining a Master of Science in Clinical Science at the University of Colorado. Dr. Breathett is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology. She has developed pilot trials, outcomes studies, observational population studies, and community interventions focused on reducing racial and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Breathett is a National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) K01 funded primary investigator for work to address allocation of advanced therapies in racial/ethnic minorities. Dr. Breathett’s research has been published in high impact journals including Circulation, Circulation: Heart Failure, JACC: Heart Failure, and The American Journal of Medicine. Her works have received press acknowledgment in Reuters, MedPage Today, and Business Insider among others. She has been recognized as a National Minority Quality Forum 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health, international Women As One Escalator Awardee, Heart Failure Society of America Emerging Leader, and selected for the American Heart Association Research Leader’s Academy. Dr. Breathett is passionate about reducing racial/ethnic and gender disparities in heart failure.

Sabra Lewsey, MD, MPH is an assistant professor of medicine and an advanced heart failure cardiologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. Her research interests include factors contributing to exercise intolerance and debilitation in heart failure patients, particularly with advancing age. She is also interested in disparities in heart failure therapy access, utilization, and outcomes in diverse and aging populations.

Ileana L. Piña, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACC, is a board certified heart failure/transplant cardiologist with a strong interest in sex differences and inclusion of URIM into clinical trials.  In addition, Dr. Piña is a clinical trialist and a part of the HF collaborative.  She is also a member of the Board of the AHA.

S01 E08: Emotional Wellness in Heart Failure

Tune into this episode for valuable tips for patients, caregivers, and physicians on emotional well-being and mental health as part of the heart failure treatment plan.

Host: Laura Poko, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Heart Failure Society of America

Guest: Dr. Nasrien E. Ibrahim, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital
Nasrien E. Ibrahim, MD, FACC, FHFSA is a board certified cardiologist in the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Section within the Division of Cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is also the Associate Director of the Resynchronization & Cardiac Therapeutics Program at MGH. She completed her internal medicine residency and general cardiology fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, her advanced heart failure and cardiac transplant fellowship at the University of Colorado, and her clinical research fellowship at MGH.  She is involved in several research studies in heart failure involving biomarkers and participates in several clinical trials all aimed at improving the management and outcomes of patients with heart failure. She also has research interests in health inequities, access to care, and women’s leadership in academia. @DrNasrien

S01 E07: How to Have Successful Virtual Visits with Your Care Team

Virtual visits have been taking over as a main source of treatment plans for many patients living with heart failure. Explore how you can have more successful virtual visits with your care team on this episode of the Heart Failure Beat Healthy Living.

Host: Laura Poko, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Heart Failure Society of America
Guest: Kismet Rasmusson, DNP, FNP, FAHA, FHFSA, CHFN

Kismet Rasmusson is a nurse practitioner with 20 years of experience with Intermountain Healthcare’s Advanced Heart Failure Program. In this role, she not only cares for patients with heart failure, but guides the Intermountain System to improve heart failure outcomes and processes of care. One of her special interests is to create novel ways to educate and engage patients. During this COVID-19 pandemic, she has helped lead her team to implement video visits with their patients.

S01 E06: Heart Failure and Coronavirus: The Importance of Self-Advocacy

Learn the importance of self-advocating for your health on this episode, where we hear a conversation between a heart advocate who is living with heart failure and was diagnosed with Coronavirus and a prominent heart failure physician.   

Host: John Barnes, CEO of the Heart Failure Society of America

Bethany Austin, MD, Director of Heart Failure and Heart Failure Quality at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri

Dr. Bethany Austin has been at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute since 2010 after training at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.  She is Co-Medical Director of the Heart Failure Program, Medical Director of Heart Failure Quality, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease, Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology, and Echocardiography.

Heart survivor Rhonda E. Monroe conquered the insurmountable odds of living through five coronary artery dissections, three heart attacks, two strokes, three open heart surgeries, congestive heart failure with an ejection fraction of 21% and more. She educated herself on heart disease, sought cutting-edge solutions to her illness and refused to take no for an answer.  Rhonda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both economics and business and finance, a Master of Business Administration degree, and has merged that preparation with her passion for healthcare to become a highly regarded patient advocate.  

S01E05: Coronavirus and Heart Failure - An Overview

On this episode, HFSA President, Dr. Biykem Bozkurt, Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, shares information on how the Coronavirus may impact people living with heart failure. She talks about discerning heart failure symptoms from COVID-19 symptoms, how to stay healthy while social distancing indoors, and where to find the most accurate information online. Dr. Bozkurt is interviewed by HFSA CEO, John Barnes.

Host: John Barnes, CEO of the Heart Failure Society of America

Guest: Biykem Bozkurt, MD Professor of Medicine – Baylor College of Medicine; President of HFSA

S01E04: Traveling with Heart Failure Patients

Mary Leah Coco was 30 years old, a new mother, and attending graduate school when she was diagnosed with heart failure with an ejection fraction of 15-20%. Years later, she has experienced travel to out-of-state doctor’s appointments alongside her husband, solo travel, and even travel for work. On this podcast, Dr. Coco talks with our Patient Series host Eileen Hsich, MD, about how she juggles her responsibilities and maintains a healthy lifestyle while traveling with heart failure.


Mary Leah Coco, Ph.D., is a dedicated advocate for women's heart health, the Associate Director of the Technology Transfer and Training for LA DOTD, and a Research Associate Professor for the University of Louisiana Lafayette. She is also a survivor of heart disease, wife to Jeremy, and proud mom to Annie. At 30 years old, Mary Leah scheduled a “preventative maintenance” checkup only to learn she had severe dilated cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction of 10 percent. Knowing her family history, and taking it seriously, saved her life. Mary Leah has served as a national volunteer for the AHA’s Go Red For Women movement, continues to serve the AHA in various roles, and is a heart disease advocate through many other avenues as well.

S01E03: Diet and Exercise for Heart Failure Patients

Patient Series host Eileen Hsich has a conversation with Kim Bischel, BSN, RN, the Heart Failure Specialty Care Coordinator in the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, on critical tips and guidelines for diet and exercise with heart failure. Tune in to learn about discussions you should have with your healthcare provider, following a low-sodium diet, choosing fresh foods, and tips to help you manage heart failure symptoms.


Kim Bischel, BSN, RN, is the Heart Failure Specialty Care Coordinator in the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. She provides care coordination for patients discharged under the designated heart failure specialty services. Kim’s expertise includes heart failure specializing in cardiac amyloidosis, cardiothoracic surgery, and pre and post-operative recovery care.

S01E02: On the Road with Heart Failure

Hear about the challenges of being on the road with a heart failure patient and her husband who has remained her trusty travel companion along the way. They have created a plan for maintaining a healthy diet and staying safe while road-tripping to medical appointments, and experienced the challenges of staying healthy, maintaining a medication regimen, and finding balance while vacationing in another country.


Lori Ann Wood, is a heart failure patient who lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, with her husband, Dell. Lori currently serves as founding leader of the Parenting Education Ministry at the church of Christ in Bentonville and as WomenHeart Champion Community Educator for Arkansas and American Heart Association Ambassador. Diagnosed with advanced heart failure almost too late, Lori writes to encourage others to find joy in the divine detours of life. She has several published articles in online and print magazines, nationally and internationally, and is currently writing a book. Read more from Loriann Wood.

Dell Wood, lives in beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas, with his wife Lori, whom he met in 9th grade. Together, he and Lori are parents to three great young adults, one amazing son-in-law, and a miniature dachshund named Pearl.

The most important takeaways: 

  • Travel with medical records (i.e. medications and emergency contacts)
  • Travel with company if possible
  • Prepare your own food or eat at facilities with healthy options (i.e. salad)
  • Carry medication with you since baggage can get lost
  • Limit your daily activities so you don’t get exhausted
S01E01: Natural Supplements and Heart Failure Drug Education

On this episode, we’ll learn about common heart failure medications, such as beta blockers and diuretics, how they work, guidance on how to take them, and important side effects. We’ll also hear about natural and supplemental products that are often used by heart failure patients, including CBD oil and how it may interact with prescribed medications.


Kathleen D. Faulkenberg, PharmD, BCPS, Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Clinical Pharmacist at the Cleveland Clinic

Barry E. Bleske, PharmD, FCCP, Chair and Professor at the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences at the University of New Mexico, College of Pharmacy

For more information on natural products, uses, potential adverse effects, and drug interactions, visit:

HFSA does not endorse any of the following medications or treatments discussed in these episodes: Entresto, Diovan, Zestril/Prinivil, Aldactone, Inspra, Metoprolol – Toprol XL, Carvedilol – Coreg, Furosemide – Lasix, Bumetanide – Bumex, Torsemide – Demadex, Metolazone – Zaroxlyn

Thank you to the sponsors of Heart Failure Awareness 365!

The Heart Failure Beat: Healthy Living series is part of the Heart Failure Awareness 365 campaign led by HFSA. Learn more about the campaign >>  

Heart Failure Awareness 365





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Want More Information?

For more information on being a guest or how to listen in, please contact us at 301-312-8635 or email


Disclaimer: The opinions presented in episodes of the Heart Failure Beat do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the Heart Failure Society of America. Furthermore, HFSA does not endorse any medications or treatments discussed in these 

Heart Failure Beat Podcast (for Providers)

Each month, join the Heart Failure Society of America as we interview the top heart failure clinicians on the latest breakthroughs in the heart failure research and practice on the Heart Failure Beat. If you’re a cardiology clinician, fellow, person living with heart failure, or just plain interested in hearing late-breaking heart failure news from leading specialists, this is the podcast for you.

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