Panelists- Heart Disease


Carlos Ferrario, M.D.
Director of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease Center
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Carlos M. Ferrario, M.D., is an Argentine-born cardiologist whose research has advanced understanding and treatment of high blood pressure and vascular disease. A graduate of the University of Buenos Aires Medical School in 1963, Dr. Ferrario pursued postgraduate training in cardiology at the University of Goteborg and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden between 1964 and 1966.

Dr. Ferrario joined Dr. Irvine H. Page, a pioneer in hypertension research, at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1966. Under his mentorship, Dr. Ferrario developed a premier program on the neural and endocrine causes of hypertension. Dr. Ferrario chaired the Department of Brain and Vascular Research of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1984 to 1992.

Dr. Ferrario has published over 460 papers and 2 books. He has maintained and sustained an uninterrupted record of funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, serving as a member and consultant to this organization and functioning as Program Director of premier Program Project Grant on hypertension from 1984 to date. He is a much sought after speaker with a world-wide record of lectureships and has mentored over 61 physicians, many of which have become major medical leaders in the USA, Japan, and Latin America.
Dr. Ferrario is a former Established Investigator and the recipient of the Harry Goldblatt Award from the American Heart Association. In 1998, Dr. Ferrario was presented with the Ignacio Chaves Centennial Gold Medal of Honor by the National University of Mexico, an internationally recognized veneration of excellence in Cardiology and research. The European Society of Hypertension awarded Dr. Ferrario the 1999 Hypertension Angiotensin II Investigator of the Year. He was recognized and selected as the 1999 recipient of the prestigious Wake Forest University School of Medicine Established Investigator in Clinical Science award. In addition, he was awarded the Robert Tigerstedt award from the American Society of Hypertension in 2001, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Inter-American Society of Hypertension in 2003, for his contributions to the field of hypertension research. In 2005, Dr. Ferrario was honored by the American Heart Association with the Arthur C. Corcoran Memorial Lecture at the Council for High Blood Pressure.

He is a member and officer of numerous medical organizations, Past President of the Inter- American Society of Hypertension and Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the American College of Angiology and the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. Honorary memberships include Societies of Cardiology in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and Mexico. The AHA Journal of Hypertension counted him as Guest Editor, Consultant Editor and member of the Editorial Board. He was the founding Editor of the Newsletter for the Council of High Blood Pressure Research of AHA, a member of the Editorial Board of Hypertension, Circulation, American Journal of Physiology, Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, the Spanish Journal of Hypertension and Japan’s Journal of Hypertension Research. He is the Founder of the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC), an organization which has pioneered medical and educational efforts directed to reduce cardiovascular deaths in the South

In 1992, Dr. Ferrario assumed the directorship of the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, a multidisciplinary effort dedicated to the treatment, prevention and research of high blood pressure and vascular disease. This clinical research center has become the coordinating organization of a regional effort to reduce the excess morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular diseases in the Southeast USA through the initiation of prevention and screening activities and joint activities with the National High Blood Pressure Education program of the NIH.

George A. “Rick” Stouffer, M.D.
Associate Chief of Cardiology for Clinical Affairs, UNC-CH
Director of Interventional Cardiology, University of North Carolina
Dr. Stouffer graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and obtained his Internal Medicine and Cardiology training at the University of Virginia. After serving on the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Branch for 5 years, he moved to the University of North Carolina in the fall of 2000. There he is the Henry A. Foscue Distinguished Professor of Medicine and serves as Director of Interventional Cardiology and Vice-Chief of Cardiology. His research is broadly based in the fields of hematology and vascular biology.

Joseph Babb, M.D.
Cardiologist, ECU Brody School of Medicine
Dr. Babb is a Professor of Medicine with the Department of Medicine in the Section of Cardiology at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. He is Past President and Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and Past Governor of ACC from North Carolina, and a Fellow in the Council for Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association. He serves as Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Pitt County Memorial Hospital and is Training Program Director of the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program. Additionally, he is co- medical director of the RACE Program in eastern North Carolina, a component of a statewide effort to improve treatment times for patients with acute myocardial infarction.

Dr. Babb is the author of over 160 scientific publications and serves as a reviewer for several cardiovascular journals. In addition to his administration, teaching, and research activities, he sees patients in his office at the Medical Pavilion. Dr. Babb specializes in invasive and interventional cardiology, acute coronary syndromes, management and outcomes research.

John Sinden, M.D.
Raleigh Cardiology Associates
John R. Sinden, MD, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in cardiology at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Sinden is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and served as the 2006 chair for invasive cardiology for WakeMed Health & Hospitals. He currently practices at Raleigh Cardiology Associates, which is located in the Heart Center on the WakeMed Raleigh Campus.

Christopher Granger , M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Cardiac Care Unit
Duke University Medical Center

Donald Ensley, PhD
Vice Chairman, Justus Warren Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Task Force
Former Chairman of the Board of Directors, NC Heart Association
Ensley's teaching, research and service areas include community-based services, managed care, health promotion and disease prevention, rural health care, elder care, health care advocacy of special populations and public health policies. Currently, he is designing a regional database for community-based programs in the area of heart disease and stroke.

Not only has he been a tireless champion of the North Carolina Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force efforts since its inception, but the past four years or more have made Dr. Donald Ensley even more passionate to get stroke on the radar screen of everyone that will listen. He is now a caregiver and champion for his wife, who suffered a massive stroke at age 47. The Ensleys also have a daughter who is a college freshman. Dr. Ensley, Chair of the Department of Community Health and Vice-Chancellor for Community Engagement at East Carolina University, serves as Vice-Chairman of the Task Force. He is a member of the American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Board, the NC Health and Wellness Trust Foundation, serves on the Executive Committee of the Stroke Belt Consortium and is an appointed member of the Tri-State Stroke Network.

With such a busy schedule, Dr. Ensley was constantly running 100 miles per hour in the forefront of bringing attention to heart disease and stroke. His wife's stroke has forced him to change his schedule but has not reduced his passion for this work. "Knowledge of the risk factors and knowing when to act are key in the fight against stroke. If I had not known the importance of getting my wife to the emergency room in a timely manner, the outcome might have been drastically different." The impact of a stroke on a loved one can be tremendous for the entire family. It has taken years of adjustments at home and at work and hard hours in rehabilitation. His wife still remains very limited in her speech and physical capabilities.

The hardships imposed by heart disease and stroke become very real when you find yourself in the role of a caregiver. Dr. Ensley is exemplary of someone who can indeed walk the walk and talk the talk about stroke and its impact.

HealthWise: Heart Disease Content Expert:

Kathy Cheek
State Health Alliances Director
American Heart Association
Mid-Atlantic Affiliate