TAI Health Fair
July 26, 2003
Visitors to the Texas Arrhythmia Institute Health Fair and Educational Seminar on July 26th
enjoyed a wonderful time. Representatives from St. Jude Medical, Guidant, Bard
Electrophysiology, and Medtronic returned to provide information and answer questions
regarding their products. The Health Fair welcomed representatives from Biosense Webster.
Dr. Antonio Pacifico began the Seminar with his insight into a positive trend among patients.
People have been spending more time educating themselves about their health concerns and
treatments using the Internet, and Dr. Pacifico stated his hope that the TAI Educational
Seminar would be seen as a complement to that research and of benefit to everyone. From this
introduction, Dr. Pacifico proceeded to "Medical Reform: Prescription Drug Plans,
Reimbursement, Rationing of Care." The American insurance driven health care was compared to
the Canadian nationally provided health care. The Medicare system was broken down to show how
it was distributed and who receives Medicare, and the qualifications for Medicaid were
reviewed. Dr. Pacifico shared his insight into viable solutions for the health care
management problems in America, and his belief that health care should not be tied to
employment. The final offering of Dr. Pacifico's discussion presented the idea of a patient
record system that all doctors can access, similiar to how the different airline companies
manage flight plans.
Dr. Philip Henry started the next discussion "Good Fats, Bad Fats, Akins Diet -- What a
Confusion." Dr. Henry started with the statement that the labels of carbohydrate, protein,
and fat are too oversimplified. The range within these labels are too vast to designate what
is "good" and what is "bad" based on concepts such as "fat content" or "cholesterol content."
For example, within the label of "fats" are things that can have completely opposite effects
from each other. It is from these oversimplified labels that a lot of public confusion about
nutrition comes from. Concepts such as "good cholesterol" and "bad cholesterol" cause
significant confusion every day, especially when cholesterol itself is technically a type of
fat! Dr. Henry showed that all food that comes from animals have at least a little amount of
both fat and cholesterol, even in perfectly lean meat. He also presented evidence and sources
that show that the cholesterol and fat content of fish and animals tend to be very similiar.
Dr. Anton Nielsen presented "New Anti-Cholesterol Medications." Dr. Nielsen showed how
the body naturally removes cholesterol, and showed pictures of how cholesterol actually harms
the body. The discussion then moved towards the mechanism of treatments and medications that
are used nowadays to assist the body in controlling and removing cholesterol. This talk
closed with a detailed view of the new drug Zetia and how Zetia assisted with controlling
Dr. Nadim Nasir Jr. followed with "What You Should Know About Pacemakers." Dr. Nasir
continued this subject from the last Health Fair into the operation of pacemakers and how they
are implanted. Dr. Nasir showed the different leads used, and how they are placed in the
heart. The battery life of a pacemaker and indications of a low battery were explained,
with humorous anecdotes regarding low battery indicators. Dr. Nasir concluded with a
discussion about living and cautions with a pacemaker.
Dr. Stanley Duchman's "Coronary Artery Disease Evaluation and Treatment" was very well
received. Dr. Duchman showed what a doctor looks for in an echocardiogram, with actual
echocardiograms on the screen. The echocardiograms were followed by nuclear images of healthy
and damaged hearts. Dr. Duchman pointed out the differences between healthy and unhealthy
areas of the heart. The final portion of Dr. Duchman's discussion had X-Ray videos of
angioplasties. He showed how blocked blood vessels appear to doctors, and the changes in the
vessels after the angioplasty.
Between each of the discussions there was a question and answer session between the audience
and a panel consisting of Antonio Pacifico, Anton Nielsen, Nadim Nasir Jr, Philip Henry, and
Stanley Duchman. These sessions addressed a wide range of questions from medical legislation
to healthy cholesterol levels. The Texas Arrhythmia Institute received many praises and
thanks for the delightful seminar from our guests. The next Texas Arrhythmia Institute Health
Fair and Educational Seminar is scheduled for March 20, 2004.
As always we would appreciate comments and suggestions for our next seminar.