Dr. Ami Bhatt: Pioneering Digital Health and the Digital Transformation of the Cardiovascular Field

Dr. Ami Bhatt
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BOSTON– Dr. Ami B. Bhatt serves as Chief Innovation Officer at the American College of Cardiology and as an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her mission:  developing digital health strategy and the digital transformation of the cardiovascular field.

Her digital health mission stems from the belief that state-of-the-art, personalized care can be delivered to individuals in the community, empowering patients and creating stronger clinician-patient partnerships for sustainable health outcomes.

“I now work to build coalitions, use technology and partner with underserved communities locally and globally to bring high quality cardiovascular care to the communities where people live,” says Dr. Bhatt.

Dr. Bhatt has 20 years of experience as a clinician, investigator and educator with nearly 10 years of experience in telemedicine and digital health. She founded her first program in cardiovascular virtual care in 2013 and continues to work on creating culturally relevant personalized virtual cardiovascular care delivery models. Her research has centered on identifying and implementing solutions to overcoming access barriers to cardiovascular and telemedicine care. As President of the American Heart Association in Boston, she founded and led “Conversations from the Heart”, an educational series on cardiovascular health in South Asians and in 2023 designed and helped launch the South Asian Heart Health and Nutrition Program at MassGeneral Brigham’s Newton Wellesley Hospital. She is the Chair of the American Heart Association Heart Ball in May 2023 with a focus on highlighting CPR, AED use and South Asian Heart Health.

A graduate from Harvard College and the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Bhatt completed her medicine and pediatrics residency at Harvard, her adult cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and her adult congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension fellowship at the Boston Children’s Hospital. She was the inaugural Liberthson Endowed Scholar in Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She most recently served as the director of Outpatient and Telecardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Bhatt is now co-leading the inaugural year of the MGH Elevate Leadership Program aimed at transforming leaders for tomorrow’s healthcare challenges. As part of MGH Elevate, Dr Bhatt is focused on fostering agility, communication, and creativity to develop the next generation of impactful leaders in medicine.

Here is a Q/A with Bhatt, who will honored at the Woman of the Year Awards Gala at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA, on April 14, 2023. To buy a ticket for the gala, please click here.

Dr. Ami Bhatt

INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it? 

Dr. Ami Bhatt: Being a physician has been an honor.  There is no other profession in which you can be integral to a person and their family’s life after meeting them once, and then be blessed to join in their journey for a lifetime.  I trained in medicine and pediatrics so that I could treat anyone who walked through my door and have had the privilege of learning at the cutting edge of science and medicine for many decades. Through that work, I was also exposed to the marked disparities in care, here in the US and globally.  Thus my second career began a year ago as I now work to build coalitions, use technology and partner with underserved communities locally and globally to bring high quality cardiovascular care to the communities where people live.

Here is a Q/A with Dr. Bhatt, who will honored at the Woman of the Year Awards Gala at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA, on April 14, 2023. To buy a ticket for the gala, please click here.

INE: What does success and failure mean to you? 

AB: The two go hand in hand.  I try my best not to treat them as distinct entities.  There are times where we make decisions and the outcome is as we expected or perhaps even better.  Other times, for a myriad of reasons, we just don’t get something right.  My husband and I teach our daughters that after failure is where we grow the most, during the process of developing resilience and using introspection to do things differently the next time.  The challenge? No two opportunities to succeed or fail are the same. So I most certainly find myself learning about resiliency again and again.

INE: The one thing you attribute your success to? 

AB: My family.  To this day, my mother models kindness and excellence through hard work.  My father is known far and wide for his one word motto: Focus.  While we joke about it, our extended family is aware, with a laser sharp focus and dedication to a cause, one can always succeed. My husband is perhaps the most supportive individual we have ever known. I am incredibly fortunate to have a partner who lifts me up, champions my career, offers constructive criticism (which I admit I don’t always take well), and models what it means to be a “good human” for our kids. And finally my girls, who provide endless love, support, pride, challenge, and are a reflection of what generations of our family have brought into this world and the hope of how much more we can all do. And lastly, mocha our puppy, who brings unconditional love, and taught me that change is possible, as I never thought I would be a middle aged Gujarati woman who lets a puppy lick her face.

INE: To which charitable, community and professional group do you belong and why? 

AB: My support of the American Heart Association is based on the knowledge that while South Asians make up 25% of the world’s population, we carry 60% of the cardiovascular disease. Heart disease remains the #1 killer of women here in the US, and half of our South Asian friends will have a cardiac event before age 50.  Heart disease is not just treatable, or able to be diagnosed, it is PREVENTABLE.  Education of our community and teaching self advocacy is essential.  We support many other organizations, but I will add here: The Second Step, in Newton MA. The Second Step provides comprehensive services and support for survivors of domestic violence. It is based here in our community because there is a need.

INE: In what way you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field. 

AB: I try to lead change by example.  The status quo is rarely the best solution for very long. But change is hard.  Both at work and in the community, I try to be open to new ideas, supporting others to pave their own paths, and willing to iterate to make things better.

INE: Any aptitude/gift or talent that not many people know about you? 

AB: My love of art. In another life I would have been a curator: travel the world to pull stories together based on self-expression.

INE: What are your hobbies and interest? 

AB: Let’s stick to two:  Dance and Travel.  If you have a dance group or class, let me know, I will join you.  If you want to join our nightly dance parties, my girls and I welcome you.  If I don’t know your type of dance, I will try with a smile. And I will travel with you. Everywhere. Learn new cultures, try new foods, meet new people and try and speak their language.

INE: Your favorite books? 

AB: Jonathan Livingston Seagull and about 400 more.

INE: Your favorite quotes? 

AB: In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different. Life is good. While necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the mother of adoption.

INE: The one person you would like to meet and why? 

AB: I would love to meet my community: family, friends and colleagues in another life: call it a parallel existence or a past or future life. Despite being a rigorous scientist at heart, I love how the universe unfolds, changes and creates new collisions. It would be amazing to see how we all find each other in another time, what we are doing and what leads us to be family and community once again.

INE: Your core value you try to live by? 

AB: Forgiveness. As I near 50, I recognize that it’s important to let things go. To forgive oneself and others, to allow for healing, and to focus on the future and the positive. It feels like the world is getting a bit too angry, so I hope modeling forgiveness helps us balance those forces and create a more peaceful world (in the macro and the micro enviroments) for our children and future generations.


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