Every August, Arkansas Heart Hospital hosts a two-day medical educational event known as Heart Summit. Heart Summit is geared towards medical providers and those in the industry. 2019 is a special milestone as Heart Summit celebrates its 20th year. What started as an event to teach referring family doctors and primary care physicians the advancements in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery has evolved into high energy entertainment for those attending. The concept originated with Dr. Bruce Murphy, who talks more about this premier event in the region.
Q: How has Heart Summit changed over the last 20 years?
A: It started off as a purely educational event that has completely changed over the last 20 years in that now the Heart Summit is really about entertainment. The reason is you can’t educate without entertaining. Education with entertainment sizzles. Education without it is seen as boring and not paid attention too. We’ve gone from a series of talks that were usually 20-30 minutes each to live cases, live key notes, live celebrities that teach and entertain us. We’ve cut all of our topics which were all cardiology, cardiovascular surgery or medicine and now only about half of our topics have to do with medicine and half of our topics have to do with things that are not part of medicine but have a huge application to health care itself.
Q: This year technology, nutrition and longevity are the focus. Why?
A: Each year, we highlight new technology. We want the face time to show the Heart Hospital itself is really way past the cutting edge of what’s the newest, latest, greatest things to be doing technology-wise. Nutrition is an all-encompassing series of talks. And longevity, we have two major, internationally recognized keynote speakers who will be here with slightly different points of views on how you can live to be old.
Q: Why is it important to highlight nutrition?
A: Part of the problem America faces right now in health care is over nutrition. I say that because America in the last 40 years has become obese. Your fuel to obesity, which then leads to all kinds of vascular calamities and shortens your life dramatically, is that you are over nourished. The emphasis is not on what to eat but what not to eat. That’s where we are going to be focusing a lot of our attention of the various talks that will be given.
Q: Why is longevity an important topic?
A: Longevity is the natural consequence of anybody in health care. The underlying business plan of anyone in health care is to keep their patients alive longer. Alive with a good lifestyle, but alive longer. If you’re a pulmonologist, or a kidney specialist or a heart surgeon your whole life is built around longevity. What we’ve seen in the last century is the longevity of the population has doubled. What we are seeing in the next century is the longevity of the population, unbelievably, may double again or again. In the next century it is certainly feasible, possible and even speculated that the first person to live to be 1000 years old has already been born. So we are having multiple speakers on longevity, blue zones and this is not really wellness. It’s longevity.
Q: Are you surprised Heart Summit lasted 20 years?
A: I am surprised. I am surprised because when you start off with something, initially, you never look a decade or two down past what you’re doing right now. To think Heart Summit might last another one or two decades is now something that I almost take for granted that it will. But I will tell you that I am surprised we did Heart Summit 2, Heart Summit 3, Heart Summit 4 and now we’re doing Heart Summit 20. Things go by fast, things go by at nearly the speed of light sometimes, but this one has surprised me.