Member Spotlight: Global Education Leadership in the COVID Era

Dr. Zvonimir Krajcer’s leadership and commitment to outstanding international research and education collaborations has impacted the care of patients suffering from vascular diseases worldwide for more than a quarter of a century.

As an internationally, recognized pioneer in interventional cardiology and the advancement of vascular and endovascular therapies, he is invited to speak at some of the world’s most prestigious meetings.

He has participated as a co-investigator, and principal investigator in many relevant clinical trials for treating peripheral arterial disease, abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms, and carotid artery stenosis and travels the world sharing this expertise.

Dr. Krajcer remains one of the most active contributors to the Texas Heart Institute’s mission to impact patient care through education. With the COVID-19 pandemic, his dedication to maintaining excellence in education is indisputable.

Today he is advocating and leading several digital initiatives across the Texas Heart Institute and with partnering societies, including the International Society for Endovascular Specialists, where he serves as the immediate past president.

Next week, he joins American and European leaders in the digital space for a day-long conference tailored towards young endovascular leaders.

“My fellow ICARUS faculty is comprised of physicians from the US, Poland, UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Our younger generation of specialists can benefit from in-depth case discussions and debates regarding complex endovascular cases and different approaches around the world,” according to Dr. Krajcer.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has turned professional medical education on its side, Dr. Krajcer believes the distributed professional community is embracing modern technologies that can revolutionize how we educate medical professionals to improve outcomes.

Dr. Krajcer recognized the need for better quality discussions online in 2019 and partnered with Texas Heart Institute Director of Cardiology Education, Dr. Stephanie Coulter, to launch an original education series, Innovative Technologies & Techniques. “One of our goals was to elevate the conversation online for those who do not have access to medical meetings where the most current procedures and practices are often first discussed,” said Dr. Stephanie Coulter, MD.

Drs. Krajcer and Coulter hosted many episodes until the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and forced the THI Visual Communications studio close its doors. In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, they immediately decided to dedicate the series to providing timely information to the medical community taking care of cardiovascular patients with and without COVID-19. The special series, Cardiology in the Time of COVID-19, includes discussions of current COVID-19 and cardiovascular care literature and provides an online educational forum for discussing emerging topics related to preparing for and taking care of all cardiac patients during the pandemic. The first topics of discussion explored strategies to consider when preparing facilities and staff for case surge and innovative practices for overcoming challenges to providing cardiac care during this unprecedented time.

Today, Dr. Krajcer is pursuing a new level of excellence in education and his ultimate goal is to advance how we harness artificial intelligence and digital medicine to modernize professional education to improve outcomes.