AF Association News & Events

Lifetime Achievement Award for Dr Edward Rowland


The 2020 Arrhythmia Alliance (A-A) virtual Excellence in Practice Awards, broadcast live on 28 September, recognised A-A Advisor Edward Rowland (Medical Director, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, UK) with the A-A Lifetime Achievement Award. This was to honour his work, during his distinguished career, in advancing the understanding and awareness of cardiac rhythm disorders.

Dr Rowland’s work has been of immense value to A-A, most notably when he served as co-editor of the NHS National Service Framework Chapter 8 (Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death). He is also a founder member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), has served as President of Heart Rhythm UK (now the British Heart Rhythm Society), and has acted as adviser to the London Cardiovascular Panel on redesigning cardiovascular services in London.

A-A president John Camm said: “Dr Rowland has been a fundamental part of the Alliance, particularly during his time as President of the British Heart Rhythm Society, where he worked very closely with the charity. He also played an important role in writing the initial chapter of the National Service Framework for Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death. Both a skilful physician and an impressive educator, Dr Rowland is a worthy recipient of this award, and I am delighted to present it to him.”

For Dr Rowland, the Lifetime Achievement award is a “a great honour” that he will treasure because it comes from “colleagues in a field that it has been an enormous privilege to work in”. “There are two parts of my career that brought me immense pride. One is working as part of the British Heart Rhythm Society, and the other is my association with Arrhythmia Alliance. It is a great privilege to receive this award,” he added.

In 2012, Dr Rowland was appointed as co-chair of the joint collaborative panel to design and establish the Barts Heart Centre—the largest cardiovascular centre in the UK. Furthermore, since 2015, he has served as medical director of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The hospital chief’s executive, Professor Charles Knight commented: “Edward’s role in our understanding of cardiac rhythm disorders cannot be understated and has made a huge difference to patient care. He is a worthy recipient of the lifetime achievement award and we are very proud and fortunate to have him at St Bartholomew’s.”

Outstanding Individual who has contributed to Arrhythmia Services Award

Professor Huon Gray

Dr Rowland was one of several individuals, and teams, to be honoured at the A-A virtual Excellence in Practice Awards for their inspiring dedication to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for all those affected by arrhythmias. Professor Huon Gray (former National Clinical Director for Heart Disease for NHS England) received the Outstanding Individual who has contributed to Arrhythmia Services Award. Professor Gray has enjoyed a celebrated career, holding several prestigious posts — including being President of the British Cardiovascular Society, co-lead for the National Service Framework project and advisor to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

About the award, Professor Gray said: “It is a great pleasure and honour to receive this award, from an organisation that has done so much to promote the better detection and care of patients with cardiac arrhythmias. In my previous role as National Clinical Director for Heart Disease in NHS England, I was pleased to play a small part in pursuing better detection of AF, and in raising the profile of inherited cardiac conditions and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. I thank all those in AA responsible for giving me this award; their contributions to the better care of these patients has been far greater than my own.’’

Team of the Year Award

A-A Team of the Year

This year’s Team of the Year Award went to Dr Mark Mills, and his team at Sheffield Cardiac Rhythm Management, for their breakthrough pilot study on the use of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in the management of symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) within the NHS. They team examined the effects of cardiac rehabilitation on exercise capacity, weight, and psychological well-being; they also identified several barriers to completing cardiac rehabilitation, including severe obesity, higher anxiety and depression levels, and lower initial exercise capacity. Dr Mills and colleagues now plan to now plan to focus on these barriers to develop a more comprehensive management programme, which incorporates risk factor management alongside cardiac rehabilitation as an integral part of the treatment of atrial fibrillation. 

On behalf of the team, who also collected the AF Healthcare Pioneers Award earlier this year, Dr Mills said: “I would like to thank each member of my team for their hard work. I am just sorry that we are not able to collect this award in person, but I know everyone will be watching behind the scenes. It has been a very difficult few months for everyone across the country and to receive this award has put a smile back on all of our faces.”

The Charles Lobban Volunteer of the Year Award

Mrs Angela Griffiths

Mrs Angela Griffiths, a senior arrhythmia nurse at John Radcliffe Hospital, won the 2020 Charles Lobban Volunteer of the Year Award in acknowledgement of the countless hours she has volunteered to ensure A-A’s resources are both medically accurate and patient-friendly. She has volunteered for A-A and its sister charity the AF Association for more than 12 years, and each year she arranges several awareness events to promote their work. 

Mrs Griffiths accepted her award by saying: “I am so proud to receive what is such a prestigious award, and it truly is a great honour to receive this in the late Charles Lobban’s name. It is only possible to receive this award because I work with such fantastic people at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford; in particular, my boss Jennifer who has supported me throughout my many years working there.”

Trudie Lobban MBE, the founder and CEO of Arrhythmia Alliance said: “I cannot think of anyone more deserving to receive this award in recognition of the time, expertise and dedication as a volunteer for both Arrhythmia Alliance and the AF Association. How she manages to support our work, alongside her busy clinic and family life, is inspirational, and we are so lucky to have someone like Angela supporting our work.”

Watch the Award ceremony on demand!

Presented by A-A President Professor John Camm and Founder & CEO Trudie Lobban MBE, The A-A Excellence in Practice Awards ceremony took place as part of the virtual A-A Heart Rhythm Congress 2020 (A-A HRC2020). The award ceremony, along with all HRC2020 presentations, is available to watch on demand on the virtual HRC2020 platform for the next 12 months. Healthcare professionals who register before the end of the year can access the platform for free. 

A-A HRC2020 provides unrivalled opportunity for healthcare professionals with an interest in the management of arrhythmias to share effective practice, showcase innovation, learn about latest developments and network with UK & international delegates.

For more information on how you can support and help Arrhythmia Alliance, visit our Get Involved page


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