The Heart Rhythm Society Announces Dr. Hugh Calkins as the Organization's 35th President

Calkins pledges to ‘Honoring Our Past and Shaping Our Future’ with a new strategic planning process and commitment to further research initiatives

May 13, 2013

Media Contact

Ken Demith
Heart Rhythm Society

Hugh Calkins, MD, FHRS, CCDS, was named the president of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) during the 34th Annual Scientific Sessions, held in Denver last week.  Announced during the Presidents’ Reception on Friday, May 10th, Dr. Calkins now serves as the 35th president of HRS, making Anne M. Gillis, MD, FHRS, the immediate past president. Dr. Calkins is currently a Nicholas J. Fortuin Professor of Medicine and Professor of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Hugh Calkins Hugh Calkins, MD, FHRS2013 - 2014 President, Heart Rhythm Society

Dr. Calkins’ serves as the Director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory, the ArrhythmiaService, and the Arrhythmogenic RightVentricular Dysplasia Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research efforts focus on atrial fibrillation, catheter ablation, syncope and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.  He has published more than 350 manuscripts and 50 book chapters, and lectured extensively throughout the world. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, and serves on the editorial boards of multiple medical journals, including HeartRhythm,the official journal of HRS.

“I look forward to both the responsibilities and challenges that come with serving as the Heart Rhythm Society’s president and I believe the year ahead will be an exciting one,” said Dr. Calkins.  “The Society has an important role to play in the optimization of cardiac pacing care and it is my intention to help forge new and critical efforts in research, education and international collaboration.”

During his term, Dr. Calkins plans to organize an annual think tank meeting to focus on specific areas of research to help define the roadmap for future research initiatives for heart rhythm abnormalities. Additionally, he plans to have an active role in driving a strategic planning process that will result in the development of a new strategic plan to help guide the Society’s activities and focus over the next five years. The first step of this process includes a comprehensive workforce study aimed at identifying future market factors and trends within the electrophysiology (EP) workforce.

“As the Society focuses on key and strategic priorities, we are in a unique position to set the agenda and further advance the field of electrophysiology,” said James Youngblood, HRS’ Chief Executive Officer. “These strategic priorities address our goal to improve the care of patients living with heart rhythm disorders around the globe, and we have the upmost confidence in Hugh Calkins to lead our vision and be a voice of guidance through this important time.”

Dr. Calkins received first prize in the NASPE Young Investigator Competition in 1988 and was recipient of the Helen B. Taussig Award of the American Heart Association-Maryland Affiliate in 1999. Dr. Calkins attended Williams College and Harvard Medical School before training in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his cardiology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins. He also trained in electrophysiology at Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan. Dr. Calkins’ first faculty position was at the University of Michigan, before returning to Johns Hopkins as Director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory and Arrhythmia Service in 2002.

Heart Rhythm 2013 is the most comprehensive educational program for heart rhythm professionals, featuring more than 8,000 attendees, 250 educational sections and more than 130 exhibitors showcasing innovative products and services.  The Heart Rhythm Society’s Annual Scientific Sessions have become the must-attend event of the year, allowing the exchange of new vital ideas and information among colleagues from every corner of the globe.

About the Heart Rhythm Society

The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education, and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education, and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of more than 6,000 heart rhythm professionals in more than 72 countries around the world. For more information, visit