Recognition Awards | Heart Rhythm Society

Recognition Awards

Recognition Awards

Each year the Heart Rhythm Society recognizes outstanding contributions to the field and to the Society through the Society’s Recognition Awards.

Click on each category below for the Heart Rhythm 2023 Awardees.

Distinguished Allied Professional Award

Recognition for an Allied who has demonstrated strategic leadership in the HRS allied community throughout his/her career, and in doing so has furthered the field of electrophysiology and patient care

Congratulations to Brynn E. Dechert-Crooks, APN, FHRS, CCDS, the 2023 Distinguished Allied Professional!

Brynn Dechert-Crooks is a pediatric electrophysiology nurse practitioner at the University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center with over 18 years of clinical EP experience. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing Michigan State University (2000) and a Master of Science in nursing at Loyola University in Chicago (2004). Brynn is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and IBHRE cardiac device specialist-allied professional. 

She is a fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society and has served on various HRS committees including chair of the Allied Professional Council (2020 – 2022) and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Brynn participated in the 2021-2022 inaugural year of HRS Leadership and Education for Allied Professionals (LEAP) program. She is currently the board secretary for the sudden arrhythmia death foundation (SADS) and has been on the board of trustees since 2014.  She is an active member of several Pediatric and Congenital EP society (PACES) committees and was the first allied professional appointed to the PACES executive board as the vice president of allied professionals from 2013-2016. 

In addition to her clinical appointment, Brynn is the manager of the advanced practice team at the University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center. She regularly publishes original research in the field of pediatric electrophysiology with specific interest in CIED research. She has consistently participated as a faculty member for HRS Scientific sessions in addition to other medical professional societies’ scientific sessions. 

Distinguished Scientist Award 

Recognition for individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of cardiac pacing and/or cardiac electrophysiology

Congratulations to Björn C. Knollmann, MD, PhD, the 2023 Distinguished Basic Scientist!

Dr. Björn C. Knollmann is a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, and Fellowship Director for the Division of Clinical Pharmacology within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After starting medical school in Germany, Dr. Knollmann received his MD degree from the University of Cincinnati. He was a resident in Medicine and a fellow in Clinical Pharmacology at Georgetown University, where he also trained in bench research and received a PhD degree in Pharmacology.  His first faculty appointment was at Georgetown, where he ultimately rose to direct Clinical Pharmacology before being recruited to Vanderbilt in 2005.  

Dr. Knollmann is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. He serves as Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Arrhythmia Research and Therapeutics and is the holder of the William Stokes Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics. His research interest is finding new mechanisms and treatments for heart rhythm disorders. Supported by National Institute of Health (NIH) R35, R01 and American Heart Association grants, Dr. Knollmann’s laboratory and clinical research programs investigate molecular arrhythmia mechanisms and test new therapies in human induced pluripotent stem cell models, in animal models and in humans. Dr. Knollmann has served as primary mentor for 28 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, many of whom hold appointments in academic departments.

Dr. Knollmann is the editor of the classic textbook of pharmacology: Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. He has served as chartered member of NIH study sections, and on the scientific programming committees for the Heart Rhythm Society, the American Heart Association, and the International Society for Heart Research.  He has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Congratulations to Patrick T. Ellinor, MD, PhD, the 2023 Distinguished Clinical Scientist!

Although Dr. Patrick T. Ellinor was born in a suburb of Boston, he was raised in Cincinnati and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Biology. He then moved from the Midwest to the West coast to attend Stanford University for medical and graduate school. His doctoral work focused on the on the structure and function of calcium channels in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Tsien. In 1996, he arrived in Boston for medical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed by fellowship training in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2001, he joined the faculty at MGH and split his time between research and the clinical care of patients with arrhythmias. In 2016, Dr. Ellinor became the director of the Demoulas Center for Cardiac Arrhythmias at MGH, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. At the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, he is an Institute Member and the Director of the Cardiovascular Research Initiative. In 2022, he became the acting chief of cardiology and co-director of the Corrigan-Minehan Heart Center at MGH. 

Dr. Ellinor has always been intrigued with human genetics, so his research lab began with an initial focus on trying to identify the genetic basis of early-onset atrial fibrillation. This work in turn led the establishment of the AFGen Consortium, an international group of investigators studying the genetics of atrial fibrillation. In the ensuing years, they have led large-scale genetic analyses for atrial fibrillation and many other cardiovascular diseases. His lab is now largely based at the Broad Institute and has expanded to a wide range of topics that includes cardiovascular disease genetics, disease mechanisms, single cell sequencing, the application of machine learning to cardiac imaging data, and the development of new therapies for cardiovascular diseases. 

Distinguished Service Award 

Recognition for an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Heart Rhythm Society

Congratulations to Andrea M. Russo, MD, FHRS, the 2023 Distinguished Service Awardee!

Dr. Andrea Russo is currently Professor of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Academic Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Director of Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Services, Director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Program, and Interim Medical Director for Research Partnership Development at Cooper University Health System in Camden, New Jersey. She was Past President of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and has volunteered on multiple HRS committees and work groups. Some of these prior volunteer activities include HRS Treasurer and Secretary, Chair of the HRS Health Policy Committee, Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the HRS Program Committee, Chair of the HRS Governance Committee, Chair of the HRS Nominations Committee, Vice Chair of the Quality Improvement Subcommittee, and former member of the HRS Board of Trustees. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the HRS Growth and Leadership Opportunities for Women in Electrophysiology (GLOWE).

Dr. Russo has authored multiple manuscripts on a variety of arrhythmia and device topics and has been co-chair or member of various writing groups, including guideline, consensus, and appropriate use documents. In addition, she serves on the editorial board for several peer reviewed journals, including Heart Rhythm, and is a current Associate Editor for Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. She has also served on steering committees, events committees, and data safety monitoring committees for several clinical trials. Areas of special interest include sex differences in arrhythmias, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, atrial fibrillation therapy, and the role of digital health in arrhythmia management. 

Distinguished Teacher Award

Recognition for an individual who has demonstrated outstanding skills as a teacher in the field of cardiac pacing and/or electrophysiology

Congratulations to Patrick J. Tchou, MD, FHRS, the 2023 Distinguished Teacher!

Dr. Patrick Tchou immigrated to the United States when he was 12 years old.  After graduating from the Cleveland Public School system, he attended Harvard followed by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine before doing his residency and cardiology training at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital (now Metro Health).  During his cardiology training (1982-1984) he became fascinated with the area of cardiac electrophysiology. The field was mostly a diagnostic area at that time with DC shock ablation just starting to be utilized. He decided at that time to explore training in that area though only a few centers around the country had a training program.  He was fortunate to be offered a one year fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee under the tutelage of the late Masood Akhtar in 1984.  Following the fellowship, he was on staff at the same institution until 1990.  During the years in Milwaukee he learned the most about HPS physiology.  In 1990, he accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as the section head of Cardiac Electrophysiology. There, he was fortunate to work with Dr. Todor Mazgalev from whom he learnt much about the AV nodal.  In 1990, he accepted a position to head the section of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing at the Cleveland Clinic.  He was fortunate to be able to recruit Dr. Mazgalev and a young post-doc named Igor Efimov.  Those two joined another basic scientist, Dr. David Van Wagoner, forming a small group of basic research in their section at the Clinic.  Dr. Tchou continued to collaborate, and learn from, all three. In 2007, Dr. Tchou stepped down as section head and changed his concentration to clinical work and teaching in the fellowship program.  He has had the good fortune of working with some of the best electrophysiology staff members and fellows since that time and has tremendously enjoyed this work. 

Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award

Purpose:         Recognition for an individual who has been active in cardiac pacing and/or cardiac electrophysiology for many years, and has made significant contributions to the field

Eligibility:        Nominees need not be members of the Heart Rhythm Society

Frequency:      One award, given annually

Considerations for These Awards

  • Any Heart Rhythm Society member in good standing may submit a nomination.
  • Only Heart Rhythm Society members are eligible to be nominated for the Distinguished Allied, Distinguished Scientist, and the Distinguished Teacher Awards.
  • Both Heart Rhythm Society members and non-members are eligible to be nominated for the Distinguished Service Award and the Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award.
  • The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the Society exclusively.
  • Members of the Governance Committee and the Awards Subcommittee are ineligible to be nominated.
  • Award nominations are active for three years; if you have submitted a nomination within the last three years, your nomination is on file and there is no need to resubmit.

Award Winners Receive

  • Complimentary registration to Heart Rhythm
  • Coach airfare for one to Heart Rhythm
  • Hotel accommodations for the duration of Heart Rhythm 
  • Recognition on the HRS website
  • Presentation of award by colleague of recipient's choice
  • Commemorative plaque

Nomination Requirements

Nominations are no longer being accepted for the 2023 awards.To nominate a candidate for a future recognition award, you will need to submit the following two items to the Awards Subcommittee via email at or by fax to 202.464.3401. 

  1. A copy of the candidate’s CV
  2. A brief letter (2 pages maximum) indicating the name of the award for which you are nominating the individual and outlining the candidate's qualifications, to include the following for the specific awards below:

Distinguished Allied Professional Award:

  • Unique contributions to the field
  • Demonstrated leadership in HRS Allied program development
  • Demonstrated contributions to HRS programs, task forces and/or committees

Distinguished Scientist Award:

  • Unique contributions to science (clinical or basic)
  • Impact on patients
  • Impact on peers
  • Research accomplishments
  • Patents or innovations

Distinguished Service Award:

  • Unique contributions to HRS (outside of Board and committee service)
  • What exists at HRS because of their efforts

Distinguished Teacher Award:

  • Unique teaching skills
  • Those affected by their teaching (e.g., fellows, peers, the public)

Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology Award:

  • Unique contributions to the field
  • Innovation used
  • Impact on patients
  • Impact on peers
  • Patents or innovations

Questions should be directed to

Heart Rhythm Society Statement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

HRS stakeholders share a common passion for accomplishing our mission to end death and suffering from heart rhythm disorders.

We believe our diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests are assets in reaching that goal, and we are committed to providing an inclusive environment in all our activities, where everyone feels valued, respected, and welcome.

We strive to have organizational leaders who represent all aspects of our diversity and who promote the diversity, equity, and inclusion that are essential to our success.