Gehi receives distinguished professorship

Anil Kishin Gehi, MD, associate professor of medicine in the division of cardiology, has been awarded the Sewell Family-McAllister Distinguished Professorship in Electrophysiology. The professorship is designed to recognize an outstanding clinician, teacher, and scholar, who is a leader in the field of electrophysiology, from the division of cardiology and the UNC McAllister Heart Institute.

Gehi receives distinguished professorship click to enlarge Anil Kishin Gehi, MD

“We are very pleased to see Dr. Gehi honored for excellence in the field of electrophysiology, for leadership in clinical care, education and innovation,” said Dr. Rick Stouffer, chief of the division of cardiology and Ernest and Hazel Craige Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine. “He is a superstar in his field.”

Gehi maintains a busy clinical practice care for patients with heart rhythm disorders. He specializes in catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AFib), SVT, and VT/PVC, as well as pacemaker and defibrillator implantation. He presents on cardiac rhythm disorders and EKG interpretation to physicians in practice at national, regional, and local conferences as well as in UNC medical school, internal medicine residency, and cardiology and electrophysiology fellowship program.  His research has focused on improving the quality and system of care of patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac dysrhythmia. Initial studies sought to understand drivers of AF-specific patient symptoms in order to better formulate a global strategy for reducing AF morbidity. Findings from this study led to a focus on improving systems of care for patients with AF.

In 2017, Gehi received a $1.7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to improve care and education for patients with AFib across the UNC Health Care system. The four-year grant has enabled Gehi to expand a pilot care model launched in 2015, aimed at reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and improving quality of care for AFib patients.  His pilot research, funded through a grant from the UNC Center for Health Innovations, demonstrated promising results. Nationwide and at UNC, 80%-85% of Afib patients presenting to the ER end up being hospitalized.  Gehi’s pilot study reduced the likelihood of AF related hospitalization at UNC to 57%. Among other benefits, the model seeks to improve care coordination of AF patients whose care can often be disjointed. Adjunctive efforts of this project are underway to harness digital health applications for patient engagement and to use tele-mentoring to train physicians in the community on best practice recommendations.

Gehi graduated from medical school and completed residency at the University of California in San Francisco. He completed his cardiology fellowship at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, after which he received training in cardiac electrophysiology at Emory University. In 2008, Gehi came to the UNC School of Medicine. He was named as the Director of UNC’s Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship in 2012 and as the Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology in 2017. In 2014, he was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine.

Gehi was recently featured in a Chair’s Corner podcast discussing Long QT syndrome, an electrical disorder of the heart.

The Sewell Family-McAllister Distinguished Professorship was established in 2010 by a gift from Linda C. and Cecil W. Sewell, Jr. and a matching gift from Dr. Hugh A. (Chip) McAllister, Jr.  The Sewell family requested the professorship title include the McAllister name to honor Dr. McAllister’s outstanding accomplishments in cardiology and visionary leadership of the UNC McAllister Heart Institute.