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James C. Fang MD, Named 18th President of Heart Failure Society of America

University of Utah Health today announced that James C. Fang, MD, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah, will become the 18th president of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA). The announcement will be made at the organization’s Annual Scientific Meeting 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. Fang has been a member of the HFSA since it was established in the mid-1990s. 

The HFSA is a unique organization in which members including physicians, scientists, nurses, and pharmacists with the primary mission of reducing the burden of heart failure.  A large proportion of the membership are also patients who are afflicted by heart failure.

James Fang, MD, wearing a white coat


“This organization is a passion for me because it is not only my chosen discipline, but also because heart failure is a huge health problem with millions of people affected and with significant morbidity and mortality,” said Fang. “In my role as HFSA president, I look forward to the opportunity to further the mission of the society – to reduce the burden of heart failure.”

A major concern for patients afflicted with heart failure is mortality. The average survival after diagnosis is generally considered to be approximately five years once a person is diagnosed with this condition*.  Another burden involves quality of life. Patients with heart failure have significant impairment in their activities of daily life, whether in their professional careers to their time with families and friends. Through their advocacy work and research, the HFSA aims to improve outcomes and quality of life of all those living with heart failure.   

A primary goal of the HFSA is to reduce the burden of heart failure. “The cost of heart failure on society is enormous; estimated to be $30 billion a year. In addition, heart failure is one of the most common reasons people over the age of 70 in this country are hospitalized,” said Fang. “On a positive note, innovation, education, and research at institutions like University of Utah have and continue to produce more effective treatments for this condition.”

As president of the HFSA, Fang will focus on educating the public about the critical nature of heart failure as a healthcare issue. It is estimated that five million people in this country currently have heart failure, with that number expected to reach eight million by 2030, and many of these diagnoses are preventable. “The typical person diagnosed with heart failure is a patient with chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure -- they are also often overweight, smoke, don’t watch their diets, and don’t exercise. The largest proportion of patients with heart failure have comorbidity risk factors that are addressable and treatable,” Fang said. 

Fang is optimistic about what the HFSA organization and U of U Health can accomplish in the future. “We are here to teach, heal, and discover. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go in extending and improving the quality of life and survival for heart failure patients,” he stated.

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The Heart Failure Society of America is a multidisciplinary organization working to improve and expand heart failure care through collaboration, education, research, innovation, and advocacy. HFSA members include physicians, scientists, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and patients.