Circle cardiologist wins lifetime achievement award

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Jacob Easaw wins Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 for his services and contribution in the advancement of Echocardiography, spanning some 27 years.

Dr Jacob Easaw was presented with the award on Friday 10th November 2017 by The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) for his services and contribution to the advancement of echocardiology.

Echocardiography describes an echo test or heart ultrasound; a test that takes ‘moving pictures’ of the heart with sound waves. This is not surgery but is painless diagnostic testing using standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart.

As the Echocardiography Lead at Circle Bath Hospital and the Royal United Hospital (Bath) Dr Jacob Easaw has worked tirelessly to develop all aspects of the cardiology services for both patients and colleagues in the South West. He has transformed the service through dedication and commitment to the advancement of Echocardiography.

"Early diagnosis and detection of cardiac disease, such as heart disease and valvular heart disease, enables primary care to refer to secondary care urgently following diagnosis by echocardiography in the community," Jacob said. "The patients are seen urgently and given appropriate treatment, including cardiac surgery or a cardiac procedure, much quicker than if they were referred through the normal pathway. This means patients have access to specialist care more quickly and benefit from improved survival rates."

Dr Easaw qualified from India in 1983 and undertook his Cardiology training in Cardiff. He also has a Master’s degree in Medical Law from Cardiff Law School. He is also accredited by the European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) for Adult Transoesophageal Echo.

As a surgeon with particular interest in mitral valve intervention, Dr Easaw’s experience is relied upon by his colleagues in Transoesophageal  Echocardiogram (TOE) imaging as is his ability to access the suitability of intervention on many high-risk patients over the years.

There are many organisations and individuals; cardiologists, physiologists, general practitioners, nurses and patients, who have benefited from Dr Jacob Easaw’s shared knowledge and experience, his dedication to education and training, his tireless efforts to develop high standards of care and best practices and his enthusiasm for research and breaking down barriers between primary and secondary care.

The hope and expectation the BSE lifetime achievement award was that it would be given not only to ‘the great’ but also to ‘the good’ – those unsung heroes and heroines who work above and beyond the expected to ensure local training is provided, support perhaps outside their own unit or those who deliver new approaches to delivery that have changed the patient experience. Jacob received a number of nominations that all recognised his local service to Echocardiography, his engagement with primary care in an attempt to support echo in the community as well as secondary care hospital provision. Congratulations.Mr Keith Pearce, BSE President.  The British Society of Echocardiography was formed in 1990 to promote the study and advancement of Cardiac Ultrasound Imaging and Doppler techniques, through professional representation, education and quality benchmarking.

Here are a few comments from the nominations provided by his medical colleagues in Bath, Bristol and internationally.

“Dr Easaw has transformed the local Echocardiography service in his post as consultant cardiologist through his hard work and skills not only in imaging but also in education. Jacob's contribution to developing echocardiography locally cannot be underestimated and he has great respect for this from colleagues in Bath and Bristol”

Dr Dan Augustine, Consultant Cardiologist Royal United Hospital and Circle Bath Hospital.

“Dr Jacob Easaw has done much ‘good’ for Echocardiography in his career to date. He continues to work tirelessly and will undoubtedly make further significant contributions but his achievements thus far are already very substantial. The positive impact and influence he has made locally are immeasurable and difficult to fully express; the way he has inspired many physiologists and cardiologists (including myself) can only be fully appreciated by those who have benefitted directly from his teaching, guidance and mentorship.”

Dr Raveen Kandan, Consultant Cardiologist Royal United Hospital Bath

His experience in the field of cardiology in particular echocardiography spans the widest spectrum of adult and grown-up congenital pathology; over the years I have known him, his experience in matters such as primary pulmonary hypertension, valvular heart disease and cardiomyopathy has become most valuable and his always personable manner has made him approachable at all times to discuss not just his patients but those referred by others as well.

He is considered as one of the best consultant echocardiographers in the region and I know that many of his colleagues will approach him for advice both informally and at multi-disciplinary team discussion.  He is regularly invited to regional Echo meetings and is considered the senior expert in this field.

Mr Franco Ciulli, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, University Hospitals Bristol

“Dr Jacob Easaw is a clear example of an unsung hero of echocardiography who devoted his life to use echo to manage patients, to teach echo to cardiology fellows and to train colleagues and physiologists. Dr Easaw has been accredited for adult transthoracic echocardiography by BSE since 1996. Moreover, he has been accredited by the European Association of Echocardiography for TOE in 2007.

Finally, I had the privilege of appreciating Dr Jacob Easaw as a nice friend and a gentleman. His warm friendship and willingness to cooperate are very appreciated in the international echo world. Given his age and experience, I was surprised by his indefatigable enthusiasm and continuous thirst for new knowledge.  He has been able to maintain an open mind to everything new in the field of echocardiography.”

Dr Luigi P. Badano, Consultant Cardiologist, Past President, European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, University of Padova, Italy

“I believe that we have a fantastic innovative service providing ECHOs directly in primary care where our patients access 90% of their health care. Dr Jacob Easaw’s role has raised the standards of cardiology care in the primary care community and his support has been vital to providing our service.

We are currently exploring moving secondary care clinics to primary care using the ECHO facilities we have already on site with us at our surgery, again breaking down barriers between primary & secondary care.”

Dr Harry Bimbh, GP in Trowbridge and member of the BSE.

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