Heart Failure and Transplantation

Portrait of Rebecca Cogswell

Rebecca Cogswell, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Advanced Heart
Failure and Cardiac Transplant
Fellowship Program

The Heart Failure fellowship consists of one year of clinical and research experience. Fellows spend 8-9 clinical months of experiential education in Advanced Congestive Heart Failure (a.k.a. "Cardiology II") and Cardiothoracic Surgery Services. Fellows will qualify for UNOS transplant physician certification, as well as meet the procedural requirements required by COCATS 4, Task Force 12: Training in Heart Failure. 

Clinically, while on the Cardiology II service the fellow will, under the direction of a faculty member, coordinate patient care, perform interventions on the service's patients, and coordinate teaching to the general cardiology fellows, residents and students. The fellow will also be expected to participate in and complete a clinical research project. In the two-year pathway, the fellow will have the opportunity for more clinical time, but will also be expected to spend one year in dedicated clinical or basic science research in anticipation of an academic career.

In each track the fellow will qualify for the ACGME certificate in management of advanced congestive heart failure as well as the UNOS certificate as an accredited transplant physician.

The Divisions of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery are committed to a highly collegial and collaborative care model for heart failure/transplant patients. Thus, all patient management and research conferences in this area are interdisciplinary. In addition, the care of these patients frequently involves the use of imaging technologies and arrhythmia management. Therefore, close collaboration with these other sub-specialties has been established.

The University of Minnesota's Divisions of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery are deeply committed to and have pioneered the use of multi-disciplinary teams to manage these complex patients. Currently the teams include physicians from each division, mechanical assistance specialty nurses, nurse transplant coordinators, dedicated social work specialists, financial specialists, experts in neurocognitive evaluation, and adjunctive members in the disciplines of pulmonary medicine, infectious disease, and immunology.

Competitive Advantage

The University of Minnesota has a unique tradition and well-established resources for a program of this kind. The University of Minnesota Cardiovascular Division under the former direction of Jay N. Cohn, M.D., defined the modern pharmaceutical treatment of congestive heart failure. The University of Minnesota was one of the first ten cardiac transplantation programs recognized by Medicare in the United States. Current faculty member Marc Pritzker, MD participated in the first trials of mechanical circulatory support. The University of Minnesota Cardiovascular Division is currently one of the largest providers of mechanical circulatory support services and current faculty have served as principle investigators for multiple, multi-site trials of mechanical support devices. The University of Minnesota’s Cardiovascular Division's expertise in evolving research in the treatment of congestive heart failure has been recognized by the awarding of two highly competitive NIH grants to the University in the areas of cardiac regeneration and congestive heart failure respectively. Finally, the Divisions of Cardiovascular Medicine and Surgery strongly believe in a collaborative care model which is ideally suited to the interdisciplinary nature of advanced heart failure therapy initiation and management.

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year should be submitted by via ERAS.