Dr. Andrea Natale: Award-Winning, Patient-Centered Humanitarian

Dr. Andrea Natale has spent his medical career working to advance patient treatment and outcomes in the field of electrophysiology. After completing medical school in his native Italy, Dr. Natale relocated to Canada and then to the United States, serving as a distinguished member of various cardiovascular medicine departments at notable institutions, including the Cleveland Clinic. Natale has also shared his decades-long expertise and dedication to the field of cardiac electrophysiology with hundreds of students as a faculty member at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the United States, including Duke University, Case Western Reserve University, and Stanford University. Thanks to his reputation as a leading physician, innovator, and patient advocate Dr. Natale has been an invited speaker at hundreds of symposiums around the world. A dedicated practitioner, academic, and researcher, Natale has been the honored recipient of multiple mentorship and research awards throughout his distinguished career.

After beginning his medical career serving as the head of cardiovascular pathophysiology in the Italian Air Force, Natale held several titles as part of the Cleveland Clinic’s medical staff in Cleveland, Ohio. During his time in Cleveland, Dr. Andrea Natale was the recipient of several awards pertaining to his work as a researcher, physician, and educator.

Dr. Andrea Natale: One of the Top Doctors in America

In 2004 and 2005, Natale received the Innovator Award for Innovation in the Development of Antibody-Directed Specific Delivery of Antiarrhythmic Drugs and the Development of Direct Pericardial Delivery of Biological Therapeutic Agents. Dr. Natale also was featured on Cleveland Magazine’s list of “Best Doctors in America” and went on to be named “Cleveland Top Doc.” He received both of these awards again in 2007, along with the “Cleveland Clinic Innovator of the Year” award for three consecutive years during his tenure in Cleveland.

In 2006, while a member of the medical community at the Cleveland Clinic, Natale received the Cleveland Clinic Bakken Heart-Brain Institute Research Award for his work on a project concerning the adverse effects of a brain hemorrhage on the heart.

For five consecutive years, on two different occasions, between 2003 and 2008 and from 2011 through 2014, Dr. Andrea Natale was nominated among the best doctors in the U.S. These awards carry significant honor as the nomination is peer-based and the physician is then selected for The Best Doctors in America awards in the medical community.

In 2006, Natale was nominated to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s task force on atrial fibrillation. The goal of this task force is to help improve treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation, either through medications or advancements and innovation in surgical procedures. Millions of people in the United States struggle daily with atrial fibrillation, and Dr. Natale and the team of experts on the task force share a common goal of helping reduce the ongoing medical risks of this chronic disease.

In 2008, Andrea Natale was appointed the Executive Medical Director at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. While he continued his roles as a distinguished faculty member at several academic institutions, Dr. Natale also continued his role as a world-renowned innovator in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Natale received his first innovation award within one year of assuming his executive medical director position at St. David’s Medical Center. In 2009, the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute received The Bury + Partners Innovation Award.

Dr. Andrea Natale’s Award-Winning Humanitarianism and Advocacy

In 2012, Dr. Natale was honored to receive the Frist Humanitarian Award. The Frist Humanitarian Award is presented each year to an individual who embodies the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Tomas F. Frist. Frist was a physician, businessman, and co-founder of HCA Healthcare (Hospital Corporation of America). These awards recognize employees, physicians, and volunteers at hospitals affiliated with the HCA Healthcare network across the country. These individuals must demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients in their communities.

In August of 2017, Andrea Natale was the proud recipient of the 2017 Eric N. Prystowsky Advocate for Patients Award during the 2017 Get In Rhythm Stay In Rhythm Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Eric N. Prystowsky Award honors a clinician who has demonstrated outstanding service to and contributions for the benefit of patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and their families. Most significantly, the nominees for this award are selected by patients who have received a medical procedure related to AFib. Patients take the list of nominees and vote for the physician they consider the best and strongest advocate for their cause. Dr. Eric N. Prystowsky, an electrophysiologist at St. Vincent Medical Group and director of the clinical electrophysiology laboratory at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, was the first recipient of the award and the individual for whom the award is now named.

In October of 2018, PTV Healthcare awarded Dr. Natale the Star of Texas Healthcare award. For 11 years ago, the Star of Texas Healthcare Award has sought to honor healthcare professionals and outstanding members of the Texas community for their unique commitments to health care improvement and innovation for the given year. This can be accomplished either through a particular professional achievement or via exceptional philanthropic service to the community.

Dr. Andrea Natale’s Awards for Innovation and Research

The awards and recognitions received by Dr. Andrea Natale extend into the innovation and research fields as well. His decades of work dedicated to helping patients with atrial fibrillation restore a normal heart rhythm have enhanced the quality of life for thousands of patients worldwide. As a pioneer in the field of electrophysiology, Natale is credited with developing some of the foremost catheter-based treatments for patients with atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation affects millions of Americans each year and is considered the most common cardiac arrhythmia (heartbeat irregularity). Atrial fibrillation can lead to an increased risk of stroke for many patients. It is estimated that almost 20 percent of strokes occur as a result of atrial fibrillation. Natale has dedicated his career to ongoing and continued advancement in atrial fibrillation treatment. He has patented a device for atrial fibrillation ablation and was the first physician in the United States to perform a specific atrial fibrillation treatment called percutaneous epicardial radiofrequency ablation. This particular, less-invasive procedure is designed to be used on patients who were previously unsuccessfully treated with other ablation techniques. Traditional ablation techniques are significantly more invasive than the method pioneered by Natale and, therefore, carry significantly increased risk.

Most recently, Dr. Natale has partnered with Ninety One Inc. to improve the use of automated and remote monitoring platforms commonly used in cardiac treatment. This includes pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and wearable cardiac monitoring devices that could help improve response times when atrial fibrillation patients experience cardiac arrhythmias pre- or post-surgery. Natale has spent many years of his career working toward advancing innovation and research in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Also, he has always believed in advancing and improving how patients access essential medical care.

A Giant in His Field

For almost 30 years, Dr. Andrea Natale has dedicated his career, life, and wisdom to restoring and improving the lives of patients with atrial fibrillation. Many articles and interviews have stated that Natale believes “his greatest reward is restoring patients to a life without atrial fibrillation.” Many patients who have atrial fibrillation also have additional co-occurring medical disorders. As the rates of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity continue to rise in the United States, so too does the need for further advancements in cardiac care.

Dr. Andrea Natale continues to educate patients, medical students, and fellows at prestigious medical institutions around the country. Believing that those he educates are the future of medicine and innovation, Natale strives to impress upon future takers of the Hippocratic Oath what it means to be a physician, humanitarian, and ongoing voice for those seeking to live lives free of this potentially debilitating illness. As the honors and accolades pertaining to his renowned career continue to grow, Dr. Natale’s patients view him as a humanitarian who goes above and beyond what is traditionally expected of a doctor.

Peers and fellow academics consider it an honor to learn from, work with, and train with Natale. But most importantly, Dr. Andrea Natale himself takes immense pride in his work. Despite his research and career successes, his first and foremost concern is always what is best for his patients. He is singularly focused on achieving a specific treatment goal: to give back a quality of life to the patients whose lives he touches.

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