Who We Are | IAC

Who We Are

A nonprofit organization, IAC Echocardiography is supported by the following organizations while operating independently of their activities. Representatives from these organizations, listed below, make up the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors.

Board of Directors & Sponsoring Organizations

Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA)

Michael Earing, MD serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA). Dr. Earing is both an adult and pediatric trained physician whom specializes in adult congenital heart disease. For the last 15 years, he has served as the director of the Wisconsin Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and the Medical Director of the Herma Heart Institute at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. Starting May 2020, he will serve as the Executive Director and Chief of Cardiology for the Chicago Pediatric Alliance composed of the University of Chicago, Advocate/Aurora Healthcare and Northshore University.

American Society of Echocardiography (ASE)

Alicia Armour, MA, RDCS, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Ms. Armour is a Level 3 Cardiac Sonographer in the Duke Cardiac Diagnostic Unit at Duke University Health System. She is involved with quality improvement, advanced imaging and education within the lab. She completed her BS in Exercise Science in 2000 from Western Michigan University and her MA in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University in 2002. After a career as an Exercise Physiologist working in commercial and corporate fitness, Ms. Armour returned to school to pursue a career in Cardiac Sonography. In 2009, she earned her Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) credential from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in adult echocardiography. Currently, she serves the ASE as a representative for the Guidelines and Standards Committee on the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography, part of the Workflow and Lab Management Task Force, is a manuscript reviewer for CASE – ASE’s online journal, and is a fellow of the ASE. She has lectured nationally and at educational courses on advanced imaging techniques, quality improvement, cardiac mechanics and more.

Alina Nicoara, MD, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Dr. Nicoara earned her medical degree from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center and Director of Perioperative Echocardiography. Dr. Nicoara has been published in journals, books, and electronic publications. She is a part of numerous organizations like American Society of Echocardiography, American Heart Association and Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. Dr. Nicoara has also lectured at meetings nationally and internationally.

Amy Dillenbeck, MS, RDCS, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Ms. Dillenbeck is a Cardiac Sonographer Workleader in the Cardiovascular Imaging Lab at the Cleveland Clinic. She completed her BS in Health Science in 1997 from Clemson University and her MS in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina in 1999. After a career as an Exercise Physiologist working in Cardiac Rehab and Exercise Testing, Ms. Dillenbeck returned to school to pursue a career in Cardiac Sonography. In 2007, she earned her Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) credential from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in adult echocardiography. Currently, she serves on ASE’s Innovation Competition Task Force, is a manuscript reviewer for CASE – ASE’s online journal, and is a fellow of the ASE. She has lectured nationally and at educational courses on incorporating cardiac mechanics and advanced imaging techniques into echo labs as well as quality assurance practices.

David H. Wiener, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASE serves as Officer-at-Large on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Dr. Wiener is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. He serves as Director of Clinical Operations at the Jefferson Heart Institute, with responsibility for developing and administering an integrated hospital- and outpatient-based academic cardiology practice. He is a practicing clinical cardiologist who has received numerous teaching awards; and is also a member of Jefferson’s echocardiography faculty. Dr. Wiener received his BA degree from Columbia University and his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed residency training at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, and clinical and research cardiology fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. With a longstanding interest in high quality, high value cardiac imaging, Dr. Wiener has served on the advocacy committee of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), and has been its chair for the last four years. He is a member of numerous other ASE committees, and has been elected to ASE’s Board of Directors. Dr. Wiener has published about high value cardiac imaging, contributed to multi-society documents on clinical competence and appropriate use criteria, both as an author and as a content reviewer, and has been an abstract reviewer for ASE.

Enrique Garcia-Sayan, MD, FACC, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Dr. Garcia-Sayan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, currently serves as the Director of Echocardiography, Non-Invasive Cardiology, and Associate Chief of Cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, and is actively involved in the structural and interventional echocardiography program at Memorial Hermann Hospital – Texas Medical Center. His interests include multi-modality imaging in structural and valvular heart disease and advanced echocardiography. He is a Fellow of American Society of Echocardiography, currently serves in the ASE Education Committee and is a participant in the inaugural cohort of the ASE Leadership Academy. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Houston Society of Echocardiography.

Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA)

G. Burkhard Mackensen, MD, PhD, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA). Dr. Mackensen is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Division Chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia at the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA. He also holds a position as UW Medicine Research & Education Endowed Professor in Anesthesiology and Adjunct Professor of Medicine. Dr. Mackensen is a practicing cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, interventional echocardiographer and critical care physician. Dr. Mackensen joined the University of Washington in early 2012 as the Chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia. Within the first year of his arrival, he assumed the role as acting chair of the entire Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, a position that he held for 15 months. Before joining the UW, he had served for eight years as an Associate Professor in Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center. He is certified by the National Board of Echocardiography (PTEXAM recertified in 2010) and has a strong interest in the perioperative and procedural utility of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Academically, he continues to explore the utility of real-time three-dimensional TEE for procedural image guidance in the structural heart arena. As a key member of the UW structural heart valve team, he is intimately involved in multidisciplinary efforts that aim to advance minimally invasive transcatheter cardiovascular care. As a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography (FASE) he serves on the Council on Perioperative Echocardiography (COPE), the Research Committee and the Industry Relations Committee at the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Dr. Mackensen also chaired the development of a new ASE educational DVD/online product featuring procedural imaging in structural heart disease. He also serves as a co-director for the annually occuring ASE Symposium on Interventional Echocardiography for decision-making in Structural Heart. Most recently, he was asked to join the newly founded ASE task force on Structural Heart Disease. Dr. Mackensen lectures both nationally and internationally on the role of 2D and 3D TEE in interventional/structural heart disease and surgical decision-making. Dr. Mackensen has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and is the author of more than 15 book chapters. He currently serves as editor of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia and on the Research Committee of the SCA and serves as reviewer for more than 10 internationally circulated scientific journals.

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS)

Merri L. Bremer, EdD, RN, ACS, RDCS, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS). Ms. Bremer is the Education and Quality Coordinator at the Mayo Clinic Echocardiography Lab in Rochester, Minn., and also holds an academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Ms. Bremer is board-certified as a Registered Nurse, and holds the sonographer credentials of RDCS and ACS. In 2015, she earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In addition to the SDMS, Ms. Bremer is an active member of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), where she is a Fellow and a member of several committees. She also participates in ultrasound accreditation program through Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) and is a member of the CCI ACS Credentialing Exam Committee. During the past 20 years, Ms. Bremer has lectured extensively at national meetings, promoting the topic of sonographer ergonomics, quality improvement, and accreditation; in addition, she has co-authored several publications.

Pamela Burgess, ACS, BS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS). As Manager of the Cardiac Ultrasound & Stress Testing Lab at Wake Forest University/Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., she brings more than 30 years of experience as a sonographer. Upon earning her CNMT credential in 1979, Ms. Burgess went on to become board certified by the ARDMS as a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT), a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) in Abdominal Ultrasound and Obstetrics-Gynecology and a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) in Adult Echocardiography. She received her BS in Health Management from the California College for Health Sciences. In addition to SDMS, Ms. Burgess is also a fellow of ASE, where she serves on the Board of Directors and several committees. As an educator, Ms. Burgess is an instructor in the Adult Echocardiography course at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and has been a speaker and director at numerous Echocardiography courses across the country since 1993. In addition to being Secretary of the Board of Directors, Ms. Burgess serves the IAC as a reviewer and site visitor.

Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE)

Craig E. Fleishman, MD, FASE, FACC serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE). Dr. Fleishman is the Director of Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging at the Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Fla. He received his BA in chemistry and economics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Fleishman earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and was a pediatric resident and chief resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He completed his pediatric cardiology and advanced pediatric echocardiography training at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Fleishman has lectured extensively at national and international meetings and has co-authored multiple articles, chapters, and abstracts. Dr. Fleishman is a peer reviewer for Echocardiography, Congenital Heart Disease, Circulation, Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, and American Heart Journal. He has also served as guest editor for Circulation and Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. Dr. Fleishman is a fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography and the American College of Cardiology and serves on multiple committees within those organizations.

Bernadette Richards, FASE, RDCS serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE). Ms. Richards is the Technical Director of the Pediatric Echo Laboratory at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, OH. She is certified as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer in the areas of Adult, Fetal and Pediatric Echocardiography. She is also a fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE).

Leo Lopez, MD, FASE, FACC, FAAP serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a representative of the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE). Currently, Dr. Lopez is the Medical Director of Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging at Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami. Born in the Philippines, he earned his BA from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and later received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Lopez was a pediatric resident, fellow and chief fellow in cardiology and senior clinical fellow in echocardiography at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Lopez is a peer reviewer for several publications including the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. He has taken part in several cardiac medical missions to places all over the world, including trips with Healing the Children to Guatemala and Russia and with Heart Care International to El Salvador and Peru. He has lectured extensively worldwide and has co-authored several publications, review articles, book chapters and abstracts. Dr. Lopez is a member of several other organizations and councils including the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the International Society for the Nomenclature of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Diseases.

Cardiology Members-At-Large

Jeanne M. DeCara, MD serves as Secretary on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a Cardiology Member-at-Large. Dr. DeCara received her residency and cardiology training at Boston University Medical Center, before moving to the Midwest where she is presently Professor of Medicine in the section of cardiology at University of Chicago Medicine. In her clinical role, she serves as a consultative cardiologist and a full-time member cardiac imaging faculty, with imaging expertise in echocardiography. In addition to her general cardiology practice, she is Director of the Cardio-Oncology program at University of Chicago Medicine, where the focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of heart disorders among patients who have received or are about to receive chemotherapy and/or chest radiation. Dr. DeCara’s research focus is directed toward the application of noninvasive imaging techniques for the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease. She has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. She has additionally played an active role in professional organizations such as the ASE, where she has been a member of the Guidelines and Standards Committee and Research Committee, and served as Chair of the Research Award Committee. She has served as a member of the writing group for the ASE consensus document for use of echocardiography in clinical trials and well as the ASE and European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging expert consensus document for use of multimodality imaging evaluation of the adult patient during and after cancer therapy. In addition to these organizations, Dr. DeCara was a member of the technical panel for the Appropriate Use Criteria for echocardiography document endorsed by multiple professional societies, and content reviewer the AHA/ACC guideline for management of patients with valvular heart disease.

Michael Malkowski, MD, FACC serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a Cardiology Member-at-Large. Dr. Malkowski is a native of New Jersey. He attended The Pennsylvania State University where he earned a B.S. in Premedicine. He completed his medical education and earned his M.D. at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. Following medical school, Dr. Malkowski completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He then served as chief medical resident at Jefferson before moving to The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, he completed his fellowship in cardiology and was also an instructor in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Malkowski was an assistant professor in medicine at Allegheny General Hospital before moving to his current position at Heritage Valley Health System in western Pennsylvania. He is currently the Director of Echocardiography and serves on the Board of Directors for the health system. In addition to echocardiography and cardiac imaging, his clinical interests include the evaluation and treatment of congestive heart failure and valvular heart disease.

Advisor to the Board

David A. Orsinelli, MD, FACC, FASE serves on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors as a Cardiology Member-at-Large. Dr. Orsinelli has been a staff echocardiographer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center since 1991. He is currently a Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is a very active clinical echocardiographer and is a member of the OSU Structural Heart Disease Team. Dr. Orsinelli received his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed his residency at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I. in 1986 and held the position of Chief Medical resident at the hospital from 1986-87. He completed his cardiology fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worchester, Mass. in 1991 where he also served as Chief Fellow from 1990-91. Dr. Orsinelli is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) as well as an active member of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and the American Heart Association (AHA). He served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Chapter of the ACC from 2007-2011. Dr. Orsinelli has been a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, American Heart JournalCirculationJournal of the American College of Cardiology and Heart and Lung (The Journal of Acute and Critical Care). Dr. Orsinelli has also served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. He has been an abstract reviewer for the AHA on many occasions since 1999. He has delivered many lectures at local, regional and national meetings around the country and has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, review articles and book chapters in the field of echocardiography.

CEO

Mary Lally, MS, CAE is the Chief Executive Officer at the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). Ms. Lally began her tenure with the IAC in 2007, serving as Director of Accreditation. In this role she has been instrumental in the development and oversight of the IAC’s MRI and CT diagnostic divisions as well as the Carotid Stenting, Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiovascular Catheterization therapeutic divisions. Ms. Lally has a unique combined background of clinical expertise and association management experience, possessing both a Master’s degree in Radiation Health Physics as well as the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. Before joining the IAC, Lally gained more than 20 years of clinical, operational and leadership experience, serving as the founding MRI program director at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, she developed and implemented radiology quality assurance programs with emphasis in the vascular surgery, interventional and cardiology departments at the University of Maryland Hospital. An ARRT-certified MRI Technologist, Ms. Lally is a passionate advocate for quality and safety in imaging.

Director of Accreditation – Echocardiography

Katherine Gibson, RDCS is the Director of Accreditation for Echocardiography at the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Joining the IAC in 2019, she brings many years of clinical experience and her passion for congenital heart disease which caused her to pursue a career in pediatric and fetal echo. Ms. Gibson has worked as a cardiac ultrasound Applications Specialist, served as a clinical instructor for adult echocardiography at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, served as a clinical instructor for pediatric echo at The Helen B. Taussig Congenital Heart Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and developed the didactic curriculum for pediatric and congenital heart disease for The Johns Hopkins School of Echocardiography, Cardiac Sonography Program while also serving as an instructor. She graduated from The Johns Hopkins School of Echocardiography, Cardiac Sonography Program in 2009 and went on to earn her RDCS credential, Pediatric Echocardiography credential and Fetal Echocardiography credential from ARDMS. Ms. Gibson served on the Board of Directors for The Greater Baltimore Echo Society from 2011-2017.