Andrew Kerr Awarded the NZ Cardiac Medal

Michael Williams congratulates Andrew Kerr on being awarded the New Zealand Cardiac Medal

Andrew Kerr was awarded the New Zealand Cardiac Medal at the NZ Region’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Rotorua in 2021.

A/Prof Kerr is the second recipient of the medal which was first awarded in 2019. The medal is awarded to a member of the Cardiac Society who has made an outstanding contribution in New Zealand by making heart care better for New Zealanders. In awarding the medal, Chair of the NZ Region, Prof. Michael Williams said “Andrew’s contribution to the practice of Cardiology in New Zealand has been exceptional and epitomises the ideals signified by this Medal.”

Andrew completed his undergraduate training at the University of Otago, and Cardiology training at Dunedin Hospital. His Clinical and Research Fellowship was at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He was appointed as a consultant to Middlemore Hospital in 2000 and was director of the Echo Lab at Middlemore Hospital from 2001-2005. He served as Clinical Head of Cardiology for 13 years up until 2014. He made significant contributions to external bodies, as a member of the RACP Cardiology Specialist Advisory Committee from 2003 and chair from 2007-2008. He was Clinical Leader of the Northern Cardiac Region Cardiac Network from 2011 to 2013.

He has had an outstanding academic career appointed Senior Clinical Lecturer University of Auckland from 2001 and Associate Professor in 2014. He commenced a role as Director of Cardiology Research at Middlemore in 2005 and has worked tirelessly in the role since that time.

Since 2002 he has been integrally involved with the development and implementation of a web-based electronic decision support programme of cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management, (PREDICT-CVD) both in primary and secondary care with a personal significant contribution to approximately 20 PREDICT publications from 2005. Arguably the most important of these being the development of the New Zealand cardiovascular disease risk prediction equations published in the Lancet in 2018.

He was the driving force in developing the secondary care ANZACS-QI national cardiac registry platform. This could fairly be described as his life’s work. He has been responsible for developing the evidence-based content, the maintenance and the sustained quality of these clinical decision support systems. He has been the Cardiac Society nominated Chair of the National ANZACS-QI Governance group since 2012. There has been a huge sustained research output from the registry. The first paper, ANZACS-QI 1 was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal in 2013. The most recent ANZACS-QI 58 was published this month.

The effect on clinical practice and quality outcomes of the ANZACS QI programme on cardiac care in New Zealand has been huge. Every cardiovascular clinician in New Zealand has had their practice and delivery of healthcare improved through review of outcomes and changes in practice. The results have been impressive with improvements in rates of coronary angiography, revascularisation, and reduced hospital admissions with acute coronary syndrome. This has been a team effort but has been ably lead by Andrew Kerr. When we look back over the last 20 years so much has been achieved but it all started out with the vision of one man who with dogged persistence has created a world class clinical practice and quality improvement programme. The members of the Cardiac Society warmly congratulate Andrew on his outstanding achievements.