2016 ACC/Merck Fellows Honored During 35th Anniversary Reception

The ACC/Merck Fellowship Program celebrated its 35th anniversary on April 2 during the ACC.16 Merck Awards Reception. This unique program has provided support to four fellows in training (FITs) seeking to launch careers in cardiovascular research. Over the past 35 years, Merck has generously offered almost 200 fellowships.

In selecting applications, proposals addressing cardiovascular disease and cardiometabolic disorders are encouraged, as well as proposals focusing on clinically relevant outcomes as a result of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes or obesity. Preference for one award is given to applicants focusing on disparities of care since despite increased attention to health disparities at the national, state and community levels, relatively little progress has been made in achieving the vision of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.

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ACC’s First Leadership Academy Cohort Presents Capstone Projects at ACC.16

This post was authored by Rosanne Nelson, an ACC staff member focused on member leadership development and the facilitator of ACC’s Leadership Academy.

Two years ago, a diverse group of 14 early career and Fellows-in-Training members of the ACC came together as strangers in a room. Each had been appointed to Cohort I of the College’s inaugural Leadership Academy program, the ACC program serves to meet our early career / FIT members where they need to be met, and supports leadership challenges in diverse practice areas. Few in the room during our initial meeting knew what to expect. As the leadership development program facilitator, I too was experiencing this program for the first time, and even upon our first meeting, I was amazed by their thirst for knowledge, and humbled by their admission of wanting to ‘lead better.’ As such, we set off to learn and lead together. Admittedly, the path was not as clear at the start. However, this group was eager, open, and honest about what they needed. Thus, a recipe for success was well underway. Continue reading

The Battle Begins at ACC.16

Using a popular game-style teaching technique, state ACC chapter teams – made up of three fellows in training (FITs) – will have the opportunity to showcase their clinical knowledge at the inaugural Inter-State FIT Jeopardy Competition at ACC.16. FIT Jeopardy is a friendly competition that promotes a healthy rivalry between state chapter FIT teams, fosters FIT engagement in their local state chapter and provides educational value to the contestants and audience.

Each round of the competition is chaired by Nkechinyere Ijioma, MD, editor-in-chief of the FIT Section Page on ACC.org, and Gautam Kumar, MD, FACC, and includes three to four judges. Over 25 state chapter teams competed in the preliminary rounds, including teams from VA, KY, MD/DC, Canada, FL, CT, LA, NJ, IA, MN, WI, GA, MO, AL, MS, CA, OR, MA, IL, MI, OH, PA, IN, KS, TX, WV, SD. During the semi-final round tomorrow, the seven winning teams from the preliminary rounds will compete to determine who will move on to the final round. Continue reading

Exciting News on TAVR; Tempered by Unanswered Questions

Svensson_LarsThis post was authored by Lars G. Svensson, MBBCH, PhD, FACC, chair of the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.

There are few procedures that show a benefit for patients relieving symptoms, saving lives, and improving long-term survival as aortic valve replacement (AVR). Indeed, the advent of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) hailed a new era for valve replacement.

In 2001, Alain Cribier, MD, FACC, pioneered human implantation of percutaneous aortic valve replacement via the femoral vein, however this proved to be too high risk. The transapical approach was then implemented with a moderate risk, but shortly thereafter the transfemoral arterial approach was developed with considerably lower mortality although with complications. For example, there was about a 20 percent failure rate from failure to implant, embolization and severe perivalvular regurgitation. Nevertheless, studies in high-risk patients (PARTNER cohort A and PARTNER cohort B) showed excellent outcomes for TAVR with equivalence to open surgery.

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#Cardiology Ontology: Using Hashtags to Improve #CVD Care

This post was authored by R. Jay Widmer, MD, PhD (@DrArgyle);  Carolyn M. Larsen, MD (@carolynmarieMN); Robert A. Harrington, MD, FACC (@HeartBobH); T. Jared Bunch, MD (@TJaredBunch); John P. Erwin, III, MD, FACC (@HeartOTXHeartMD); John M. Mandrola, MD, FACC (@drjohnm); and Farris K. Timimi, MD, FACC (@FarrisTimimi), members of the Cardiovascular Symplur Ontology Project.

Following in the footsteps of several other specialties, cardiology now has a hashtag ontology page dedicated to facilitating social media use for providers and the wider health care community. The aim of the cardiology ontology page is to assemble and disseminate hashtags pertinent to cardiovascular diseases. This enables health care professionals, patients and family members to organize discussions surrounding cardiovascular medicine in an effort to keep the interest of the patient foremost.

We often hear, “Oh it’s so vast and overwhelming, there’s no way I could be on Twitter” when approaching colleagues about a recent fruitful encounter on one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Although cardiology only occupies a small fraction of the over 300 million viewers and billions of tweets generated daily on Twitter, the potential value cardiovascular disease providers can garner and large impact they can have on public health is beyond immense. However, just like any medication or therapy we suggest or prescribe to our patients, social media must be palatable and easily navigated in order to have broad uptake. One means by which this can be accomplished is by codifying a set of terms common in cardiology, and much like our colleagues in oncology, radiation oncology, and recently urology, providing a cardiovascular ontology around which patients and providers can easily identify specific entities within the world of cardiology. Continue reading

First Time Here? What the ACC’s Annual Scientific Session is ‘REALLY’ About

This Freemanpost was authored by Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC (@heartcuredoc)

You may not believe this, but there is a secret to the ACC’s Annual Scientific Session that you may not know. In addition to learning about and seeing all of the latest and greatest tools, medicines, techniques and procedures – not to mention being in the audience for late-breaking clinical trial results – there is something about physically being at the meeting that you can’t experience anywhere else.

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Taking a Closer Look at Centralized Systems of Care

Kovacs headshotThis post is authored by Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC’s Clinical Quality Committee.

As a result of continued hospital and practice integration, as well as an ongoing evolution to a health care system focused on value, not volume, a trend towards more highly centralized and organized systems of care is emerging as a means of meeting the triple aim of improved outcomes, better care and lower costs.

As a concept, centralized care allows for common standards and goals across a system, making identifying problems or gaps in care, monitoring progress and achieving results more streamlined and arguably easier. However, moving from concept to reality does have its challenges given the need for alignment among a diverse group of stakeholders across the care continuum, as well as the need to overcome clinical, administrative and macroeconomic factors that differ from system to system.

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Welcome to Chicago!

Williams HeadshotThis post was authored by ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, president of the ACC.

Over the next three days, the world of cardiology will descend upon my hometown of Chicago for ACC.16!

Many people were involved in making ACC.16 happen, from members, to staff, to partner societies and Chapters. I would particularly like to thank ACC.16 Chair Athena Poppas, MD, and Co-Chair Jeff Kuvin, MD, for their leadership. As a result of this collective effort, ACC.16 features an unprecedented number of opportunities for creating connections, igniting innovation and engaging in disruptive discussion around the latest in cardiovascular research.

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