CLCD - Message from the Chair

Updated:Oct 12,2015
Ileana Piña, MD MPH FAHA FACC 

The Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD) has continued to advance the mission of the American Heart Association by promoting excellence in clinical care and fostering the professional development and education of clinical cardiologists with a broad range of programs over the last year.

The Council on Clinical Cardiology has continued to advance the mission of the American Heart Association by promoting excellence in clinical care and fostering the professional development and education of clinical cardiologists with a broad range of programs over the last year.  The “flagship” program of the Council was the Fellows-In-Training/Early Career Day at the Scientific Session in Chicago on Saturday November 13, 2010. This program was developed by the Council as a strategy to recruit and retain fellows and early career members to the AHA. The Council on Clinical Cardiology allocated discretionary funds to sponsor up to 250 Fellows to attend Scientific Sessions.  The program was marketed to non-AHA members with complimentary AHA Membership for one year at Student / Trainee Level, complimentary registration to Scientific Sessions and complimentary ticket to the CLCD Council Dinner. Two keynote addresses began the session attended by over 500 individuals. These included presentation entitled “Cardiovascular Clinical Investigation at the Crossroads” and “Bench and Translational Research: Bridging the Gap between Promise and Practice”. A moderated panel discussion followed with editors of the AHA journals addressing a range of issues related to advancing one’s career. A “Meet the Mentor” lunch was well attended with one senior leader in cardiology at each table.

The afternoon program included breakout sessions for those interested in “Bench and Translational Science” and “Clinical Investigation/Fellows in Training”. Topics in the former session included “Strategies for Success in Basic Research”, What You Need to Know about Translational Research”, “Genetic Research” and “The Future of Research Funding”. Topics in the breakout session for the clinical investigator included “ Becoming a Successful Cardiovascular Investigator”, “Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes Research”, Interventional Cardiology: The Basics of Building a Successful Career” and “Academic Careers in Cardiology: Strategies for Success”.

These sessions were followed by the Lannaec and Levine Competition with competitive clinical and research presentations by cardiology fellows. Over 200 attendees in each session. A reception and the Council on Clinical Cardiology Dinner followed, with over 400 Council members and guests in attendance. Council Awards given at the dinner included the  Laennec Clinician/Educator Award which was presented to Dr. Renu Virmani. The Laennec Master Clinician Awardee was Dr. William Little. Two Council members were recognized as Distinguished Scientists, Dr. Jay Cohn and Dr. David Harrison. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Ann Bolger. The James B. Herrick Award was awarded to Dr. Elliott Antman who delivered the Herrick Lecture entitled: “Evidence and Education”.

Dr. Ian Nixon also was recognized for his contributions as editor of the two editions of "The AHA Clinical Cardiac Consult Book". The new edition of the book was released at Scientific Sessions in Chicago. The book includes 180 chapters of highly relevant information on cardiovascular disease and stroke. The book was distributed to 240 cardiology fellows who attended the Fellow-in Training/ Early Career Day supported by an educational grant from Council. All 240 fellows in training also became members of the AHA. The Council on Clinical Cardiology is planning on continuing to organize and support the Fellows-In-Training/Early Career Day at future Scientific Sessions.

The Council on Clinical Cardiology was also instrumental in initiating and organizing an American Heart Association Atrial Fibrillation Summit held on Washington, D.C. in June 2010. Over 100 invited attendees participated with broad representation of basic, translational, clinical and population scientists, policy makers from regulatory agencies, nurses, and patients to identify knowledge gaps related to AF. The summit participants developed a series of specific recommendations for research initiatives to address the current knowledge gaps related to atrial fibrillation. A Dr. Estes, Chair of the Council of Clinical Cardiology chaired the writing group which has a manuscript in press with the proceedings of the summit in Circulation.

The Women in Cardiology Committee continues to recruit and mentor female cardiologists with 24 early career cardiologists selected to participate in the mentoring program at AHA Scientific Sessions. The Council has continued to support advocacy efforts of the AHA financial support of $10,000 for survivor travel stipends for Lobby Day. The Council 76 new FAHAs in 2009/2010 including 59 domestic and 17 international members . The Council currently has 1,672 active FAHAs representing 22 percent of council membership. FAHA membership has been has promoted Fellowship in many ways, including the newsletter, website and at the Annual Dinner and Reception, The Committee Chairs have been challenged to ensure every member of every committee is a FAHA.

Looking forward, the Council on Clinical Cardiology will expand it’s efforts to engage Fellows-In-Training and Early Career Members, recruit members to achieve FAHA status, improve intra-council and inter-organizational collaboration, increase productivity of its science committees, and form strategic partnerships with other groups to advance the AHA’s strategic plan. In addition, the Council will proactively participate in content development for AHA’s Scientific Sessions with greater representation to the committee overseeing the AHA’s annual meeting to ensure robust content for the clinical cardiologist at AHA scientific sessions. It is evident based on the accomplishments noted above that membership in the American Heart Association and participation in the Council on Clinical Cardiology provides many superb educational and professional opportunities for all healthcare professionals involved in clinical care, education, or research in clinical cardiology.

Ileana L. Piña, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACC
Chair, Council on Clinical Cardiology

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