ASE’s Olympic Moments

Allan L. Klein, MD, FASE, FRCP (C), FACC, FAHA, and FESC

It seems that I am always sitting on planes writing these President’s Messages. As I was taking off to go to Korea (not the North, better the South), I was inspired by a United Airlines infomercial on the plane about its support of the U.S. Olympic team at the Rio Olympics. What a great Olympics it was, and our ASE Brazilian friends should be very proud of their achievement of hosting the games. Every evening, I was glued to the TV enjoying the competitions. These were my Olympic highlights: watching the two 5000 meter runners (Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand and American Abbey D’Agostino) collide and then help each other across the finish line; the swimming mastery of Michael Phelps who rose from the depths of rehab and DUI’s to be the most decorated Olympic athlete ever; the awesome dominance of Katie Ledecky in the pool; and finally the “out of this world” speed of Usain Bolt beating everybody and enjoying himself in the 100 and 200 meters sprints and 4 × 100 relay. We should also be especially proud of the American women who won more medals than the men including the gymnastics team led by Simone Biles and Ally Raisman. What does the Rio Olympics have to do with the ASE? A lot since ASE has attained many spectacular achievements and so called Olympic moments worthy of medals in the last several years. At this holiday season, I will list my top 10 ASE Olympic Moments that make us proud!

  • 1.

    Volunteering: Let me start with our strong volunteering efforts though the ASE Foundation. We have had many memorable missions helping people less fortunate by imaging their hearts with echo and getting them the needed healthcare in their country. In the last several years, there were missions to Los Angeles, India, Vietnam, Argentina, and this year to the Philippines, China and Kenya. Those who have volunteered on these trips are forever changed. I would like to especially thank this year’s lead volunteers—Cynthia Taub, David Adams, and Mike Foster for their help in organizing trips. Our volunteering efforts are definitely worthy of a medal!!

  • 2.

    Advocacy: Through our strong advocacy committee led by Mike Main, we are “at the table and not on the menu” and involved in the important healthcare decisions that affect CV ultrasound whether at the AMA RUC committee, CMS, or on Capitol Hill. Our efforts are worthy of an Olympic medal in dealing with the issues du jour such as MACRA, MIPS, APMs, bundled payments, episodes of care, as well as dealing with changes to PFS and HOPPS. I should highlight that our CEO Robin Wiegerink was invited to the White House last year as part of ASE’s involvement in advocacy and met President Obama.

  • 3.

    Education: The Scientific Sessions in Seattle were noteworthy for our state-of-the-art live demonstration cases in structural heart disease involving TAVR and Valve in Valve as well as hosting the first ever “shark tank” Echovation summit. Our call out is to Rick Grimm, Debbie Agler, and Hilary Lamb who helped organize this great course. Of course, during this meeting, the Cleveland Cavaliers set NBA history by coming back from a three to one deficit and eventually winning the NBA championship. That in itself is worthy of an Olympic medal (i.e. Kyrie Irving on the Cavaliers did actually get a gold medal for the USA basketball team). I cannot wait for the next Scientific Sessions in Baltimore. Also, we are about to launch a new ASE journal called CASE, which as the title implies is case-based. It will be our first open access journal, and is going for the Gold under Leonardo Rodriguez’s and Karen Zimmerman’s stewardship and Deborah Meyer’s leadership. A medal goes out to Michelle Biering for her commitment as the chair of the Committee on Accreditation for Advance Cardiovascular Sonography. Echo Florida 2016 turned out to be very successful despite Hurricane Matthew’s attempt to rain on Disney World. A medal goes out to Hilary Lamb and Jaclyn Levine who came early and kept the meeting afloat. A special thanks to Debbie Agler, John Gorscan, Linda Gillam, Becky Hahn, and Gerry Aurigemma who made it a triumph despite Matthew’s wrath.

  • 4.

    Guidelines: ASE is known for its excellent guidelines that are disseminated around the world and are being translated into many languages including Chinese and Spanish. During the Rio Olympics, the Diastology guidelines were translated into Portuguese, and many were distributed to this eager population. The top ASE guidelines include LV quantification and cardio-oncology. Recently there have been a number of guidelines on pediatric topics including multimodality imaging in patients with transposition of the great arteries and repaired Tetralogy of Fallot. All these fine documents were organized under the leadership of Federico Asch and Rhonda Price who deserve a medal.

  • 5.

    Research: Our research efforts have been highlighted by the work of Victor Mor-Avi who received a large $200K Olympic-sized grant from the ASE foundation for fusion imaging with CT scanning and echo in CAD. A gold medal when published!! In addition, we supported over 25 young researchers to attend the Scientific Sessions to present their research. There has been a recent JASE publication by Caselli that described different global longitudinal strain and strain rate in Olympic athletes too.

  • 6.

    Membership: Our membership has grown to well over 17,000 members worldwide of which 17% are international with 18 International Alliance Partners. We would like to continue to further expand our reach internationally. In addition, we have simplified our dues structure making it very economical, i.e. $100, for those in Mexico and Canada, and other non U-S-based countries to join. Sign me up for that rate (the Canadian in me)! If we get to 20% international, definitely an Olympic medal.

  • 7.

    Governance: Our governance has changed dramatically in the last year with our board restructuring underway to contract from 29 to 20 members in order to be more nimble and responsive. Sonographers always will have a large part of the governance and are able to apply for the leadership positions on the executive council. We are encouraging a diverse board including representation from international, POC, and young leadership. Neil Weissman and Mary Alice Dilday definitely deserve gold!!

  • 8.

    IRT: Our relationship with our industry partners has grown through our yearly Think Tanks, and we currently have seven partners. We are excited to have our newest partner, Abbott, join us. In November 2016, we had our first ever unique structural heart forum which included our IRT partners, valve companies, and ASE leadership. A medal goes to Steve Lester, Becky Hahn, Steve Little, Andie Piddington and Christina LaFuria for their efforts.

  • 9.

    ASE echo registry: We are developing a new QCDR echo registry which will prepare us for the changes in healthcare down the road. We are currently working with ASNC and FIGmd on this registry. This will take a lot of hard work and is being led by Sherif Nagueh and Sarah Beth Bdoyan. A medal is in sight!!

  • 10.

    Mentorship and Camaraderie: The beauty of this society is that we take care of our own. We are developing a leadership academy to groom future leaders that can serve on our board. In addition, we are encouraging networking and mentoring from our board and Councils to the rising stars at our Scientific Sessions. This is the Miss Hospitality Olympic Medal.

Similar to the Rio Olympics, ASE has many achievements that we all should be proud of. Luckily we have not had any “Ryan Lochte” moments which is a good thing. At this holiday season, I would like to wish that all our members have their Olympic Moments including good health, happiness, and success in the coming year. Now it’s time to start planning and training for the next Winter Olympics in South Korea (not the North).

Allan L Klein, MD, FASE, FRCP (C), FACC, FAHA, and FESC, is the Director of the Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pericardial Disease and Staff Cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

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Apr 17, 2018 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on ASE’s Olympic Moments

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