Heart Month and the ASE Foundation

Neil J. Weissman, MD, FASE

Did you know…

  • About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

  • Every year about 720,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 515,000 are a first heart attack, and 205,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

  • Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.

  • February is Heart Month and a great opportunity to understand how the ASE Foundation is working to improve heart health across the globe.

How much do you know about the ASE Foundation? As the overall ASE organization strives to provide education, collaboration, quality, advocacy, and service to its members, the ASE Foundation focuses on promoting health improvement through research and free quality cardiac care to patients around the world. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of ASE and represents the expansive field in which echocardiography is applied. It focuses on “filling the gap” of unmet needs in our field that are directly connected with improving heart health for our community.

The ASE Foundation has participated in several humanitarian events that serve to provide low-income and at-risk patients with modern-day cardiac care. This year, the ASE Foundation has led two successful humanitarian events. The first event, the ASEF VALUES Program ( www.asefoundation.org/asef-values ), occurred in Bangalore, India where ASE Foundation volunteers, led by Drs. Partho Sengupta and David Adams, assessed and treated hundreds of underserved patients with rheumatic heart disease. The second event, Care Harbor Clinic LA ( www.asefoundation.org/care-harbor ), occurred in Los Angeles, California. While most of our prior humanitarian missions have been overseas, we felt it was also important to help those at home. Dozens of ASE Foundation volunteers, led by Dr. Tracy Lawrence and Peg Knoll, provided invaluable and high quality cardiac care to low-income and at-risk patients in the Los Angeles area. In both of these outreach activities, serious life threatening symptoms were detected on many patients, and they were provided onsite help and put into an appropriate system for follow-up care. In addition, these activities provided educational training to healthcare providers that will live on in these communities after the initial outreach has ended. Thank you for making events like these possible; it is with your help that the Foundation can provide contemporary, quality care to those that need it most.

ASE volunteers donated their time and resources to assist patients in need through the Care Harbor Clinic LA and the ASEF VALUES Program; however, the ASE Foundation is committed not only to helping patients that need assistance, but is also steadfast in its resolve to ensure that young professionals are provided with scholarships and grants. On a yearly basis, students and fellows with limited resources for attending conferences are given travel grants so they can attend the ASE Annual Scientific Sessions. Without the help from the ASE Foundation, many young professionals would not be exposed to the latest break-through technology and unable to spend invaluable time with mentors and colleagues at the Annual Scientific Sessions. These experiences provide our future echo professionals with greater knowledge about their occupation that further strengthens the field of echocardiography. This year, in line with past application trends, we received a large number of qualified submissions, and the need is growing as institutions all over the world are cutting travel funding. To see examples of the students that received past support and their stories, visit the ASE Foundation’s website ( www.asefoundation.org/why-donate/sonographer-and-career-development-grants/ ).

Along with these initiatives, the Foundation also provides qualified researchers with grants, provides laboratories with guidelines that increase the quality and standardization of patient care, and offers international sonographers with training opportunities. In September the ASE Foundation awarded a grant to Dr. Victor Mor-Avi and his team from the University of Chicago to study Echocardiographic Evaluation of Hemodynamic Significance of Coronary Stenosis in Patients with Chest Pain Undergoing CT Angiography . Each of these undertakings fits into the greater mission of both ASE and the ASE Foundation: to ensure echocardiography professionals are given opportunities that hone their skills, advance the field of cardiovascular ultrasound, and provide patients with quality cardiac care.

Although the statistics I presented earlier in the article are bleak, I hope that you take time during Heart Month 2015 to consider how the Foundation works diligently to provide echo professionals with the tools to successfully combat cardiac afflictions of all types. As you consider the Foundation’s endeavor to provide quality cardiac care around the globe, I would like to remind you that all of the Foundation’s income comes directly from charitable donations and is not supported by ASE member dues. With this in mind, please consider making a donation ( www.asefoundation.org/donate ) to the ASE Foundation today and help us make a world of difference for echo and those affected by heart disease.

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Apr 21, 2018 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on Heart Month and the ASE Foundation

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