Securing the Future of Our Field

Sanjiv Kaul, MD, FASE
This is my last written communication to the ASE membership as your president. It is a bittersweet moment; a year can be short and it can be very long! We have accomplished a lot considering these tumultuous times and, as promised, have been very proactive on behalf of our members. In my previous communications I have tried to describe the issues we face and the inner workings of ASE. In this issue I will sum up what I consider to be the five most important milestones we have achieved together over this past year, most of which have been devoted to securing the future of our field.

First, we must be financially secure in order to accomplish our mission. Therefore we have focused our energy and resources on the ASE Foundation (ASEF), our arm for fundraising to support our research, outreach, and educational efforts. We have employed a professional organization to better define the role of ASEF for our membership and our industry partners. We have defined strategies to achieve our goal of becoming self-sufficient and independent of external factors that might influence our ability to accomplish our mission. You will all be hearing from us shortly about a fundraising campaign under the leadership of Thomas Ryan, MD, FASE, past president of ASE and current president of ASEF.

In conjunction with physicists, scientists, and members of ASE we have developed a roadmap for cardiovascular ultrasound research for the next decade; it was published in the April issue of JASE . With this roadmap we have engaged the National Institute of Health to determine mechanisms for funding cardiovascular ultrasound research and training cardiovascular specialists to become the researchers of the future. This is necessary to allow us to continue to be innovative in order to secure the future of the field. Without innovation and creativity, we do not have a future.

We believe that the future growth of ASE will be through addition of international members, and that ASE should set the standards for performance and interpretation of echocardiography worldwide. We therefore created an International Task Force under the leadership of Immediate Past-President Roberto Lang, MD, to determine ways in which we can engage the international community through our expertise in education and standard setting for cardiovascular ultrasound. In this regard we have partnered with many other echocardiography societies from around the world. Our first international summit will be held this summer in Buenos Aires, and 1,500 people are expected to attend. There will be a special session on sonographer training. This summit is being held in cooperation with other echocardiography societies from around the world. It is hoped that we will be able to repeat this meeting every 2 years in a part of the world from which it is difficult for people to travel to the US or Europe for advanced training and education. The language of echocardiography throughout the world should be the same.

We also believe that our future credibility is closely linked to our promulgation of quality and appropriate use of echocardiography. Under the leadership of Past-President Michael Picard, MD, FASE, ASE developed a document on “Quality Echocardiography Laboratory Operations” which we published in JASE in January 2011. In conjunction with the AHA, ACC, and the other cardiovascular imaging societies, we developed the “2011 Appropriate Use Criteria for Echocardiography”, which was published in JASE in March 2011. We believe that ICAEL can use these guidelines for accreditation of echocardiography laboratories based on quality measures. We also envision a future that might tie echo reimbursement for physicians to attainment of training and quality measures such as certification through NBE.

Finally, it is important for ASE to work with other cardiovascular organizations to achieve our common goals. Beginning this year, we and other cardiovascular societies initiated an annual advocacy summit, held at the Heart House in Washington, DC, where all of us discuss advocacy issues of concern to our memberships and develop a common strategy in order to speak with a united voice. In addition, we have started a one-day multi-modality imaging summit with the other three cardiovascular imaging societies that will be appended, on a rotational basis, to our annual scientific sessions. This year it will be held on September 8 in Denver, CO in conjunction with the ASNC annual meeting; in 2012 it will be held in conjunction with our annual meeting in National Harbor, MD (right outside of Washington, DC).

In all endeavors I have received support and advice of other members of the executive committee, some of our past presidents, board members, and a number of you. None of this would be possible without the professional support our wonderful staff, led most ably by Robin Wiegerink. I am confident that your next president, James Thomas, MD, FASE will do a remarkable job and represent your interests in many of the forums in which ASE now participates. I wish all of you the very best in the coming years and I am sure I will see you around!

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Jun 15, 2018 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on Securing the Future of Our Field

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