Silver Anniversary Scientific Sessions Sparkled for Sonographers

Todd Belcik, BS, RCS, RDCS, FASE

“The 25th Annual ASE Scientific Sessions were a tremendous success. We extend a special thanks to Todd Belcik for serving as the sonographer co-chair of this year’s sessions and for providing this summary of the meeting. If you were not able to attend, remember that access to the many of the lectures is available at —Elizabeth McIlwain, Council Chair

The silver anniversary of the ASE Scientific Sessions integrated more science while maintaining the clinical focus and cutting edge of echocardiography, and attendees, many of whom had not visited Portland before, were abuzz about the city’s cultural and social opportunities. Congratulates to the program committee, who did an outstanding job of balancing clinical, research, physics, and the basics into one of the best sessions in many years.

The meeting, held in Portland, Oregon for the first time in its history, was very well attended by 2,400 attendees who seemed to really enjoy the choices of food, beverage, and accommodations. For those who had never taken mass transit, riding the Max train to and from the conference center was like being a kid at an amusement park riding a roller coaster for the first time. Many were thankful to sit back and enjoy the 10 minute ride across the Willamette River. To top it off, we were blessed with beautiful weather, so attendees could view Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens on several days.

Mornings began with “case-based learning” sessions focused on the role of clinical echocardiography in valvular heart disease, pericardial disease, critically-ill patients, left ventricular assist devices, stress echocardiography, aortic disease, and heart failure. The days were packed with informative, varying sessions arranged to minimized content overlap and maximize choices.

We were pleased to have two distinguished guest speakers: Albert Starr, MD, co-inventor of the first mechanical heart valve implanted over 50 years ago, and Senator Ron Wyden, the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Finance. Dr. Starr gave a wonderful talk on the lessons learned from the past in cardiovascular technology, and Senator Wyden spoke to a large audience about current and future issues in healthcare.

Finally, Echo Jeopardy returned, with teams vying for the coveted title while entertaining a full house crowd.

Award Recipients

At the ASE Foundation’s 5 th Annual Research Awards Gala, over 300 attendees present to honored their colleagues as they received their awards during a dinner held at The Nines in downtown Portland.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Nelson Schiller, MD (University of California -San Francisco) for his dedication and achievements at the local, national, and international level over the last 25 years. The Meritorious Service Award was awarded to Thomas Ryan, MD, FASE, MBA (Ohio State University Heart and VascularCenter), who has dedicated himself to the ASE in numerous capacities. The 14 th Annual Richard Popp Excellence in Teaching Award went to Mikel D. Smith, MD, FASE (University of Kentucky Medical Center Gill Heart Institute), nominated by his peers for his excellence in teaching and mentoring. S. Michelle Bierig, MPH, RDCS, RCS, RDMS, CPHQ, FASE (Lee Memorial Health System) received the Cardiovascular Sonographer Distinguished Teacher Award. Michelle has been dedicated to teaching young sonographers, fellows and others throughout her career. Tal Geva, MD, FASE (Boston Children’s Hospital) received the Excellence in Teaching in Pediatrics Award, and Daniel M. Thys, MD (St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University) was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Echocardiography Award.

The 15 th Annual Feigenbaum Lecture was presented by Luc Mertens, MD, PhD, FASE (Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada) and focused on the cardiac adaptations of childhood disease and implications for adult life, while the 25 th Annual Edler Lecture, titled “Echocardiography in an Era of Multimodality Imaging,” was given by ASE Past-President Patricia Pellikka, MD, FASE (Mayo Clinic). The 2014 Arthur E Weyman Young Investigator’s Award was won by Chi Young Shim, MD, PhD (Oregon Health & Science University) for her presentation on “Platelet Attachment to Vascular Endothelium Occurs in Both Early and Late-State Atherosclerosis Secondary to Dysregulation of Von Willebrand Factor: Evaluation by Contrast Ultrasound Molecular Imaging” and the Sonographer Investigator’s Award Competition was won by Leah M. Wright, BsC , (Menzies Research Institute, University Tasmania, Hobart, Australia) for her research on “Right Ventricular Free Wall Strain can Discriminate Acute Pressure Overload from Chronic Conditions.”

Several scholarships and travel grants were awarded to students and sonographers based upon need and intellectual merit.

UltraEcho, Ltd. Cardiovascular Sonographer Student Travel Grant:

  • Donna Ly, Alvin Community College, Alvin, TX

Feigenbaum Cardiovascular Sonographer Student Travel Grant:

  • Michelle Garza, LSU Health Science Center, New Orleans, LA

Alan D Waggoner Student Scholarship Award:

  • Brittney Blicharz, Hoffman Heart & Vascular School of Cardiac Ultrasound, Hartford, CT

  • Jerrid Brabender, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

  • Alicia Brooks, South Hills Business & Technology, State College, PA

  • Bryan Dake, Bellevue College Diagnostic Ultrasound, Bellevue, WA

  • Yanfeng Ding, Sanford Brown College, Dallas, TX

  • Sean Hackett, John Hopkins Hospital School of Diagnostic Sonography, Baltimore, MD

  • Delanie Sapelli, Hoffman Heart & Vascular School of Cardiac Ultrasound, Hartford, CT

  • Nicole Soellner, John Hopkins Hospital School of Diagnostic Sonography, Baltimore, MD

  • McKenzie Watzka, Mayo Clinic, Cardiac DMS, Rochester, MN

  • Adam Wood, South Hills Business & Technology, State College, PA

Council on Cardiovascular Sonography Travel Grant:

  • Colleen Gorczyca, RDCS University Hospital Case Medical Center Cleveland, OH

  • Kacy Sisco, RDCS Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Pittsburgh, PA

Networking and social events such as the President’s and the Welcome Receptions and the Willamette Valley Society (WVSE) of Echocardiography’s “Taste of Portland” allowed attendees to mingle and unwind after a long day. The WVSE raised nearly $10,000 for the ASE Foundation to support additional future scholarships and travel grants. Hopefully, this fundraising event will continue in Boston, when the 2015 Scientific Sessions are held June 13–16 at the Hynes Convention Center. As always, if you have suggestions or comments please post on or contact the ASE staff. We are continuously seeking to improve the content of the sessions. Again, big kudos to the program committee for making the Silver Anniversary of the ASE such a success!

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May 31, 2018 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on Silver Anniversary Scientific Sessions Sparkled for Sonographers

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