One of ASE’s primary missions is to advance cardiovascular patient care throughout the world. The 2 nd World Summit on Echocardiography, held October 25–27 in New Delhi, India, was a smashing success in achieving this aim. The World Summit is a unique event—a bi-annual educational collaboration by a consortium of echocardiography societies, consisting of the American Society of Echocardiography, European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI), Indian Academy of Echocardiography (IAE), Japanese Society of Echocardiography (JSE), Korean Society of Echocardiography (KSE), Chinese Society of Echocardiography (CSE), Echocardiography Association of the Interamerican Cardiology Society (ECOSIAC), and Canadian Society of Echocardiography (CSE). It was ASE’s honor to take the organizational lead for the 2 nd World Summit.
More than 900 healthcare professionals registered for the Summit in India. Most were from India, as was the intent, but echocardiographers from 34 other countries around the world also took advantage of this unique educational opportunity. This merging of cultures, different practice paradigms, and languages was one of the highlights of the event. During the breaks, you could hear Italian, French, Hindi, Spanish, and English all being spoken by attendees.
The faculty was stellar, consisting of the best and brightest speakers from the eight collaborating societies. No less than six ASE Past Presidents presented at this three-day meeting—Roberto Lang, Bijoy Khandheria, Patricia Pellikka, James Thomas, Sanjiv Kaul, and Linda Gillam (who attended on behalf of the National Board of Echocardiography, an exhibitor at the event). ASE enthusiastically promotes the sonographer as an important member of the echo team, and Ken Horton, a member of ASE’s Executive Committee, presented sonographers’ perspectives at the meeting. A faculty of 73 distinguished echocardiographers was financially possible because all speakers agreed to travel to India to present without honoraria or travel support from the meeting. Some of the societies provided limited travel support to their faculty representatives, as did ASE, but many speakers traveled at their own expense for the honor of being a part of the event.
However, it was the provocative, educational, and entertaining program that gave these speakers the opportunity to shine. Dr. Partho P. Sengupta, 2 nd World Summit International Chair, and Dr. Jagdish C. Mohan, 2 nd World Summit Program Chair, devoted two years to the development of this program, which also had huge industry support—29 different companies were represented! These companies provided the necessary financial support, as well as showcasing traditional and non-traditional innovations in echocardiography. Dr. Sengupta reached out to the future of echo, while Dr. Mohan called upon the traditions of India; and the result was a pleasing blend of new technology and Indian tradition. The opening ceremony was broadcast live on a Google+ hangout and included a “lighting of the lamp” by the world leaders—a blend of old and new that was truly representative of this meeting.
ASE representatives at the meeting reported that India was a superb host for this event—hospitable, vibrant, a treat for the senses. The meeting proved to be a fascinating collaboration between societies, cultures, industry/users, and fellows/experts. The educational experience at this World Summit spilled out of the lecture halls into lively tea breaks, the exhibit hall, and social events. One speaker at the peak of his career described how he struggles to find new information at the numerous meetings he attends. However, at this World Summit, he found himself engaged, “taking copious notes and asking Roberto Lang too many questions!”
ASE is excited to welcome over 40 new India-based members to our community as a direct result of this meeting. We plan to continue our outreach to India and welcome all our international colleagues to join and be active in our Society. Our online ASEUniversity, JASE , and Connect@ASE forum are three easy ways for our international members to stay connected and benefit from membership in ASE.
Looking back, the 1 st World Summit on Echocardiography was held July 28–30, 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over 1,200 South Americans attended the 1 st Summit. Visionaries for the 1 st World Summit were Roberto M. Lang, MD, FASE (ASE), Jose Luis Zamorano, MD, FESC, FASE (EACVI), and Jorge Lowenstein, MD, FASE (ECOSIAC). The established purpose of the World Summit on Echocardiography is to provide training in parts of the world where that training will make a real difference to patients and their physicians.
Looking forward, ASE’s World Summit primary partner—EACVI—has agreed to take the organizational lead for the 3 rd World Summit in Beijing, China in September 2015. By alternating the leadership role for this important event, ASE and EACVI have ensured that the World Summit will continue to flourish. Mark your calendar and make plans to join this next World Summit!