As I complete my term as chair of the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council, I wanted to highlight many of the activities of our council over the past two years. However, I first want to express my thanks to Leo Lopez, MD, FASE and Cathy Kerr for the wonderful jobs that they have done with our council. Leo will succeed me as chair and will provide amazing leadership and vision for us, and Cathy will continue to be instrumental as our council’s liaison within ASE. I would also like to express my gratitude to Wyman Lai, MD, MPH, FASE for his many years of excellent leadership, most recently as past chair of our council. Wyman will continue his role as a strong advocate for our council on the ASE Board.
Joining our council in June will be several new council members. Meryl Cohen, MD, FASE has been selected as the chair-elect of our council and Carrie Altman, MD, FASE will serve as the Scientific Sessions co-chair for the 2014 meeting in Portland and will become the program chair for the pediatric sessions in Boston in 2015. Newly elected board members at large include Greg Ensing, MD, FASE from the University of Michigan; John Kovalchin, MD, FASE from Nationwide Childrens Hospital; and Becky Lindquist RDCS from Mayo Clinic. I would like to sincerely thank our council members who will be completing their terms this summer, including Piers Barker, MD, FASE, Mark Friedberg, MD, FASE, Luc Mertens, MD, PhD, FASE, and Joe Kreeger RDCS, RCCS, FASE.
I am looking forward to the ASE Scientific Sessions in June in Minneapolis and would like to congratulate our Pediatric Program Chair Luc Mertens and his Co-chair Andy Powell for organizing a tremendous and comprehensive program that will be both educational and entertaining. Special recognition is also very well deserved for this years Founders Award recipient, Jack Rychik, MD, FASE, for his truly remarkable contributions to the fields of echocardiography and perinatal cardiology over his continued distinguished career in pediatric cardiology.
I would also like to take the opportunity to highlight many of the recent important initiatives in our council. The Pediatric Z-Score Database Project, headed by Leo Lopez, Wyman Lai, Steve Colan and LuAnn Minich, aims to prospectively establish a database of common two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler echocardiographic measurements. Recently funded by the Pediatric Heart Network, this study will be performed in a normal population of children from multiple geographic areas and ethnicities. We believe that this project is foundational to ongoing research efforts in the field of pediatric cardiology both nationally and internationally. Our council has also been active in addressing and promoting quality in congenital echocardiography. Recent expert consensus statements from our council including the performance, interpretation, and training requirements of the neonatal echocardiogram in the intensive care setting and the quantification of ventricular performance in congenital heart disease have helped to establish and advance the quality benchmark in these areas.
Additional documents are under consideration to address optimal imaging standards and examination performance in other pediatric subspecialty areas with congenital and acquired heart disease. We have also been active in defining important quality initiatives with other societies, including the American College of Cardiology and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Echocardiography. In addition, our council, in concert with other societies, is playing an active role in the development of appropriate use criteria in echocardiography for the pediatric population.
The organization and productivity of the pediatric echocardiography laboratory is also an important area of interest within our field. Spearheaded by Wyman Lai, Vivek Alllada, Shubhika Srivastava, Peter Frommelt, and Meryl Cohen, this survey addresses many of the important areas of the echo lab including procedure types and volumes, sonographer and physician productivity, and factors that impact these volumes and productivity. Finally, the introduction and development of novel imaging modalities are keys to improving the diagnosis and management of patients with congenital and acquired heart disease. Three-dimensional echocardiography and deformational imaging in addition to cardiac magnetic resonance are just three examples of emerging technologies that will play an ever increasing role in our clinical management and research efforts. Our council continues to be proactive in developing standards for training and use of multimodality imaging in our patient cohort as well as fostering research efforts with these cutting edge technologies. These and other initiatives within our council are exceedingly important as we move forward clinically and academically within our field.
Again, thank you sincerely for the opportunity to chair your council within ASE. I anticipate that there is a very productive time ahead for our Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council. Most importantly, there are many ways for you to get involved within our council and ASE. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you would like to participate in any of the educational, clinical, or research activities within ASE. We look forward to your continued active input and ideas as we move forward.