ACC President William Zoghbi to Focus on Patient-Centered Care

CardioSourceNews had an opportunity to sit down with newly installed ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, to talk about his vision for the College over the next year.

Q. How will your background benefit the College throughout your year as ACC President?

ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC
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I have a diverse background, broad interests, and experiences that I hope will help me further the College's mission of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health. I started my career in cardiovascular imaging and general cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine and have been teaching and practicing cardiology since 1985 at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. I currently direct the Cardiovascular Imaging Institute at the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, a unique Institute that encompasses all imaging modalities for improved education, research, and patient care. Throughout the years, I have been passionate about educating cardiology fellows, practicing physicians and the cardiac care team. Equally exciting to me is clinical research to advance the field for better diagnosis and treatment.

It is my research experiences and relationships with patients that have inspired me to adopt team-based and patient centered care. My service as treasurer of the College together with my long-term interest in health care economics will help me contemplate and discuss solutions as we prepare for health care and payment reform. Lastly, having grown up in Lebanon and having had frequent opportunities to travel nationally and internationally, I value and enjoy connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and interests.

Q. What is your vision for the 2012-2013 presidential year?
It is going to be an exciting year. In addition to the science, education and activities that the ACC is known for, my thematic focus for this year is patient-centered care – a style of care that emphasizes education and involvement of patients in medical decision making; integration of medical care, and application of principles of disease prevention and behavioral change. The patient is indeed at the center of all our activities. I would like to improve patients' access to the best cardiovascular health information and provide new tools for health care providers to strengthen and facilitate their communication with patients in and out of the office and improve outcomes.

Q. What ACC programs and initiatives specifically will help make this year's vision a reality?
ACC provides an incredible resource of programs, initiatives and products to help improve cardiovascular care. Having said that, CardioSmart, the ACC's nationwide health initiative to improve heart health, is one of the primary ways the ACC will be continuing to work over the next year to empower patients and involve them in decisions about their care. The program encourages patient involvement and understanding of cardiovascular disease and impacts of lifestyle choices. This year, is being revamped and will be re-launched in a format that enhances access to practical tools. Our goal is to extend patient education beyond the parameters of the office visit in the hopes of improving understanding, communication and adherence to management strategies.

Q. Where do you see cardiology in 10 years?
The field of Cardiology has evolved at an amazing pace and will likely continue to do so in the next 10 years. I can foresee major advances in genomics and personalized medicine, new pharmacotherapy, the incorporation of new non-invasive imaging techniques for early detection and treatment of patients at risk of cardiac events, newer catheter-based approaches for valvular heart disease and atrial fibrillation, and powerful miniaturized tools at the bedside for better and efficient diagnosis and treatment. Equally exciting to me is the power and potential of digital and wireless technology to educate and connect patients to the health care team for monitoring and optimization of therapy.

However, with all these lofty dreams we have to be cognizant of a looming threat that may erode into our medical advances—the obesity epidemic. We have to work to lessen this epidemic if we aim for a long and quality life without the burden of chronic and expensive treatments. I predict that a decade from now, we will be on the cusp of toppling heart disease from its position as the number one cause of death worldwide. I envision an exciting and promising 2022 in the world of cardiovascular care, but it will take a team!

For more on Zoghbi's vision, check out the following:

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