ACC Transforms Governance Model to Better Serve Members, Meet Mission

In order to more effectively address the growing and changing needs of the more than 52,000 ACC members around the globe, the College’s Board of Trustees (BOT) recently approved changes to its overarching governance process and structures. The changes, which will be phased in between now and 2018, aim to make the College more nimble, strategic, accountable, and more reflective of the diversity and breadth within the global cardiovascular community.

“Our governance structure was last examined decades ago when the College – and the world of health care – was a very different place,” says Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC. “Since then the health care environment has undergone profound changes, as has the size, mission and scope of the College itself.”

Following the launch of its Strategic Plan in 2013, the BOT made it a priority to review its governance and decision-making structures and processes. The resulting changes, which include a phased-in reduction in the number of BOT members from 31 to 11 between now and 2018, are based on key principles for optimal governance that center on the concepts of centralized authority and decentralized decision-making. Other changes include the creation of six Board standing committees; a reduction in BOT officers to president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer; and leadership recommendations made by a newly formed Nominating Committee.

According to Athena Poppas, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Governance Committee, the new processes and structure were born out of two years of thoughtful discussion around the College’s diverse needs. She also notes that the changes ensure College leaders remain strategic and focused on the mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, while also opening doors for a greater number of members to be involved in programmatic strategy at the committee level. “This is a great opportunity for Fellows in Training, Early Career professionals and our Cardiovascular Team members to get involved with the ACC,” she says.

Large-scale transformation will take time. While many changes will start taking place this year, there are still supporting details that need to be worked out over the next two years. “We want to get this right,” says Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, president of the ACC. “We will course correct as necessary as we navigate these changes, and it is important that we listen to member feedback to ensure these changes are implemented in a manner that meets the needs of members and positions the College for success in the changing health care environment.”

More information on the College’s governance changes is available at

Keywords: ACC Publications, ACC Annual Scientific Session, Craniofacial Abnormalities, Hand Deformities, Hearing Loss, Sensorineural, Leadership, Nails, Malformed, Trustees

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