Convocation Welcomes New Leaders, FACCs, AACCs; Recognizes Award Winners

After three days of expanding knowledge, reaching new heights, rising to challenges and stretching limits, ACC.17 closed with the time-honored tradition of Convocation.

Presided over by outgoing ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, the Convocation Ceremony ushered in 225 new ACC Fellows and nearly 20 new Associates. In addition, the evening recognized recipients of ACC's Distinguished Awards, as well as recipients of ACC/Merck Research Fellowships, the ACC/William F. Keating, Esq. Endowment Career Development Award, ACC Presidential Career Development Award, the William W. Parmley Young Author Awards for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), the Young Author Achievement Awards for JACC Journals, and the ACC Young Investigator Awards.

"Convocation is a time to recognize outstanding leaders in the cardiovascular field — both new and old," said Chazal. "Congratulations to all of the new Fellows and Associates who have chosen to dedicate their lives to transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health. These men and women are the future of our profession and of the College."

During his presidential remarks, Chazal noted how his predecessors warned that their presidential years went by quickly. "The year is a whirlwind," he said. "It's also an opportunity to learn so much from a great number of leaders, clinicians and thinkers — many of whom are in this room tonight. Having the privilege of being President of the College has been the opportunity of a lifetime. And leading it during this period of profound change has been an honor and privilege."

Chazal talked about the progress made towards achieving the goals and priorities of ACC's strategic plan, particularly in the areas of maintenance of certification, implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, ACC governance changes and the increasing integration of physicians and the care team with hospitals and systems.

"The progress that we have made in these and other areas of our Strategic Plan is due to the commitment of ACC members and leaders to do what is best for patient care," said Chazal. "Our value is in our mission statement, which is ultimately all about the patient. Collaboration with each other, as well as with our counterparts in the U.S. and around the world is key to our success."

The evening also marked the official installation of new ACC leaders, including ACC's new president, Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. Walsh, ACC's third female president, is medical director of the heart failure and cardiac transplantation programs and director of nuclear cardiology at St. Vincent Heart Center in Indianapolis, IN, and is also program director of the St. Vincent Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Fellowship.

"Convocation offers an opportunity to acknowledge and thank those who are moving our profession forward, as well as recognize those who have helped us reach where we are today," said Walsh, who focused on the importance of teamwork in her Convocation remarks.

"The delivery of cardiovascular care to our patients is becoming increasingly more complex every day," said Walsh. "In my own field of advanced heart failure and transplantation, new treatment options and technologies and methods of care are advancing so rapidly that no one physician, surgeon or clinician can successfully care for our patients alone. It takes a team."

Walsh called on new Fellows and Associates to volunteer with the College and speak up. She also urged them to get to know their colleagues and team members at their hospital, in their practice and/or at the College.

"Be a highly-functioning team. Do what you do best. Expect your teammates to do the same," she said. "Our team will be better for your participation and involvement."

Keywords: ACC17, ACC Annual Scientific Session

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