March 24, 2017

Let a Genie Help Us with ACC Member "Wants and Needs" for 2017

As I suspect many of you can also relate, the aftermath of ACC.17 left me with mixed emotions. We experienced the highs and lows of political challenge and resolution, the arousal and excitement of new clinical findings at the late-breaking clinical trials, and the joy and pleasure of seeing both old and new friends. Personally, it was bittersweet to see Rick Chazal, MD, MACC – one of my mentors – lay down the gavel after a year that seemed to flash like lightning, and also to witness the ascension of a wonderful new friend, Minnow Walsh, MD, FACC, to the presidency of the College. She will be tremendous! So what lies ahead?

First, as you probably know we are finishing the last two years of ACC's current five-year Strategic Plan (think multi-colored pyramid), and planning for the next Strategic Plan is already underway to run from 2019 to 2023. Unlike during the development of the last plan, there will not be a Strategic Plan Task Force. Instead, the plan will be developed by the Board of Trustees (BOT) working in close concert with the College's standing committees and the major operating committees.

As one of those major operating committees, we – the BOG – will be a vital part of the process of formulating the new Strategic Plan. The research and analysis for the plan, beginning this quarter, will include the gathering of members' wants and needs and the synthesis of these into strategic issues the College should address. I hope that each of us will think independently about the strategic issues relevant to the members that we represent and use the BOG Update and the listserv to constructively contribute to that end (or as called upon by me to opine.) Indeed, this should be in keeping with engaging and capturing members' input from the entire cardiovascular team, including a wide diversity of cardiologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, technologists and pharmacists, and others that comprise our ever-expanding organization to provide the best patient care.

To put it in a more creative light, I am going to ask every contributor to the BOG Update a simple question:

If you could have an ACC genie come out of a bottle to make one wish come true (remember it's an ACC genie so only wishes within the purview of the ACC can be granted) what would you wish to see happen in keeping with our mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health?

Throughout this process and throughout the year, let us be mindful of the 3Rs (not the grammar school reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic, but rather that all endeavors must be Relevant, Rewarding and Respectful). So with your response, please provide a constructive plan along with any suggestions for improvement. Additionally, try to enjoy the process along the way. I do think that as a professional society we are uniquely positioned – because of our chapter system and the strength of our governors – to have the best bidirectional communication for all. As a glass "three-quarters full" guy, I believe ACC.17 showed that this process is alive and growing within the ACC. So again, in case you were dozing, or chose to scroll down to this part, my recurring question to ask for the BOG Update for 2017 is to:

Please reflect on the wants and needs of the Members and to respond in a constructive and respectful manner. Think about the genie.

As far as my own role, I have several additional goals for the year. Having grown up in the STEMI mine field, I hope that every state can register a report on their statewide regional STEMI program or at least describe the larger programs and send those to both ACC staff and me to be placed in the State of the States reports at year's end. Shortly, I plan to send out a survey to see where we all are in this process and what we might learn from each other's programs. Although we lead the world in STEMI care, it became clear in talking to leaders in the field at ACC.17 that this fairly easy to obtain information has not been registered to date – with the exception of only a handful of states. I believe that having this compendium would send a powerful message to the house of medicine as well as to Capitol Hill about our organizational development and concern for one of the most important population health matters.

Additionally, public reporting of outcomes has always been a sticky wicket, and I hope that we as a BOG can promote clarity throughout this year (again, perhaps with the help of a survey). Furthermore, at this point as I jump to the front seat, I have witnessed the buzz with the arrival of the American Health Care Act, and more acutely with the faint possibility of tort reform, so we may choose to spend some time with this discussion at the Legislative Conference in the fall or the Leadership Forum in early 2018.

Finally, I would be greatly remiss if I did not acknowledge the excellent performance, mentoring, and hard work of my immediate predecessors Michael Mansour, Bob Shor and Allen Seals without whose encouragement I would have bolted long ago. In their spirit we will not forget the "M & Ms" (MOC and MACRA), nor any of the other wonderful helpful programs they started for the members that is their legacy. I pledge to have continuing updates at the big meetings, if not on an occurrence basis in between on all of these topics. Thanks once again for allowing me to serve you and feel free to e-mail or cell/text at any time.

Get in touch with BOG Chair Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC via email at or call/text him at 704-564-8044.

This week's BOG Update is brought to you by BOG Chair Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC and is his first addressing the Governors in his new role.