61st Annual Convocation Welcomes New Fellows, Associates and a New President

The American College of Cardiology's (ACC's) 61st Annual Convocation welcomed more than 250 new Fellows and more than 20 new Associates on the last night of ACC.12 in Chicago. The newest additions to the ACC family were escorted into the ACC.12 Main Tent wearing the traditional red robes by ACC Secretary and Board of Governors Chair Thad Waites, MD.

ACC President David Holmes, Jr., presided over the event, which not only swore in the newest FACC and AACC members, but honored the 2012 recipients of the ACC Distinguished Awards, ISCTR/ACCF CV Translational Research Scholarship, the Parmley Award, ACC Foundation (ACCF) Merck Research Fellowships, ACCF/GE Healthcare Career Development Awards, the ACCF/William F. Keating, Esq. Endowment Award, Young Author Achievement Awards for JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions and JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging and the ACCF Young Investigator Awards.

As is tradition, Holmes provided a keynote address that reflected on his past year as president and offered advice for the future. He started off his speech by testing the audience's familiarity with the Greek words: Ye, iaeras, nero, fotia and aether. "They are what you need on this journey we call life," he said. He also reflected back on the same time last year when he called on new fellows not to lose sight of the importance of "family," and to "dream wildly with your eyes open and make your dreams come true."

"This year, he said, "what do I want for you? What would l like to give you? … I want you to have fire, or fotia, – to carry it with you, to instill it in you. I hope that each of you allow this fire to overwhelm you, fire to learn, fire to reach out, fire to teach, fire to care, fire to make a difference in the lives of your families, your friends and your patients. I hope that each of you finds that fire and makes it grow wildly."

The evening also brought with it the installation of William Zoghbi, as the new ACC president. Zoghbi, a leader in the field of cardiovascular imaging and echocardiography, is the William L. Winters endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Imaging at The Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center and director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Institute at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

During his acceptance address, Zoghbi told new Fellows and AACC's that they are being inducted at a time when the field of Cardiology is exciting, yet challenging. "Our capacity to diagnose and treat heart disease has never been greater. Yet, the sobering fact is that heart and vascular disease remain the leading cause of death around the globe," he said. "Equally sobering," he added, "the current American health care system is not sustainable.

As a result of these factors, Zogbhi said the thematic focus of his presidential year will be patient-centered care, a style of care that emphasizes educating and involving patients in medical decision making; integrating medical care, and applying principles of disease prevention and behavioral change.

He urged attendees to be advocates for health, not just for medicine; to be committed, but adaptable; to get involved and be an advocate for patients; to be collaborative and stretch boundaries; and be educators and mentors.

"This is a time of transformation: new stages in our careers, new challenges in our practices," Zoghbi said. "Our task is to envision better possibilities and turn them into reality. Whatever comes to fruition over the next 12 months and beyond, will be a credit to the longstanding and often unrecognized labor of many individuals, many of whom are here tonight."

Read more on Zoghbi's vision in the ACC in Touch Blog.

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