Feature | ACC International Conferences Focus on Localized Education, Building New Leaders, Fostering Innovation

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Bringing region-specific cardiovascular education and science to Latin America, Asia and the Middle East was the goal behind ACC's International Conferences that took place throughout the fall. In addition, each conference featured unique opportunities to showcase localized research, highlight health care innovation and build new leaders.

"In recent decades we've made huge advancements in the prevention and treatment of heart disease that have led to a steady decline in mortality across the globe," says Aaron D. Kugelmass, MD, FACC, co-chair of the ACC Asia Conference. "However, heart disease remains the number one killer in the world, and the strategies to enhance prevention, evaluation and treatment will be different everywhere. The International Conferences aim to provide a comprehensive review of evidence-based practices and exposure to state-of-the-art updates that clinicians can take home and apply to their communities."

The Middle East Conference took place in Jeddah in October in partnership with the Saudi Heart Association. ACC Past President William Zoghbi, MD, MACC, and ACC Saudi Arabia Chapter Governor Mohammed Balghith, MB CHB, FACC, served as co-chairs of the conference, which brought together top experts to review and discuss new, relevant cardiovascular science in important areas like prevention, heart failure and arrhythmias.

"The cardiovascular community shares a commitment to transforming cardiovascular care around the world, but each country and region has different needs," Zoghbi says. "The ACC Middle East Conference featured global and local experts empowering attendees to transform care in their community."

Abstracts presented at the meeting addressed topics ranging from the seasonal variation of acute coronary syndrome in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to urbanization of Indian women and cardiovascular risk. New this year, attendees had the opportunity to participate in the first-ever ACC Women in Cardiology event at an ACC International Conference.

The novel event brought women from across the region together for a speed-mentoring session on topics like careers in interventional cardiology, how to develop a women's heart program/center, and how to achieve work-life balance. Also new, the College debuted its global train-the-trainer program focusing on dyslipidemia as part of the conference.

Sponsored by Amgen, the dyslipidemia train-the-trainer program is a comprehensive initiative for improving care for the dyslipidemia patient in four key countries in the Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.

Coronary artery disease, valvular disease and heart failure were key clinical focuses of the ACC Latin America Conference in partnership with the Peruvian Society of Cardiology in November. The conference, held in Lima, Peru, was co-chaired by Hector Michelena, MD, FACC, and José Manuel Sosa Rosado, MD, FACC.

"Achieving the ACC's mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health around the world requires that we recognize different regions have different needs," Michelena says. "The ACC Latin America Conference was crafted by global and local experts so cardiovascular care team professionals from around the region can take what they learned home and use it to transform their communities. We come to inspire and be inspired."

Among the highlights of the conference: a special address by Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, examining strategies to move away from evaluating and managing heart disease to prevention of heart disease.

In addition, abstracts addressing topics such as whether static and dynamic physical activity are cardioprotective throughout adulthood; best practices for structuring a cardiovascular surgical program in the Caribbean; and first-hand experience with transcatheter aortic valve implantation at a Latin-American Center, were presented throughout the event.

The 2018 International Conference circuit closed on a high note with the ACC Asia Conference in Shanghai in collaboration with the China Cardiovascular Association and China Heart House. Co-chaired by Kugelmass, Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC; and Ge Junbo, MD, PhD, FACC, the conference focused on many of the same topics highlighted in Latin America and the Middle East, as well as how best to encourage and grow cardiovascular leaders.

Local abstracts addressed topics ranging from the clinical profile of recurrent myocardial infarction in the young to long-term cardiovascular outcomes after PCI in patients with acute coronary syndrome and lung cancer.

A unique highlight from the Asia Conference was the Innovation Pitch Challenge, part of ACC's ongoing efforts to promote engagement of cardiovascular clinicians in health care innovation and entrepreneurship. Sponsored by 1M Data, the challenge featured five finalists (Biofourmis, Bosomeer Biotech Ltd., Kenzen, Shanghai Maigan Tech Co. Ltd., and Suzhou Acmedcare Medical Technology Co., Ltd.), presenting their ideas before a panel of judges. Look for a profile of the challenge winner in next month's Cardiology.

Planning is already underway for 2019. Stay tuned to ACC.org/International for locations and dates to be announced soon.

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Coronary Artery Disease, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Cardiovascular Diseases, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, Mentors, Power, Psychological, Work-Life Balance, Risk Factors, Goals, Biphenyl Compounds, Benzimidazoles, Heart Failure, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Dyslipidemias, Tetrazoles, Exercise, Lung Neoplasms, Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Biotechnology

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