Pulse of ACC | Remembering William Nelligan; Actionable Insights to Improve Well-being; More

Remembering William Nelligan; Actionable Insights to Improve Well-being; More.

In Memoriam: William D. Nelligan III, CAE, FACC

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William D. Nelligan, III, CAE, FACC, passed away on July 23 in Rockville, MD. Nelligan, who served as ACC executive director/CEO for 27 years, would have been 93 in August. He is survived by his wife Dorothy Nelligan.

Nelligan joined the ACC as executive director in 1965, succeeding Philip Reichert, MD. During his more than two decades at the College, he played pivotal roles in ACC's move from New York to Washington, DC, and led the creation and expansion of ACC's former Heart House in Bethesda, MD. He is also credited for guiding the overall growth of the College and its education, science, advocacy and membership offerings


When asked several years ago for his thoughts on ACC's biggest accomplishments over its history, Nelligan cited "the realization that the ACC needed to establish a world-recognized continuing education center where ACC members and others could assemble and learn and discuss research and clinical advances in the cardiovascular field."

Nelligan's contributions towards this vision and making it a reality are unparalleled. In a tribute to Nelligan on his 25th anniversary with the College, then President William L. Winters Jr., MD, MACC, noted how the College had grown from a "budding organization" of roughly 2,000 members, four administrative staff and an annual budget of $80,000 to 18,000 members, a much bigger annual budget, and approximately 100 staff under his leadership.

"In word and deed [Nelligan] has elevated himself and the College to a lofty level in the worldwide cardiovascular community," Winters said.

Nelligan was awarded the ACC Presidential Citation in 1975 and was recognized for the "breadth of services to his fellow men, his profession and his friends and colleagues," with ACC's Distinguished Service Award in 1986. He retired from the ACC in 1992.

"Bill Nelligan greatly valued both the members and the mission of the ACC, and in so many ways contributed to the very foundation on which the College continues to build for the future," said ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC. "He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will continue to live on as we push toward achieving a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes."

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Case Studies Offer Actionable Insights to Improve Clinician Well-Being

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Clinicians of all kinds, across all specialties and care settings, are experiencing alarming rates of burnout. New case studies from the National Academy of Medicine's (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, of which the ACC is a part, highlight innovative initiatives at Ohio State University and Virginia Mason Kirkland Medical Center aimed at reducing clinician burnout and support clinician well-being.

The case studies are designed to serve as idea-generating resources for leaders to implement programs and policies at their own organizations, hospitals or institutions that address systemic factors that contribute to clinician burnout.

For a link to the case studies, as well as additional clinician well-being resources, visit ACC's new Clinician Well-Being Portal at ACC.org/ClinicianWellBeing.

ACC Releases Methodology For Expert Consensus Decision Pathways and Heart House Roundtables

Two newly released methodology reports focus on the process and purpose behind ACC's Expert Consensus Decision Pathways and Heart House Roundtables.

The 2019 Methodology for Creating Expert Consensus Decision Pathways outlines the rationale behind the creation of pathways and explains how each is developed, from selecting and prioritizing topics to approving and disseminating a final document. Once topics are selected, work groups are created, content is developed, and then each pathway must be peer reviewed, in addition to undergoing organizational review and approval.

Of note, Expert Consensus Decision Pathways are a crucial part of "solution sets," part of the College's strategic efforts to enhance "actionable knowledge" and "make clinical information easier to consume, share, integrate and update" as decision pathways include clinical content that can be translated into tools to further accelerate the use of ACC clinical policy.


According to James L. Januzzi Jr., MD, FACC, chair of the writing committee for the Pathways report, the documents serve to help inform clinicians about areas where evidence may be new and evolving or where sufficient data may be more limited. "If Guidelines are the 'why' of treatment, the Expert Consensus Decision Pathways provide 'the how,'" he and the other authors note.

To date, Expert Consensus Decision Pathways have been developed for several cardiovascular disease states including lipid disorders, valvular heart disease, heart failure, tobacco cessation, cardiovascular risk reduction in diabetes, and more.

Looking to the future, ACC's Science and Quality Committee is focused on finding ways to leverage these, as well as additional Expert Consensus Clinical Pathways with other solution set tools to maximize the translation from evidence to practice and optimize patient care and outcomes.

ACC's Heart House Roundtables are often the starting point for an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway and other solution set tools. The second methodology report outlines the evolution of these roundtables since their inception in 2013 and describes and offers guidance on how they are developed.

"In recent years, the ACC has increased the use of a roundtable format to address high-value topics among a broad group of multidisciplinary stakeholders," write Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, and Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC, co-chairs of the writing committee, et al.

The roundtables explore the practical issues that clinicians and patients face every day and allow participants the opportunity to brainstorm possible solutions to address them.

Like the Expert Consensus Decision Pathways report, the Heart House Roundtable report details everything from how topics are selected, agendas are set, and importantly how participants are chosen. It also outlines industry involvement and firewalls and how the outputs of roundtable discussions are disseminated and/or used.

Since 2013, roundtables have focused on a number of areas including anticoagulation, dyslipidemia, valvular heart disease, heart failure, cardio-oncology, cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients and risk communication.

"These meetings have been pivotal to the development of multiple types of outputs as well as fostering societal and organizational relationships," according to Kovacs, Morris, et al.

Looking ahead, the authors note that Heart House Roundtables will continue as a trusted forum for fostering important, focused discussions on key areas of cardiovascular disease.


New 2020 Slate of Officers, Trustees Reflect ACC Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The ACC Board of Trustees (BOT) has approved the College's newest slate of officers and trustees, including the next president and vice president.

  1. Athena Poppas, MD, FACC (ACC President, 2020-2021)
  2. Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC (ACC Vice President, 2020-2021)
  3. Cathleen Biga, MSN, RN, FACC (reappointed), Jeffrey T. Kuvin, MD, FACC, and Roxana Mehran, MD, FACC (Trustees, three-year terms, starting 2020)
  4. Andrew P. Miller, MD, FACC (Membership Committee Chair, two-year term)
  5. Christopher M. Kramer, MD, FACC (Finance Chair-Elect, 2020-2021; expected to advance to Finance Chair/Treasurer from 2021-2024)


"We are excited by the diversity and breadth of leadership competencies that the newest slate of officers will bring to the College in 2020," said Immediate Past President C. Michael Valentine, MD, MACC, who led the Nominating Committee that put forth the slate of candidates to the BOT.

"These new officers and trustees will only serve to strengthen the College as we continue to achieve our strategic priorities and realize our mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health."

These officers will be officially approved in March 2020 during ACC.20 Together With World Congress of Cardiology in Chicago, IL.

The ACC's Nominating Committee is made up of Valentine, Claire S. Duvernoy, MD, FACC; Daniel José Piñeiro, MD, FACC; John E. Brush Jr., MD, FACC; Blair D. Erb Jr., MD, FACC; Edward T. A. Fry, MD, FACC; Michael J. Mack, MD, FACC; and Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC (nonvoting member).


Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Trustees, Consensus, Leadership, Spouses, Burnout, Professional, Universities, Committee Membership, Biological Phenomena, Physiological Phenomena

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