Guest Editorial | ACC.21 Virtual: Experience the Opportunity to Reconnect and Engage

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ACC's 70th Annual Scientific Session (ACC.21) is just around the corner and the all-virtual experience promises to deliver a world-class program through a state-of-the-art digital platform designed for learning, collaboration and networking.

Much has been learned over the last year about digital education. ACC.20/WCC set the standard for large-scale meetings and demonstrated that virtual learning can be highly effective, engaging and meaningful.

The ACC's experience with subsequent meetings has enabled us to build on the important lessons learned. New educational platforms optimize real-time discussions between learners and faculty and foster networking and collaboration. These innovative strategies help clinicians to achieve their learning objectives and stay current with the latest science and technologies, whether accessed from the office, home, commute, or at the point-of-care.

The virtual platform for ACC.21 harnesses all that we've learned to date and will deliver an experience that epitomizes what cardiovascular clinicians and scientists need, want and have come to expect from the College and its flagship meeting.

ACC.21 will highlight 200+ sessions across 11 Learning Pathways featuring practice-changing research, interactive discussions and actionable knowledge to help incorporate guidelines, new technologies and treatments into patient care.

Luminary Keynote speakers will share perspectives on topics ranging from the future of valvular heart disease to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. New this year, a focused COVID-19 Intensive designed to highlight critical concerns in patient management, issues in health equity, and strategies to incorporate the "silver lining" lessons learned during the pandemic into current and future practice (turn to page 29 for more).

Late-Breaking Clinical Trials (LBCTs) and Featured Clinical Research (FCR) also are a hallmark, and ACC.21 proves to be as exciting as ever. Five practice-changing LBCT sessions will explore the latest research in the areas of ischemic heart disease, prevention and health promotion, electrophysiology, heart failure and cardiomyopathies, and more. The LBCT sessions will kick off on Saturday morning with a first look at results from the PARADISE-MI, ADAPTABLE, LAAOS and ATLANTIS trials.

Novelty at its Best

We're excited to debut a new feature that allows synchronous and asynchronous interaction between abstract presenters and scientists everywhere. Attendees can virtually interact with presenters of the 3,300+ ePosters and 420 moderated posters through a dedicated portal on the virtual platform.

Another novel program feature of ACC.21 extends the interaction in content and delivery. Our popular "Heart2Heart" stage discussions will be delivered as podcasts. The "Heart2Heart Conversations" will feature discussions with experts on topics ranging from the evolving role of advanced practice providers, the role of social media in cardiovascular medicine, and the engagement of art to improve heart health. These Conversations enhance the virtual experience and provide insight into issues beyond the traditional classroom.

The always exciting and highly competitive FIT Jeopardy and Young Investigator Awards competitions will be back for ACC.21 using the novel virtual platform. Plus, special on-demand JACC Journals sessions will offer tips on how to assure that your work becomes published, becoming a successful researcher, current trends in research, and strategies to be an effective mentor and mentee. A thought-provoking JACC: Case Reports series will showcase critical decision-making, quality improvement opportunities, and tips to anticipate and rescue complications in all cardiovascular disciplines.

Connect, Celebrate, Remember

Facilitating connections between members of the cardiovascular community is a fundamental priority for ACC.21 leadership, staff and faculty. Look for enjoyable and healthy wellness breaks, special ACC Member Section virtual networking events, and more. Join us for the College's 70th Annual Convocation and share in recognizing the distinguished contributions of cardiovascular clinicians worldwide, welcoming the new class of Fellows and Associates, and celebrating ACC's new president, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC.

This year's Distinguished Awardees include an impressive group of women and men who have contributed their time and talents as mentors, educators, researchers and advocates for global health, diversity, equity and inclusion. It's a privilege to recognize Anthony S. Fauci, MD, with the Presidential Citation for his ongoing leadership and commitment to science throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Jay N. Cohn, MD, FACC, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and unprecedented contributions to the field of heart failure.

While circumstances beyond our control have made it impossible for us to gather in person this year, ACC.21 Virtual will bring the cardiovascular community together in new and different ways and provides the opportunity for us to celebrate each other, recognize our shared challenges and solutions, and keep the profession and the College moving forward.

To quote The Hobbit: "Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"1 The world is our virtual stage, and we're excited to share the experience and bring the best of cardiology directly to you.

Opening Showcase: On With the Show!

Mark your calendar now for May 15, 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. ET to join colleagues and friends from around the world for ACC.21's Opening Showcase. Don't miss the ACC.21 Keynote by Athena Poppas, MD, MACC, and ACC.21 Virtual Highlights from Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC, along with short remarks from Anthony S. Fauci, MD, recipient of this year's Presidential Citation.

Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC
Douglas Drachman, MD, FACC

This article was authored by ACC Annual Scientific Session Chair Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC; and ACC Annual Scientific Session Vice-Chair Douglas Drachman, MD, FACC.


  1. Tolkien, J R. R. The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again. 2013.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, COVID-19 Hub, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Valvular Heart Disease, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, Acute Heart Failure, Interventions and Structural Heart Disease

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Mentors, COVID-19, Social Media, Quality Improvement, Point-of-Care Systems, Leadership, Pandemics, Global Health, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiomyopathies, Heart Valve Diseases, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Patient Care, Faculty, Heart Failure, Awards and Prizes, Health Promotion, Decision Making, Electrophysiology, Reference Standards, ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC21

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