Harold on History | The ACC and the Irish Cardiac Society: A Shared 75-Year Legacy

The ACC and the Irish Cardiac Society: A Shared 75-Year Legacy Conferring ceremony of honorary fellowship in the ICS to John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, in October 2022 in Cork, Ireland. Pictured left to right: Professor Jim Crowley, Harold, and Professor Vincent Maher. The ACC and the Irish Cardiac Society: A Shared 75-Year Legacy The ACC and the Irish Cardiac Society: A Shared 75-Year Legacy ACC Past Presidents Edward T.A. Fry, MD, MACC, and C. Michael Valentine, MD, MACC, recognized as Honorary Fellows of the ICS, both pictured with Professor Pascal McKeown (left) and Professor Vincent Maher (right).

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Irish Cardiac Society (ICS) were both founded 75 years ago in 1949 during the "Golden Age of Cardiology" – a time of dramatic change in cardiovascular medicine. In addition to shared legacies, both societies have evolved over the past seven decades becoming the premier professional homes for their respective members through a tradition of cardiovascular innovation and leadership.

"The shared journeys of both societies are not just a history to be remembered but a story that continues to unfold – often together – with each chapter marked by progress, collaboration, knowledge exchange, and a commitment to improving cardiovascular health for the good of all humankind," says John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, ACC Past President. Below, ICS President Pascal McKeown, MD, reflects on some of the biggest cardiovascular innovations, shared ICS/ACC achievements and hopes for the future.

What Are You Most Proud of As a Society?

The cardiology community, including countless ICS members across Ireland, have made significant advances in clinical care, research and education on the global stage over the last 75 years. From innovations in imaging, the evolution of new technologies, progress in genomics, the growth of multidisciplinary team approaches to care delivery, to a focus on preventing heart disease and related risk factors, the field of cardiology has evolved and grown.

The ICS is proud of our long history and being a part of these efforts. One of our biggest accomplishments as a society was our contribution to the adoption of a policy banning smoking in workplaces across Ireland, making us the first country in the world to pass such a policy. Today, more than 70 countries have "smoke-free" policies in indoor spaces.

What Would You Consider to Be Among the Biggest Shared ACC/ICS Achievements?

The establishment of the ACC Great Britain and Ireland Chapter in 2010 is one of our biggest shared achievements. We are very grateful to ACC Past President Harold, and ICS Past President Brian Maurer, BCH MB, for their vision and leadership, which paved the way for future partnerships and collaborations.

Today, our partnership includes participation in each other's scientific meetings and collaborating to identify and grow emerging leaders. Creating opportunities for growing personal and professional relationships is another benefit of collaboration that is valued by all.

For example, training to become a cardiologist in Ireland has usually included time abroad, with the U.S. being a destination for many. A number of ACC members have been instrumental in mentoring Irish trainees over the years and assisting them to secure Fellowships. Some of those trainees have chosen to live and work in the U.S. and are now active members of both societies.

What Are Some of the Biggest Opportunities in the Years Ahead?

Building on the past 75 years, we have wonderful opportunities to enhance our relationship for the benefits of our patients. We live in a rapidly changing world and developments in technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, will change our practice. We need to continue to support each other to ensure that our efforts lead to benefits for all our patients as well as populations with cardiac diseases on the global stage. Access to excellent education and training opportunities will remain of vital importance.

Coming Together to Celebrate

Coming Together to Celebrate: ACC's Annual Convocation

The time-honored tradition of ACC's annual Convocation brings the cardiovascular community together to celebrate global partners and award winners, welcome new Fellows and Associates who are making the College their professional home, and introduce its next president, Cathleen Biga, MSN, FACC.

Presided over by outgoing president B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, Convocation will recognize an inspiring group of Distinguished Award winners and their leadership, vision and contributions to transforming cardiovascular medicine, along with the winners of the Hani Najm Global Scholar Award, William A. Zoghbi International Research Award, ACC/ABC Merck Research Fellowship and Young Investigator Awards. The ceremony will close with the passing of the Presidential Chain from Wilson to Biga.

Join your friends and colleagues immediately after Convocation at the New Fellows and Associates Reception and ACC Anniversary Celebration. Strike up the band and don't miss the chance to welcome the newest members of the ACC and toast to the next 75 years and beyond. Light refreshments and drinks, including the signature "ACC75," will be provided.

Make plans now to join the celebration and fun on April 8, at 4 p.m. in the Main Tent, Georgia World Congress Center.

Keywords: Cardiology Magazine, ACC Publications, Ireland, Patient Care Team, Leadership, Heart Diseases, Smoke-Free Policy, History, ACC History, ACC75Anniversary

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