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ACC.24 Convocation Outgoing President’s Address: B. Hadley Wilson, MD, MACC

B. Hadley Wilson, MD, MACC

Last year, we fully embraced the end to the COVID Pandemic. This year – and by this year I mean today – we are experiencing a total eclipse of the sun! Next year we will try and find something equally dramatic to celebrate.

For now, let me start by saying thank you! I don't even need ChatGPT to help find the words to describe what has been an amazing year. This entire speech is from the heart!

I have greatly appreciated being allowed to serve as your ACC President and being able to experience first-hand the truly global nature of the College.

Did you know that we are the largest cardiovascular society by individual membership, with more than 56,000 members? Even more impressive is that nearly a third of ACC's membership live and work outside of the United States.

I am forever humbled and deeply grateful to each and every one of you who has welcomed me and the ACC into your homes, communities, cities, states and countries over this past year. A special note of thanks to our State and International Chapters, Member Sections and our incredible network of partner societies from around the world for your support, leadership and shared commitment to creating a world where science, knowledge and innovation optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes.

These collaborations are critical as we unite to address the growing global burden of cardiovascular disease, which has doubled in the past two decades and now exceeds half a billion people. Cardiovascular disease knows no borders, and it is vital that we come together to drive sustainable, long-term action.

Looking back on this past year and all that we accomplished, I have no doubt that we will succeed in this mission. The College is already making headway with the launch of its newest five-year Strategic Plan, which is comprised of five bold initiatives, the first of which is to address health equity in CV care.

Over the next several years we will be implementing a National Health Equity Dashboard that uses NCDR and other external data to track and monitor progress towards achieving a culture of equitable cardiovascular care and heart health for all. Advocacy and health policy efforts will also be critical, as will collaborations with society, industry and other partners to improve diversity in clinical trial research, proactively address social determinants of health and more.

Second, we will undertake a broad Educational Assessment focusing on personalized educational experiences that leverage trusted content that is relevant, high-quality, streamlined and disseminated via optimal channels. We've learned a lot from the COVID pandemic about the intersections between live, virtual and hybrid learning, and we will be putting these learnings into action.

Third, we are committed to Sustaining Professional Excellence and a pathway forward that allows cardiovascular clinicians to achieve and maintain continuous clinical competence in all chosen established disciplines of cardiovascular medicine. Along these lines, one of the things I am most proud is our current collaboration with AHA, HRS, HFSA and SCAI, to submit an application to the American Board of Medical Specialties for a new, independent Board of Cardiovascular Medicine. I think all would agree that cardiology has evolved over the past few decades into a distinct specialty that includes its own subspecialties, unique care pathways, patient-focused guidelines, specialized training, competencies and more.

It is time!

We should know the results of this decision later this year.

Fourth, we will continue to progress with digital transformation of the ACC to Enable Guidance at the Point of Care. This initiative will focus on ensuring that ACC's Clinical Guidance is quick, easily accessible and answering clinicians' practical questions. Multiple channels will be evaluated for integration into the clinical workflow including syndication of UpToDate, Doximity, Dynamedex, generative AI and Chat GPT.

Last, but certainly not least, ACC will Transform Care Delivery in New Areas and provide solutions that ensure procedures that are done in ambulatory settings are as high-quality as the status quo. This will include continued advocacy for payment models that support value-based care, as well as creating an infrastructure that optimizes clinical and operational data, as well as accreditation.

It's important to note that this robust Strategic Plan is a roadmap and a living document. It will be continuously monitored, updated, and adjusted over the next five years as the external environment changes.

But wait – this is not all that we're working on at the College. As I mentioned this time last year, Member Engagement is a major priority of mine and a Member Engagement Task Force led by Cathie Biga and Joe Marine has been working to identify solutions for more year-round opportunities for involvement in ACC committees, sections, chapters, mentoring, micro-volunteering, leadership development and more. Stay tuned!

Also this year we doubled down on our commitments to Health Equity and building a culture of Philanthropy. We officially turned our existing task forces in these areas into permanent ACC committees.

We are also well underway with the next phase in our efforts to accelerate the global transformation of cardiovascular care. Thanks to the leadership of Drs. Hani Najm, Pam Morris, Roxanna Mehran, and Antonio Chagas, we are identifying and addressing the best ways to meet the needs of ACC's growing international membership and delivering tangible solutions to the growing global burden of cardiovascular disease.

I have personally been blessed with the opportunity to meet with five Ministry of Health Departments, as well as key UN leaders, this past year in support of ways we can meet the World Health Organization's Sustainable Development Goal of reducing non-communicable disease by 30% by 2030. A lofty goal but it's within our reach.

Cardiovascular innovation is another exciting area that ACC is increasingly involved in and holds great potential for helping to improve clinician well-being, improve patient access, and address aspects of the current workforce crisis. I provided a glimpse of some of the Innovation highlights on the horizon during Monday's Opening Showcase. Under the leadership of ACC Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Ami Bhatt, the College has formed an LLC arm that allows for partnership and collaboration with more than 20 companies who share our vision of a world where science, knowledge and innovation optimize care and outcomes. It's an exciting time to be entering the field!

I'll close as I started by saying, thank you!

I also want to recognize the leadership of past President Ed Fry, ACC CEO Cathy Gates and the rest of the ACC Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team including Ravee Kurian, Janice Sibley, Lisa Hix, and Brendan Mullen – and the entire amazing ACC staff. Thanks to them, the College is healthy and strong.

Let me also thank James Moran, Taylor Davis, Leigh Cherner, Shalen Fairbanks, Norma Wright and my entire Sanger/Atrium Health team for all of their personal assistance to get me wherever I needed to go this past year.

As we look ahead, I'm sure incoming President Cathie Biga will take us to the next level as we embark on our next 75 years and beyond.

Above all, thank you to my wife Hannah and my four adult children and their spouses.

It has truly been a magical year, and the future remains bright, particularly coming out of an eclipse!

Now, let me turn your attention to the screen behind me.

Over the last 75 years, your ACC has persevered and remains a highly functioning organization committed to a powerful Mission and achievable goals. Let's hear from member leaders – past, present and future – about what the College means to them.

Keywords: ACC Publications, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper

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