Ritu Sachdeva, MD, FACC

Greetings fellow ACPC members,

On behalf of the ACPC leadership council, I extend a warm welcome to all our existing and new section members. I am pleased to update you on the exciting initiatives within our section that enhance the value we bring to our members. Our leadership council and workgroup chairs work diligently to ensure that our section initiatives encompassing education, quality, advocacy, diversity and innovation resonate deeply with each of you. In addition, we collaborate with other sections within ACC as well as other societies to better each other's expertise in improving care for patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). In line with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have been actively working towards broadening representation within our workgroups and taskforces. We encourage the involvement of trainees and early-career members with an overarching goal of shaping future leaders in our field.

Our commitment to advocacy for our patients and section members remains steadfast under the leadership of Devyani Chowdhury, MBBS, FACC, and Ken Shaffer, MD, FACC. Members of this workgroup are highly engaged with stakeholders within ACC, other professional organizations, and policymakers to work on issues such as prior authorization, healthcare disparities, surgical outcomes, diversity within our workforce and advocacy for targeted funding for CHD-related research. In addition, this workgroup organizes CHD-related activities at the annual ACC Legislative Conference and represents us at the Hill.

Education lies at the core of our mission. Our education workgroup chairs, Susan P. Etheridge, MD, FACC, and Andrew J. Powell, MD, FACC, have engaged a team of enthusiastic section members to provide you with content related to the latest clinical advancements and professional development. We have also created a taskforce to collaborate with the Society of Pediatric Cardiology Training Program Directors that will organize events for the program directors and trainees at the ACC Annual Scientific Session. The Artificial Intelligence Task Force led by Pei-Ni Jone, MD, FACC, creates educational offerings to keep our section members updated on the forefront of innovations in this area.

The Quality workgroup, led by Anitha Parthiban, MBBS, FACC, and Sarah T. Plummer, MD, FACC, has been creating clinical care algorithms that are designed to provide optimal value of care to patients with CHD. After receiving rave reviews from the section members for the initial cohort of algorithms, they are now embarking on the creation of additional ones. This workgroup is also exploring areas for collaboration related to quality of care within ACC and other organizations.

The Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) workgroup has expanded under the direction of Ali N. Zaidi, MD, FACC. This workgroup will be developing programs to improve the pipeline of ACHD providers and enhance educational offerings in this field. They will also be working on advocacy efforts to increase access, quality and value of ACHD patient care.

In partnership with the ACC Women in Cardiology (WIC) Section, Jennifer Co-Vu, MD, FACC, and Audrey C. Marshall, MD, have provided impressive leadership to the ACPC WIC workgroup. The members of this workgroup have created mentorship programs to encourage women to join our field. They have also presented several educational offerings including webinars and podcasts to address the unique challenges women face in our field. Their networking events are very well-received by our section members and provide a unique platform for sponsorship and allyship.

Our Pediatric Cardiology Division Chiefs group, led by Jacqueline Kreutzer, MD, FACC, and Larry Wayne Markham, MD, FACC, has provided a forum for its members to discuss issues such as staff shortages, physician wellness, workforce pipeline and engagement of hospital administration to address the needs of CHD patients.

As we look ahead, we count on your continued support and active engagement with our section's work. Our successes today would not have been possible without the unwavering commitment and tireless work done by our past-chair Arwa Saidi, MB, BCh, FACC, who led us through challenging times during the COVID-19 pandemic. We express our sincere gratitude to her for her services, mentoring and leadership in re-engaging our members as we emerge from the pandemic. We hope to see many of you at the ACC.24 community day on April 5 in Atlanta, GA. I am incredibly proud of what our section has been able to accomplish thus far and eagerly look forward to the bright future ahead of us!

Best regards,

Ritu Sachdeva, MD, FACC
Chair, ACPC Section