Getting Involved on the Chapter Level in Indiana

March 8, 2016 | Jonathan Hassel, MD
Chapter Engagement

The ACC Indiana Chapter remains active at the local and the national level. Each year, the ACC Indiana Chapter selects two third year fellows to be involved in the ACC Indiana Council who serve as voting members of the committee and represent the FIT voice for current issues. This year I am serving the representative from Indiana University (IU), and Travis Taylor, MD, is serving as the representative from St. Vincent’s. The committee  plans the annual meeting, addresses state and national concerns of its members and advocates for cardiovascular interests within the state legislator.

The FIT representatives are charged with presenting the questions and concerns from their individual fellowships to the committee. This opportunity gives FITs the chance to be involved in planning and administration on the state level, as well as exposure for future ACC opportunities. There are representatives from every region on the committee which provides excellent networking opportunities for the third year FITs who are starting the job search process.  

The ACC Indiana Chapter’s annual meeting includes multiple educational opportunities for fellows and attendings alike. This past year it was attended by ACC Past-President Patrick O'Gara, MD, MACC, who was presented with a Colts football jersey signed by the ACC Indiana Chapter committee which he appreciated being from Boston. The topics of the conference included population health, a current update from national ACC, business topics and a broad range of cardiology topics, including a poster and oral competition for FITs. There were 14 FITs who attended and seven who presented research. This year the winner of the Oral Competition was Mark Shen, MD, from IU who presented on ‘Skin Nerve Activities and Cardiac Arrhythmias in Patients Recovering from Open Heart Surgery.’   The poster competition resulted in two first place winners: Hamza Ansari, MD, from IU presented “Mechanical Left Ventricular Support with the Impella 5.0: A Single Center Experience.’ Shiv Bagga, MD, from St. Vincent’s, presented “Endovascular Repair of Multiple Large Artery Pseuodoaneurysms in a Patient with Possible HCV Associated Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis.’ Indiana has a unique cardiology experience as Indianapolis hosts the National Football League combine annually and the screenings of these athletes are performed by Indiana University.

Using this data, Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, gave an interesting talk on ‘Cardiac Assessment of Competitive Athletes,’ which was well received by the audience and generated a lot of discussion. There is usually a fellow-directed session which reviews an important skill, such as job searches or contract negotiations, given by one of the local attendings to provide some knowledge on these subjects that are not specifically covered in fellowship. After reading a different FIT blog from another ACC event, I suggested that Indiana incorporate sessions on “looking for a job” or “expanding practice” at our next meeting.

Indiana also sponsors FITs to go to multiple conferences including the ACC Legislative Conference. This year, ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference had 19 members from Indiana present; three FITs, two of which that were sponsored by the ACC Indiana Chapter. This conference was mostly focused on the new health care funding changes from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and provided exposure to the ACCPAC. Attendees also had an opportunity to advocate on Capitol Hill on behalf of cardiologists and meet multiple legislators from Indiana on the Senate and House sides of Congress.

I was one of the fellows sponsored fellows from the ACC Indiana Chapter, and I thought it was a conference that all fellows should attend. It was excellent opportunity to gain a better understanding of the ACCPAC, the ever changing health care reimbursement landscape and the chance to meet with the Indiana congressional members. Not only did I learn a lot about topics that are not covered in fellowship but it also set the groundwork for my future participation in advocacy.   

Overall, the Indiana Chapter continues to have a strong ACC presence at the state and national level, and there are many opportunities for FITs to get involved. Make sure to express your desire to be involved and continue to check the Chapter’s website for updates. ​

This article was authored by Jonathan Hassel, MD, a fellow in training (FIT) at Indiana University.