In Caribbean Paradise: ACC’s Dominican Republic Chapter

August 25, 2016 | Franklyn A Colón Arias, MD

In February of this year, the first symposium of ACC’s Dominican Republic Chapter took place – organized by Pedro E. Ureña, MD, FACC, a governor member of the Assembly of International Governors (AIG) – and had a great attendance by local cardiologists. I sat down recently with Ureña to discuss his experience with the Chapter and how the Chapter has contributed to the Dominican Society of Cardiology.

How did the idea of expanding the ACC into the Dominican Republic emerge?

The ACC has been traditionally the dominant figure in the practice of cardiology in our country. The Dominican Society of Cardiology through two of its past presidents, Carmen Encarnacion, MD, FACC, a governor member of the AIG, and Petronila Martinez Peguero, MD, FACC, requested the formation of a local chapter based on the number of FACC's present in our country and the continuous participation of our cardiologists in different ACC initiatives.

What are the benefits of being a member of the Dominican Republic Chapter?

The Chapter has been active in promoting improvement of cardiovascular care through education. Members have access to all of the tools that the ACC provides, can participate in local and regional meetings and serve as a vehicle to project internationally the status of heart disease in our country. 

What does the ACC bring to the practice of cardiology in the Dominican Republic?

Multiple opportunities arise from having an ACC chapter in the Dominican Republic, including active participation in international meetings. The possibility of being part of the global community helps the development of initiatives to relieve the burden of heart disease. We are currently working on the implementation of national registries as well as quality control. Application of guideline-directed care and educating FITs are all part of the advantages of partnering with the ACC.

A few months ago, the first cardiovascular symposium organized by ACC’s Dominican Republic Chapter was held. How did it contribute to the education of Dominican cardiologists?

This Symposium marked the beginning in our country of patient-oriented education. It was held in an interactive mode with a digital voting system focused on three conditions that affect our population, case-based and guideline-oriented. as we had massive support from the cardiovascular community, our intention is to continue this symposium annually.

In your opinion, how has cardiology advanced in Dominican Republic in the last few years?

Over the last decade, the Dominican Republic has experienced an increased awareness on the importance of heart disease as a major contributor to mortality. The epidemiologic paradigm shift that developing countries are experiencing has moved our health care system into promoting more specialized care, as well as emphasizing detection and prevention more.

As governor of ACC’s Dominican Republic Chapter, what advice would you give to the FIT community?

FITs in countries like ours have the opportunity to change the future. Future leaders have the responsibility of guiding the integration into the global community and the research and development of tools to improve health care in economically constrained environments. These are all aspects in which an organization such as the ACC in partnership with our medical community may help in relieving the burden pf cardiovascular disease.

This article was authored by Franklyn A Colón Arias, MD, a Fellow in Training (FIT) at Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chavez in Mexico City, Mexico.

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