ACC Legislative Conference 2017 Review

September 20, 2017 | Ada C. Stefanescu Schmidt, MD, MSc
Chapter Engagement

Last week's Legislative Conference saw a great Fellows in Training (FIT) turnout, with 68 FITs representing nearly every state chapter, including travel award winners from 26 states! For the first time this year, there was a special FIT/Early Career Meeting with ACC leadership prior to the conference, organized by Poonam Velagapudi, MD, MS, FIT Council chair, and co-hosted by Anthony Hilliard, MD, FACC, Early Career Council chair. ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, opened the event, which also included talks on advocacy by former ACC President Kim Williams, MD, MACC, ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) Vice-Chair Sandra Lewis, MD, FACC, and ACC Vice President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC. Drs. Carlson, Weigand and ZIeman, from the National Institutes of Health National Institutes of Health, held a very helpful session on NIH funding opportunities and processes for obtaining grants.

FITs were also active participants and panelists in the Women in Cardiology Leadership Workshop on Sunday. Sharonne Hayes, MD, FACC, gave an excellent talk on addressing biases and barriers in the workplace. She showed impressive data on the lower quality of care that is associated with unconscious bias, and shared strategies for individual providers and teams. I had the chance to speak about grant funding opportunities and strategies for fellows, followed by insights from Kristin Burns, MD, from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and then Rachel Lampert, MD, FACC. The afternoon concluded with a fascinating and lively discussion on "dancing your way to a dream job" with Claire Duvernoy, MD, FACC, chair of the Women in Cardiology (WIC) Council; Sandra Lewis, MD, FACC; Annabelle Volgman, MD, FACC, member of the WIC Section; and our own FIT Council chair, Poonam Velagapudi, MD, MS.

We will have pearls from these sessions and links to the materials on in the coming weeks! Check out the pictures of FITs meeting with representatives and senators on Twitter and Facebook. If you were not able to attend, find out how you can get involved.

Don't forget – applications are open for FIT participation in section leadership councils until Sept. 22! Ask a mentor for a short statement of support today and start working on your application here! Start an application and click on "choose committee" to see the list and description of all councils.

This article was authored by Ada C. Stefanescu Schmidt, MD, MSc, editor-in-chief of the ACC On-Call For FITs newsletter.