ACC's Next Strategic Plan and Its Implications For FITs

This month's ACC On-Call For FITs Newsletter features an interview with Andrew P. Miller, MD, FACC, secretary and chair of the ACC Board of Governors and past-president of the ACC Alabama Chapter. He discusses ACC's new vision statement and core values, as well as how they pertain to FITs.

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What prompted the new vision and core values statement?

In early 2017, the College sought input from all corners of membership and staff to create a grounding document that the Board of Trustees (BOT) used to guide the 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan. We spent considerable time prioritizing the College's strengths and developing a vision. At the August 2017 retreat, the BOT arrived at our vision statement, "A world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes." Every word was purposefully chosen and this positive statement embodies our future:

"A world" – We are bigger now and aspire to affect a larger stage.

"Where innovation and knowledge" – These are our tools.

"Optimize" – We are about being the best in our professional responsibilities.

"Cardiovascular care and outcomes" – These are our targets: care delivery and efficacy.

We then set about aligning our core values. Previously, we had two sets of core values – one for staff and one for membership. Through a dyading team of ACC leaders and staff, we developed the three core values that will guide us all in our decisions and help us in tough times:

"Patient-centered" – This is the why: We ought not do anything that is not serving the patient.

"Teamwork and Collaboration" – This is the how: Teamwork is more internal and means that we now practice as a cardiovascular team. Collaboration is more external and means that whenever possible we will collaborate with our other health partners.

"Professionalism and Excellence" – This is the what: We will strive for professionalism and excellence.

How is the vision relevant to ACC FITs?

This vision statement will guide us until 2023 and most likely beyond. It is very forward looking, includes purpose and goals that should resonate with FITs, and will be the calling card that makes the College our professional home. The BOT feels it is a powerful vision that speaks to our future and will be written by our FITs.

Why is it important for FIT members to be cognizant of ACC's mission, vision and core values?

Besides being the compass of the College, the new Strategic Plan will be the playbook for all that we do. Finding your place in the Strategic Plan and grounding our professional efforts in its mission, vision and core values will go a long way to being a successful leader in the College. From the mission, vision and core values flow the strategic plan goals and include a giant focus on our FITs. The very first metric of the Strategic Plan is percent conversion of FITs to members three years after finishing a cardiovascular medicine fellowship. The fact that this is the first metric speaks to the importance of FITs to the future of the College. Knowing this playbook inside and out will be a successful path for engagement of our future leaders.

What is your favorite part of the vision and core values?

In the vision, I love the place of "innovation." This is a dynamic time and care delivery is changing daily. How and where we deliver cardiovascular care may change dramatically over the next decade. In writing the vision, we met with outside innovators from Google, IBM and the like, who made us see a future world that will involve less bricks and mortar and more patient engagement. The College's support of innovation will be an important tool to get us there.

In the core values, I love "collaboration." This is a winning strategy. We have learned that wars are expensive and embracing our entire care team is good for everyone. We are all competitive spirits but we will win if we tone that down and try to be collaborative whenever possible.

How are these new statements making the ACC a better professional home to FITs?

This will be your future and these new statements embrace you in the present. As we went through this process, we kept the vision and our young members out front as our true North. The importance of FITs is all over this Strategic Plan: in Goal 1 (the professional home), they are the first metric; they are a target for diversity and inclusion; they are going to benefit from and lead efforts to improve well-being; and they will help write a successful health system strategy when most are entering the workforce as employees. In Goal 2 (actionable knowledge), they are the interest group demanding actionable knowledge, with quick answers at the bedside. In Goal 3 (quality, equity and value of care), they will be the benefactor of a professional strategy to move from volume to value. In Goal 4 (organizational sustainability), they will be targets for leadership interventions and leaders in innovation. This is a great document that will build FITs' future and our professional home.

This article was authored by Sena Kilic, MD, editor-in-chief of the ACC On-Call For FITs Newsletter, and Ada C. Stefanescu Schmidt, MD, MSc, chair of the ACC FIT Section.