The Importance of WIC Involvement Within State Chapters

Nicole L. Lohr, MD, PhD, FACC, chair of ACC's Board of Governor's recently spoke with Renuka Jain, MD, FACC, and Toniya Singh, MBBS, FACC, about ACC's Women in Cardiology (WIC) Section and current and future WIC opportunities within state chapters. Dr. Jain is the director of echocardiography at Advocate Aurora Health in Milwaukee, WI, and the current governor of the ACC Wisconsin Chapter. Dr. Singh is a managing partner at St. Louis Heart and Vascular Cardiology in Missouri and a past chair of ACC's WIC Section. She is also chair-elect of ACC's CV Management Section.

Dr. Jain: How is WIC Important For State Chapters?

WIC was my entry point into the ACC Wisconsin Chapter. I remember seeing Dr. Claire Duvernoy at ACC.18 and asking for mid-career advice on how to deal with career and children. She encouraged me to join my state chapter and the WIC Section. It was such an amazing experience. As the WIC representative for Wisconsin, I not only developed a great support system within the state but was able to advocate for women fellows and faculty on key state issues as well. These experiences were critical in shaping me and helping me embark in my new role as Wisconsin Chapter governor.

Dr. Singh: Why Were Regional WIC Meetings Started?

Given there are such few women in cardiology, there's a tendency to be "siloed" within practices, with very few opportunities to get together to network and learn from each other, especially about nonprofessional competencies. Historically, there has been an excellent WIC leadership conference held in Washington, DC, at the same time as the ACC Legislative Conference, as well as WIC sessions during the ACC Annual Scientific Session; however, these opportunities only occur two times throughout the year. WIC regional meetings were started to give women multiple opportunities close to home that would allow greater flexibility to learn, network and build their community.

Dr. Singh: Are There Other Regional WIC Events?

Currently, there are three major WIC regional meetings. The Midwest Regional meeting, taking place in June, has been growing exponentially both in terms of the attendees and the support we have received. The Southeast Regional meeting includes the states of Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. New this year, we just held our first Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting in Washington, DC, involving the states of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. These are great opportunities for chapter involvement.

Dr. Jain: Can You Share Highlights of the Upcoming Midwest WIC Annual Symposium?

Milwaukee is beautiful in June! Warm and sunny – and our hotel is within walking distance of beautiful Lake Michigan. I'm so honored to be the course director of the meeting, along with Drs. Nicole Lohr and Anne O'Conner. We have a fantastic faculty from across the Midwest and have adopted other states too! The first half of the meeting involves nationally renowned women, sharing their unique perspectives on cardiovascular disease topics. The second half of the day is dedicated to career promotion and leadership and there's lots of time for interaction and discussions, both in large and small group formats. We also had 70 abstracts submitted from trainees from all over the Midwest. The Midwest WIC Annual Symposium is not JUST for women! And not JUST for the Midwest! The topics we cover are applicable to all trainees and faculty – it is wonderful to have diverse attendance.

This article was authored by Nicole L. Lohr, MD, PhD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Board of Governors.

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