ACC.15 Returns to the Golden State to Offer More Learning, Less Lecturing

Cover Story | Medical professionals from all over the world will be returning to the Golden State for the ACC’s Annual Scientific Session and Expo (ACC.15), held March 14 – 16, 2015 in San Diego, CA.

Following a mantra of “more learning, less lecturing,” this year’s conference is placing a greater focus on more experiential opportunities for its attendees. The various new interactive and innovative learning environments to be showcased include interviews, panel discussions, debates, moderated forums and small group talks, patient/physician role-playing, games and competitions, and volunteer audience panelists.

“With each completed conference we have the benefit of looking at what works and what doesn’t for our attending members, building off our successes to make the next meeting the best it can possibly be,” says Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, president of the ACC. “ACC.15 is easily the best version of this conference we’ve put together thus far – a culmination of things familiar, augmented and new, providing visitors with a wholly unique experience across its three days of programming.”

O’Gara will help kick-off the meeting during the Opening Showcase Session on Saturday, March 14 at 8 a.m. in the Main Tent. The meeting will conclude on Monday evening at Convocation with the passing of the gavel to ACC Incoming President Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC.

Over the course of the three-day meeting, ACC.15 will feature 11 clinical learning pathways, ranging in topics from acute coronary syndromes and congenital heart disease, to non-invasive imaging, stable ischemic heart disease and vascular medicine. After making its debut at last year’s conference, the ACC’s “intensive” format has not only returned, but expanded to cover critical care cardiology, cardio-oncology, practice management and leadership, and sports cardiology.

“The breadth and depth of what attendees are looking for is truly there this year,” adds Athena Poppas, MD, FACC, chair of ACC.15. “The location is exciting, the content is top-notch and the focus on innovation, learning and science is unparalleled.”

Brand new at this year’s meeting is a track that attendees can take part in on the future of cardiovascular medicine. Formatted around the kind of innovation and challenges that will be faced 10 years from now, the interactive exploration will take on everything from technological advancement, changes in education and health care, prospective research and the use of genetics.

From an interpersonal standpoint, Poppas believes that attending the ACC’s Annual Scientific Session is especially crucial. “There is only so much we can do remotely to give our members what they need, and while we are working toward making digital opportunities better every day, they cannot fully replace the personal, interactive environment of an ACC Annual Scientific Session. Attendees can interact with some of the greatest minds in cardiology in person, after sessions, in lounges – there is something very special about that.”

Plan Your Meeting With the ACC.15 App

Download the ACC.15 App for quick, easy access to all of the sessions and presentations. Search for sessions by specialty, interest area, or by role in the cardiovascular care team. Plus, get access to Expo info, animated maps, Twitter feeds, ACC news from the meeting and more. Search “ACC.15” in the app store to download the app, or browse the online meeting planner at

Stay Connected at ACC.15

Stay connected through social media at ACC.15. Follow @ACC_2015 on Twitter and use the hashtag #ACC15 to join the conversations, and share observations and opinions from the meeting. Don’t forget to take a photo with the ACC seal in the Lounge and Learn Pavilion and use the hashtag #ACC15! Also visit the ACC’s Facebook page to tag yourself in photos from the meeting and read the latest blog posts from ACC leaders on the ACC in Touch Blog. For all of the ways to stay connected, visit

ACC.15 Convocation Ceremony

The ACC’s Convocation ceremony is a time-honored tradition that will serve as the official close to ACC.15. Held on Mon., March 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Tent, during the ceremony, the newest class of Fellows and Associates are formally welcomed to the College and endowed with the Fellow of the ACC (FACC) and Associate of the ACC (AACC) credentials.

In addition, the ACC’s Distinguished Awardees will be honored, as well as recipients of the ACC/Merck Research Fellowship Award, the ACC/William F. Keating, Esq. Endowment Award, the National Institute on Aging Grants for Early Medical and Surgical Subspecialists’ Transitions to Aging Research Award, Proctor Harvey Young Teacher Award, William A. Parmley Young Author Award, the Young Author Achievement Awards for JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions and JACC: Heart Failure and the ACC Young Investigator Awards.

The evening also marks the official installation of the slate of recommended ACC Officers, Trustees and Governors, and current ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, will pass the presidential chain to Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC. The ceremony will be immediately followed by the Presidents’, New Fellows’ and New Associates’ Reception honoring those celebrated during the ceremony.

Photos from the ceremony will be posted on the ACC’s Facebook page. Follow the #ACC15 hashtag on Twitter for live highlights from the Convocation speeches.

NCDR.15 Promotes Further Use of Registry Data, Physician Engagement

Since its inception, the ACC’s annual conference for NCDR registry participants has focused on a wide range of registry-related topics such as data accuracy and quality, relevant health care trends and the application of registry data for quality improvement, but in recent years, the curriculum has expanded to include physicians and administrators. Held March 12 – 13, immediately prior to the ACC’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, CA, NCDR.15 will provide an excellent opportunity for physicians and administrators involved in ACC registries to further their knowledge about the use of data for quality improvement.

Taking place at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, NCDR.15 is expected to bring together more than 900 registry professionals, quality experts, cardiovascular administrators and physicians from across the country for two days of registry-focused training, quality improvement discussions, networking and the sharing of best practices.

Building on two years of success with targeted workshops for physicians and cardiovascular administrators, NCDR.15 will feature even more sessions with special emphasis placed on preparing physicians and administrators to take a more active role in their clinical registry programs – and in turn, in their quality improvement efforts. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to use NCDR data to meet regulatory reporting requirements, conduct quality improvement and obtain Maintenance of Certification Part IV points for physicians.

The conference will open with a keynote presentation from John Spertus, MD, MPH, FACC, on engaging physicians in quality improvement. Additional general sessions will include a presentation on managing data quality and the closing session, “No Reservations – Disruptive Innovation,” delivered by Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC. Throughout both days, concurrent workshops will provide registry-specific education on difficult data elements, metrics, quality improvement efforts and more. Workshops for each registry will include deep dives into expanded uses for data and interpreting outcome reports, while physician and administrator-focused breakout sessions will cover topics such as engaging fellow physicians and administrators, optimizing data quality, implementing quality improvement and the future of clinical registries and electronic health records.

Learn more about the NCDR Annual Conference at

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, ACC Annual Scientific Session

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