New Governance Structure Finding Support Among ACC Members

Over the last two decades, the ACC has seen significant growth and change in its organizational membership, size and mission. In an effort to address this growth and change, along with the significant and ongoing  fluctuations in the health care environment, the College has started to implement revisions to its long-standing governance structures and processes that will be phased in between now and 2018.

Perception of ACC LeadershipAt a broad level, the changes agreed upon by the ACC's Board of Trustees (BOT) in January 2016 are based on key principles for optimal governance that call for a smaller and more strategic board, with tactical decision making occurring at the committee level. Specific changes include a reduction in Board size from an initial 31 to 13 members by 2018; the creation of 6 Board standing committees, including a new Membership Committee; and a reduction in BOT officers to president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer. While many changes are starting to take place this year, there are still supporting details that will continue to be worked out over the next two years.

A recent CardioSurve survey finds that ACC members are generally supportive of the new governance structure. Approximately half of cardiologists (48%) are very/extremely favorable toward the new ACC Governance structure, with only 2% not favorable and the rest not sure or undecided. Additionally, two out of five surveyed feel that the governance transformation will move the ACC in the right direction, with only 1% indicating the ACC is headed down the wrong track. Nearly 2 out of 3 FACCs (63%) also indicate that the new, smaller, strategy-focused, competency-based board will better guide the College than a larger representative board. Of the cardiologists who express uncertainty about the benefits of the new structure, nearly half (48%) still prefer the small board size, compared to only 16% who preferred a larger board. Only 1 out of 10 cardiologists feel that the new BOT is too small to adequately hear and represent the voice of ACC members.

Most Important Aspects of ACC Governance GoalsThe support for this new governance is likely buoyed by positive perceptions of ACC leadership and also by expectations of what the governance changes can produce. Approximately 3 out of 4 cardiologists agree that the interests of ACC members are taken into account when formulating the ACC vision (76%), that ACC leadership is in touch with the real issues facing CV professionals (73%), and that ACC leadership has formulated and approved organizational goals that are important to members (72%). In terms of expectations of these governance changes, while most mid-to-late career cardiologists believe that a nimble leadership is the most important goal, the early career cardiologists also view the ability for ACC committees to play larger roles in programs, products, and initiatives, and new leadership opportunities of equal importance to nimble leadership.

Moving forward, member feedback is a critical element to the College's efforts to bring greater clarity to the revised structure and process over the next couple years. ACC leaders are committed to listening and course-correcting as needed. As one member advises, "ACC needs to effectively represent different sections, needs to represent diverse interests.” Learn more about the ACC's governance structure in the "About ACC" section of

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