Change, Innovation and the Arts a Focus of ACC.17 Opening Showcase

ACC.17 kicked off with a focus on change, innovation and the importance of the arts. Richard A. Chazal, MD, MACC, welcomed the tens of thousands of attendees to Washington, DC, as part of the Opening Showcase Session.

Chazal paid tribute to all those involved in making ACC.17 happen, including ACC.17 Chair Jeffrey T. Kuvin, MD, FACC, and Co-Chair Andrew M. Kates, MD, FACC. Kuvin, who joined Chazal on stage later in the session, highlighted the many features that made ACC.17 stand out from previous meetings, including 23 Late-Breaking Clinical Trials and 17 Feature Clinical Research presentations; special intensives focused on Palliative Care, Equity in Healthcare and Faculty Development; the more than 275 companies that were part of the ACC.17 Expo; and a highly popular new Personalized Skills Center designed for independent and small group learning. He also noted new opportunities for attendees to earn simultaneous Continuing Medical Education and Maintenance of Certification credit, in addition to credits for nurses, pharmacists and European participants.

Attendees also took a moment of silence to remember ACC Past President Sylvan Lee Weinberg, MD, MACC, who Chazal noted was a role model for an entire generation of clinical cardiologists. “I first met him when he served as a visiting professor at Indiana University in the 1980s,” Chazal said. “His ACC career included a highly successful term as president from 1993 to 1994. He also had a 15-year legacy as editor of ACCEL.”

"How do we address all of these changes without feeling overwhelmed and frustrated? First, we take a page out of the [Washington, DC] playbook and accept that change is occurring regardless of what we may wish. Next, we prepare to address it." Richard A. Chazal, MD, MACC

During his presidential address, Chazal focused on the many changes facing the cardiovascular and broader health care communities, as well as the ACC. Among these changes: new educational requirements and learning styles; a transition from evidence-based medicine to personalized medicine; and a changing health care delivery system in the U.S. Chazal also highlighted changing patient demographics, as well as changes in the cardiovascular workforce and in ACC membership.

“How do we address all of these changes without feeling overwhelmed and frustrated,” Chazal asked. “First, we take a page out of the [Washington, DC] playbook and accept that change is occurring regardless of what we may wish. Next, we prepare to address it.”

Chazal challenged attendees not to squander the chance to truly transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health and urged them to take advantage of the changing times to embrace challenges and find new solutions.

“Implementing change is difficult and the transition fraught with anxiety – but few real accomplishments are achieved without angst,” he said. “And, although we cannot control external events, we can control our reactions to these events. We can decide whether to emphasize the inherent challenges or the inherent opportunities presented to us. Today, in a city long accustomed to change, I challenge all of us to meet change head on.”

Following Chazal’s address, David J. Skorton, MD, FACC, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, delivered the annual Simon Dack Lecture, which focused on “Values: How the Arts and the Humanities Nurture our Careers and our Lives?”

He talked about the many ways the arts and humanities transcend politics and economics and enrich lives. “Arts, humanities and social sciences can help us connect and communicate in a time of division,” he said.

Skorton also discussed the influence of arts and humanities in inspiring technological advance, helping patients recover and providing ethical guidance. He cited examples of using art therapy to help veterans recovering from traumatic brain disease, as well as origami-inspired collapsible stent prototypes.

He closed by touching on the impacts of the arts and humanities on his personal career path, from the musical nature of the hearts rhythms to the color, emotion and imagery of cardiovascular imaging. He called on cardiovascular professionals to champion the arts, humanities and social science as a means of advancing medical science and ethical care. Read the transcript of Chazal’s Presidential Address at

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Clinical Topics: Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Evidence-Based Medicine, Palliative Care, Pharmacists, Stents, ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC17

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