Harold on History | The Evolution of Leadership Development at ACC

Since its founding in 1949, the ACC has always been an incubator for leadership development. ACC leaders have a long tradition of working with member volunteers to achieve the strategic priorities of the College and realize our mission of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health. In recent years, the College has placed a greater emphasis on leadership development to cultivate future generations of cardiovascular leaders.

Contemporary ACC Presidents including Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, MACC, Michael Wolk, MD, MACC, Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, the late James T. Dove, MD, MACC, and Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, helped to prioritize the importance of leadership development and training within the College. Douglas and Walsh continue to champion efforts focused on women’s leadership in cardiology and increased diversity among underrepresented communities.

"The best is he who calls men to the best. And those who heed the call are also blessed. But worthless who call not, heed not, but rest." Hesiod, 8th Century B.C. Greek poet

Dove, working with other leaders like soon-to-be ACC President Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, created the Cardiovascular Leadership Institute (CLI) Work Group. The CLI was designed to cultivate leadership development within the ACC and provide orientation, skill development and networking opportunities to future leaders in cardiology. The ACC’s annual Leadership Forum (see feature story) is a direct outgrowth of initiatives inspired by these early CLI efforts and has grown to include over 250 cardiovascular care professionals representing the entire cardiovascular care team. The Forum provides an opportunity to clarify the purpose, charge and expectation of being a member leader within the College. It also offers a unique opportunity for College member leaders to gather, collaborate and focus on dedicated leadership development across the care team.

Meanwhile, Wolk’s support for the ever-growing ACC Emerging Faculty Program is ensuring the College has a solid base of clinician educators who are committed to supporting the ACC’s mission. The Emerging Faculty program provides an extensive program to enhance leadership skills and competencies. Good teachers make good clinicians. DeMaria and Zoghbi’s leadership of the College’s International Leadership Training Program has taken leadership efforts globally. This program gives voice to emerging international leaders from across the world.

Other recent College leadership initiatives include the Emerging Advocates Program which focuses on leadership development in advocacy, as well as the ACC Leadership Academy. The inaugural Leadership Academy cohort included 14 early career members and focused on developing critical leadership skills and competencies needed in today’s environment. Each participant is paired with a current or former leader of the College and a capstone project is chosen that aligns with a strategic objective of the ACC. The next group of participants will convene for the first time at ACC.18 in Orlando and will continue the focus on mentoring and leadership development.

Additionally, the ACC Board of Governors has consistently played a role in leadership development at the College. A focused BOG mentoring program was launched at ACC.15 under the direction of Robert Shor, MD, FACC, with the goal of supporting first-year ACC governors in their new roles and cultivating leadership competencies including communication skills.

As the ACC begins to transition to its next five-year Strategic Plan (2019-2023) the College’s commitment to building future leaders with anticipated alignment of leadership programming across all activities of the College will not wane. The future of cardiology – and the ACC – is linked to effective leadership development and ultimately effective leaders.

Cardiology Magazine ImageACC International Leadership Training Academy with DeMaria and Zoghbi
Cardiology Magazine ImageWalsh and the Women in Cardiology Section at ACC.17
Cardiology Magazine ImageACC First Leadership Academy (Cohort I)
Cardiology Magazine ImageACC Emerging Faculty Program

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Leadership, Mentors, Columbidae, Goals, Academies and Institutes, Government, Volunteers, Incubators, Social Responsibility, Cohort Studies

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