ACC.23/WCC Convocation Address: B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC

B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC

Wow! What a celebration. As you know a convocation as we are having now is not a commencement, it is not a graduation, but from the Latin convocare it is a gathering of the people for the express purpose of recognition and awards.

Before we celebrate the impressive accomplishments of our award winners and each of you as new Fellows and Associates, I want to pause a bit to reflect on the journey that brought us all here this evening.

For some it could not have happened without the support and encouragement of loved ones and family members. For others it may have taken a village … and perhaps even an entire army. But we are all here now – together – united around a shared Mission and a shared community. If Maya Angelou was right, my job now is easy, as she said: "It's not what you say that matters, but how you make people feel." I am counting on the party immediately following this to give you a good memory.

Before I go further, I would like to give a shout out to the wonderful ACC staff that put this all together, and a little known, but long-running ACC Convocation Work Group over the past five years led by JP Baird, Laura Bicicchi, Shalen Fairbanks, Marthea Wilson and ACC members Andy Kates, Andy Miller, Jane Linderbaum, Joe Marine, and myself. Please give them credit now for re-envisioning this time-honored tradition and turning it into the concise, impactful, and memorable event we're a part of today.

So, congratulations to all of you – new Fellows and Associates – who sit before me. As has been said, with great reward comes great responsibility. And that responsibility could not be directed towards a better place in medicine than in the field of cardiology.

Arguably, some of the greatest advances in all of medicine over the past nearly 75 years of the ACC occurred in our field. From President Eisenhower confined to his bedroom in the White House for six weeks following a heart attack, to today's standard of stenting STEMI patients expediently and sending them home in 1-2 days. Cardiologists are now inserting more aortic valves percutaneously than surgeons, and defibrillators are saving lives on the playing field and in the community.

These are just some of the amazing advances among a plethora of others, yet cardiovascular disease still remains the number one killer in the U.S. and worldwide. There is still so much more to learn and to be done to improve outcomes. And you are very welcome to this endeavor. It will be both challenging and rewarding, but I have no doubt that it will be enough to satisfy many careers.

And the ACC will be with you. Today you join a community of more than 56,000 members spanning the entire cardiovascular care team, and nearly a third of whom reside outside the U.S. and represent more than 140 countries. Together, we give strength to our heart team and shared decision-making approach to addressing the growing global burden of complex cardiovascular diseases.

So, what can you expect from your ACC this year and the next? First of all, we will sprint to the finish of our 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, focusing on our four Strategic Pillars. Together we will work towards increasing the relevance of the ACC as THE CV professional home and ensuring long-term growth and sustainability of the College, both now and into the future.

We will focus on delivering actionable knowledge to the point of care through new transformative digital technologies like apps and smart phones – an "UpToACC" rather than "UpToDate" approach if you will. We will also continue in our commitment to advancing quality, health equity, and value in transforming CV care delivery in the U.S. and the world.

Key strategic priorities in the next year, including continued acceleration of our work in countries around the world, working closely with our 42 International Chapters, our partner societies, and our Assembly of International Governors robed and represented beside you in the audience. We are all cardiologists without borders!

Already we are a global leader, with our 3 regional conferences each year in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia bringing the latest evidence-based science and education directly to clinicians worldwide. Our Global Heart Attack Treatment Initiative now in its third year continues to grow, with 39 sites in 25 countries across all habitable continents participating to date and more than 7,000 STEMI patients in the registry so far. We are truly transforming care.

Our family of globally-recognized JACC Journals – now numbering 10 – and our robust clinical guidelines and related patient and clinician tools – many of which are translated in multiple languages – attest to our Vision of utilizing science, innovation, and knowledge to optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes.

Locally, we continue to work with the American Heart Association to optimize our guideline process, with a goal of two to three new Guidelines each year and the capability to update existing Guidelines more quickly with the release of new science.

We are also working to modernize our NCDR registries, with the goal of reducing cost and burdens through novel approaches like natural language processing to channel EHR data directly to registries without the need for human data entry and to support clinical process improvement.

This and other initiatives hold promise for further care transformation using synergies with ACC's MedAxiom company, hospitals, health systems, and academic centers of excellence. These synergies will allow us to identify and implement best practice frameworks for care delivery in a post-pandemic world.

Last, but certainly not least, of ACC's recent key strategic initiatives is the focus on Digital Transformation and the creation of a "digital-first" culture throughout the organization and its members. This transformation, currently underway, will allow for enhanced member experiences and value – providing more personalized information and knowledge in the way YOU want it and when YOU want it, as well as streamlined transactions – and interactions.

You'll also see digital transformation in our continued work through ACC's robust Innovation program under ACC's Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Ami Bhatt and her team. New patient-centered technologies, wearables, AI, and care transformation have the potential to handle the accelerating burden of acute and chronic cardiovascular disease and help curb the rampant growth of health care costs.

As we look ahead, the leadership of your ACC Board of Trustees has layered additional goals for the next Strategic Plan for 2024-2028 that includes continued work towards building and executing a health equity plan for all. A plan that addresses the vastly underrepresented in cardiology to the underserved in our communities.

You'll also see a focus on optimizing ACC's educational portfolio and developing a new paradigm for all future worldwide meetings. This means taking the wheel on establishing a sustainable professional excellence program that focuses on maintenance of competencies vs. certification.

Whew! That's a lot but I assure you together we are up to all of these challenges.

In the closing minute, I would like to thank my own personal army that landed me here. I am surrounded by my children and their respective spouses and significant others – three of whom are fourth generation doctors – Wallace and Lisa; Sallie; Hadley and Lindsey. I am equally proud of my teacher and her engineer husband as well: Starr and Louis. Thank you also to my sister Dee and her husband Tom; my dear friends and hiking buddies Chris and Lili Teigland, Mary and Ben Byrd, past president of ASE, and my wife Hannah whom I know ACC realized early on was part of the package, and who also told me I belong here.

And I cannot forget my Sanger family at Atrium Health including Chuck Simonton and headed by Geoff Rose, as well as my ACC family, including Rick Chazal who started me on this course and so many others including John Harold, Pat O'Gara, Tony Demaria, Kim Williams, Dick Kovacs, Mike Mansour, Bob Shor, Allen Seals, Fred Masoudi, Blair Erb, and Chris Kramer.

Special recognition to my great friends Dipti Itchhaporia who encouraged me to run – little did I know it would be against her and I would lose – and Mike Valentine who encouraged me to run again.

Thank you also to Athena Poppas and especially Minnow Walsh for their mentorship, sponsorship, and most importantly their friendship, and to Ed Fry for taking me under his wing and on long 6 a.m. walks this past year – and to Cathie Biga – a positive step for ACC and who will take my place next year.

Last, but not least, thank you to all of you.

To the new FACCs and AACCs here today, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes I keep on my iPhone by Amelia Wren, a 19th century balloonist and aeronaut: "You don't change the world simply by looking at it, you change the world through the way you live in it."

Congratulations to all! Now let's land this plane and get to the party!

Clinical Topics: Acute Coronary Syndromes, Anticoagulation Management, Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Dyslipidemia, Geriatric Cardiology, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Noninvasive Imaging, Pericardial Disease, Prevention, Pulmonary Hypertension and Venous Thromboembolism, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Stable Ischemic Heart Disease, Valvular Heart Disease, Vascular Medicine, Anticoagulation Management and ACS, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, Cardiac Surgery and Arrhythmias, Cardiac Surgery and CHD and Pediatrics, Cardiac Surgery and Heart Failure, Cardiac Surgery and SIHD, Cardiac Surgery and VHD, Congenital Heart Disease, CHD and Pediatrics and Arrhythmias, CHD and Pediatrics and Imaging, CHD and Pediatrics and Interventions, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, Acute Heart Failure, Pulmonary Hypertension, Interventions and ACS, Interventions and Imaging, Interventions and Structural Heart Disease, Interventions and Vascular Medicine, Angiography, Nuclear Imaging, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, Sports and Exercise and Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Sports and Exercise and ECG and Stress Testing, Sports and Exercise and Imaging, Chronic Angina

Keywords: ACC23, ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper, ACC.23/WCC Meeting Newspaper, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Anticoagulants, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Metabolic Syndrome, Angina, Stable, Heart Defects, Congenital, Dyslipidemias, Geriatrics, Heart Failure, Angiography, Diagnostic Imaging, Pericarditis, Secondary Prevention, Hypertension, Pulmonary, Sleep Apnea Syndromes, Sports, Exercise Test, Heart Valve Diseases, Aneurysm

< Back to Listings