Over the past few weeks the ACC has expanded its international reach even further and has launched the Spain Chapter, the Argentina Chapter and the Lebanon Chapter, which makes the international chapter count 23 total. We have also passed the 6,000 international member mark, which is an amazing accomplishment for the College. These successes are truly a testament to the efforts the College has put forward to focus on expanding internationally. We have much to learn from one another and our new international members will only help in these efforts.
Last month I attended the Brazilian Society of Cardiology (SBC) Congress in Recife, Brazil. While in Recife I had the privilege of officially signing the agreement for the Second Annual ACC Cardiovascular Conference in Brazil featuring Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, to take place in 2013. Anticipated attendance at this event is expected to exceed 2,500 cardiologists from across Latin America. You can see pictures of the signing ceremony with SBC President Jadelson Andrade, MD, FACC, here.
Earlier this month I traveled to Argentina where Jagat Narula, MD, FACC, and I attended the Argentine Society’s Annual Congress of Cardiology and participated in a joint session titled "What Is the Future of Cardiology?" The ACC Argentina Chapter was officially launched and Carlos Barrero, MD, FACC, was named as the new ACC Argentina Chapter Governor. Thank you Drs. Cesar Belziti and Walter Stoerman for your historical and important collaboration in making the Argentina Chapter a reality. Be sure to check out photos from the launch here.
Next up, BOG Chair Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC traveled to Spain for the Spanish Society of Cardiology’s Annual Congress in Sevilla. Vicente Bertomeu, MD, FACC, president of the Spanish Society of Cardiology announced the ACC Spain Chapter at the opening ceremony. Check out a video posted here where Dr. Bertomeu and Dr. Itchhaporia announce the Spain Chapter. We are truly excited for this new endeavor!
Also, just last week I was in my home country of Lebanon to officially launch ACC’s Lebanon Chapter with Samir Arnaout, MD, FACC, president of the Lebanese Society of Cardiology. This of course holds a special place in my heart since I grew up in Lebanon and most of my family still resides there. You can view photos from the event here. I was surprised and honored to receive two awards during my trip, an award from the Order of Physicians, and a special recognition Award: the National Order of the Cedar, Knight, given by the President of Lebanon General Michel Suleiman. It was such a great honor and a moving experience; we will continue to work with the chapter to advance cardiovascular health in Lebanon and the larger Middle East region.
I also traveled to Beijing, China for the 23rd Annual Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology meeting, which hosted the first-ever patient education event. The meeting, chaired by Professor Dayi Hu, MD, FACC, was an resounding success, with over 13,000 attendees, and featured a full day of joint sessions with the ACC. CardioSmart was an important part of the activities and our patient education materials were translated to Mandarin to teach attendees about exercise, smoking cessation, blood pressure and cholesterol management. An important message from the event focused on encouraging people to walk 10,000 steps a day since exercise is the best medicine. You can view photos from the event here.
In addition to our first foray internationally in China, this fall CardioSmart has really stepped up its community outreach events. Spirit of the Heart (which I had the pleasure of kicking-off in Houston and you can read about it in a previous blog post here) took place in Houston, Dallas and Austin, TX and will be coming to Harlem, NY in December, and Oakland, CA in March. This event touches hundreds of patients who might not have the resources available to check their numbers and to learn about cardiovascular health. CardioSmart also attended a NASCAR event in Charlotte a few weeks ago where hundreds of fans learned more about heart healthy lifestyles and watched CPR demos given by our NC Chapter.
These events are just a few of the activities the ACC has embarked on recently that are affecting the lives of patients nationally and internationally. Of course there is much more to come as we continue to expand and work with our partners. The sky truly is the limit.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @WilliamZoghbi as well as the ACC’s account @ACCinTouch as they use #ACCIntl for the latest international news from the College. Also don’t miss all of the photos from the chapter launches on ACC’s Facebook page.