Home / HFSA News / President’s Update: December 2018


We are all in the midst of a very busy holiday season with family, friends, colleagues and hopefully much needed time for rest, relaxation and reflection on the past year and the New Year ahead.

The past 3 months at HFSA have been very busy and productive:

  • Members represented HFSA have traveled to Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.
  • Cooperative agreements for educational exchange programs are being finalized for our collaborations with ESC HFA, the Japanese HF Society, and our newest collaborator the Canadian HF Society.
  • HFSA committees are active and your board meets monthly for a teleconference.
  • The board approved the formation of an Executive Committee which meets twice a month. The Executive Committee includes the officers and 2 elected senior board members. We are fortunate to have Mona Fiuzat, PharmD, FHFSA and John Teerlink, MD, FHFSA as the board representatives on the Executive Committee.
  • The 2019 budget has been finalized and approved by the board.
  • Planning is well underway for the 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting scheduled for Philadelphia September 2019.
  • Recently the first announcement went out for the 3rd Annual Future Leaders in HF Conference, sponsored by HFSA and scheduled for May 2019 Washington DC. Please encourage the future leaders you know to apply for attendance.


Everyone will be interested to learn about the history of our journal, the Journal of Cardiac Failure. I asked the founder, Jay N. Cohn, MD, FHFSA to reflect and our current editor Paul Hauptman, MD, FHFSA to provide the vision for the future.

“The inaugural issue of the Journal of Cardiac Failure (JCF) appeared in the Fall of 1994, at a time when heart failure was not an official subspecialty of cardiology and there were no training programs and no certification examinations. There were, however, a group of physiologically-oriented clinician scientists and basic investigators dedicated to understanding why and how the heart failed and how we might prevent it and treat it. The Journal was initiated to serve these care-givers and scientists by providing a forum for new ideas and new insights. As I noted in the editorial introducing the first issue, the Journal’s publication “indicates that interest in cardiac failure has matured to the point that it can be viewed as a well-defined subspecialty of cardiovascular medicine.”

The first organization of care-givers and scientists interested in heart failure did not emerge until the following year with the establishment of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) and its first annual meeting in Baltimore. The JCF quickly became the official journal of the HFSA, and I assumed responsibility for both entities as the Journal’s first editor and the Society’s first president. The last two decades have featured rapid worldwide expansion of clinical interest in cardiac failure and the founding of other national societies and other journals dedicated to the field. Those of us who were intimately involved in the origins of JCF and HFSA would like to think that our efforts played a key role in expanding the profession’s interest and success in the understanding and management of this complex disease process. As in all areas of serious endeavor, the more we learn, the more we have left to learn.”

In retrospect it is clear and not surprising that Dr. Cohn was an accurate visionary that realized the key role that the discipline of heart failure and its providers would play in cardiovascular medicine. Indeed today the HF specialist finds her/him-self as an integral component of quality outcome metrics, advanced therapeutics, shock teams, TAVR teams, Mitral teams and CRT clinics. The patient is the centerpiece and the HF providers must coordinate and direct the diagnostic and therapeutics for the HF patient.

The current editor of JCF, Paul Hauptman has led the journal for the past 3 ½ years with growth in submissions and a rising impact factor. Dr. Hauptman provides his vision for the journal:

“The JCF is about to complete its 25th year of publishing, currently under its fourth editor. The Journal is undergoing a renaissance with an annual increase in Impact Factor (now at a record 3.942) and growth in the number of submissions. The overall acceptance rate is approximately 12%, and overall decreased times to decision have been achieved, even with a transition to a new online submission platform. The Journal features new sections including Brief Reports, Research Letters, and “Bookend” perspectives, as well as creative approaches to dissemination through monthly podcasts and frequent tweeting of visual abstracts (@JCardFail), the latter attracting a growing SoMe audience. The slate of associate editors is interdisciplinary (MD, PharmD, RN PhDs are all represented) and geographically diverse (four countries, in addition to the US). A program for CME credit awarded to reviewers is currently under consideration, with goals to foster increased participation by reviewers and potentially shorter turnaround times. Scientific Statements from the HFSA and/or HFSA collaborating with other professional societies continue to be published and have an important impact on the field; the editor anticipates that two additional Statements will be published in early 2019.”

Forward Thinking JCF Editor-in-Chief Paul Hauptman (right) and Senior Associate Editor Michael Rich

All considering a submission or that have questions should contact the managing editor Anna Leong. Anna has worked with non-profit medical associations for twelve years, and has over ten years of extensive experience with medical editing and publishing. She previously served as the managing editor for the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography from its inception in 2007 until 2014. Anna has worked as a staff and communicator liaison with multiple education-related committees, including guidelines, publications, abstracts, verification programs, CME and CE working groups, website management, faculty and chair management for educational programs, and public relations. She can be reached at aleong@hfsa.org.

The strength of our journal comes from our members so please enjoy the journal and please submit your manuscripts to our journal. Be sure to follow on Twitter @JCardFail.

I will close by emphasizing to all that we are so privileged to have the opportunity to serve our patients with heart failure. This week in clinic I shared in the joy of regained health with numerous heart transplant recipients returning for checkups that are now living their lives to the fullest. Particularly inspiring was to see multiple patients who have “RECOVERED” with medications and devices. Seeing a patient go from severe HF and an ejection fraction of 16% to a year later EF 53% with normal heart size benefitting from beta blockers and ARNi is a truly wonderful experience. How awesome our profession where we have the opportunity to help patients with heart failure!

Happy Holidays to all, Happy New Year and I look forward to a most productive New Year for HFSA in 2019.

Best regards,
Randall C. Starling, MD, MPH, FHFSA
HFSA President
Twitter: @rcstarling

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