Most of our members in North America have experienced a very cold and snowy January 2019. Our society however has had a warm and sunny start to the New Year and I want to recap a few highlights.
The Board of Directors and HFSA staff convened in Orlando, Florida on January 10-11 for a very engaged and productive board meeting. Jonathan Howlett, MD, FHFSA, Past President of the Canadian Heart Failure Society (CHFS) and an ad hoc HFSA Board Member for many years, was thanked for his service and contributions to HFSA. Dr. Howlett has been the catalyst for the growing and exciting collaborations between HFSA and CHFS. HFSA will have a joint session in Montreal at their meeting in May 2019 and I will have the privilege to co-chair the session with CHFS President Shelley Zieroth (@ShelleyZieroth). The board also approved plans for a governance review, membership analysis and consultant, marketing analysis, and a strategy to upgrade the information technology which is quite antiquated at HFSA headquarters. The board believes that these activities will strengthen HFSA, facilitate growth, and most importantly provide enhanced value and member benefits. The next face-to-face board meeting will be in May and will overlap with the Third Annual Future Leaders in Heart Failure Symposia.
The month of January also included an important external CME event in Dubai UAE. HFSA Ambassador to the Middle East Feras Bader, MD organized the Second Emirates Cardiac Society Heart Failure Working Group Conference. ESC HFA Past President Piotr Ponikowski, MD, PhD provided excellent commentary, lectures, and a debate. Highlights included a Keynote Lecture by HFSA Past President Mandeep Mehra, MBBS, FHFSA and a very lively debate regarding withdrawal of HF medications where HFSA Board Member Michael Givertz, MD, FHFSA squared off against Josef Stehlik, MD, MPH. I was very happy to participate and could palpate the excitement HFSA is generating with our global colleagues who are planning to attend our 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia 2019. Additionally, there was much interest expressed regarding the upcoming HFSA certification process.
Also, all should be reminded of upcoming Heart Failure Awareness Week February 10-16, 2019. Follow this link for a full summary of all planned HFSA activities: www.hfsa.org/hfweek2019
I would urge each member to discuss what you can do locally to enhance awareness in your community and inform patients, the public, and policy makers about heart failure. Any member with questions, comments or concerns please contact HFSA staff, John Barnes CEO, or myself.
Our program committee has asked me to invite at least one new person to join HFSA and attend the Annual Scientific Meeting on September 13-16 in Philadelphia. I would ask each of you to also support your society by doing your part to recruit new members and encourage attendance at our showcase Annual Scientific Meeting. Members know the value of HFSA membership and can best convey that message to potential new members!
Last but of utmost importance again, our sincere congratulations to the new HFSA CEO John Barnes! He is available at any time to discuss college sports or HFSA!
My best regards and now that the US government is back to work on to the Super Bowl.
Randall C. Starling, MD, MPH, FHFSA