Author + information
- Shalom Jacobovitz, Chief Executive Officer, American College of Cardiology∗ ()
- ↵∗Address correspondence to:
Dr. Shalom Jacobovitz, American College of Cardiology, 2400 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.
Health care is undergoing significant and rapid change, and no one is immune—not patients or those in charge of their care. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) recognizes this change and the inherent opportunities and challenges that go along with it. We also recognize the consequences associated with inaction. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the ACC is dedicating more time and energy than ever to make certain that our 47,000 members have the tools and information necessary to meet change head-on, while also continuing to provide the best, most appropriate care to the ever-increasing number of people with heart disease.
This renewed focus on member value is critical to the College’s mission of transforming care and improving heart health. It is our members who keep us strong and who enable us to be leaders not just in education and science, but also in advocacy and population health. As such, it is the job of ACC leaders and staff to ensure that each Fellow or Associate ACC member derives value from his or her affiliation with the College.
ACC membership also provides access to a global network of cardiovascular professionals, all committed to the common goal of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health. With more than 80 chapters worldwide—including chapters representing every state in the United States, plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico—the ACC is on the ground where its members live and work. ACC chapters offer opportunities for localized education, networking with peers, career and leadership advancement, and collaboration on important local health policies and issues. By getting involved in local chapters, members can take advantage of local clinical education opportunities, be on the ground floor of quality care initiatives, and influence local legislative and regulatory efforts affecting their practice and their patients.
Similarly, the ACC’s growing number of member sections makes it easier for cardiovascular professionals to connect, learn, and grow with members in their specific clinical areas of interest, whether that interest is sports and exercise cardiology, geriatric cardiology, adult congenital and pediatric cardiology, or another area. Over the last 10 years, ACC sections have grown from just 3 to more than 16 to meet the needs of members. From surgeons to training directors, the ACC truly is continually finding new ways to ensure that it is a sound professional home for everyone.
The ACC is designed to work for its members—to make their professional lives and the lives of their patients better through resources, tools, programs, education, and more. We are committed to the success of our members and demonstrate that commitment by being available to members whenever they need us—from the very early stages of cardiovascular training through retirement. For those just starting out in their careers, the College provides help with finding mentors; specialized programs and sections to support early career growth; education to help members find answers on topics not covered in training; leadership training; as well as access to research awards and scholarships.
As members grow in their respective cardiovascular fields, the ACC provides outcomes data through its suite of hospital and outpatient data registries to help with decision making and appropriate use of treatments and therapies. The College is also committed to providing members with information to help them adapt to an expanded role within their practice, as well as specialized programs and print and digital communications tied to interests and/or career paths. For more seasoned professional members, or those approaching retirement, the ACC provides opportunities to be a mentor, advance in College leadership, and/or share knowledge as expert faculty. There are also emeritus member benefits.
The ACC is also committed to providing the best resources to members who are busy and always on the go. From the JACC journals to clinical guidelines, ACC’s resources help members stay at the forefront of their profession clinically. JACC is consistently rated the number 1 benefit of ACC membership and is also the most highly cited and influential cardiovascular journal in the world. The ACC, working with the American Heart Association, has been developing clinical guidelines for the last 30 years. Guidelines, coupled with appropriate use criteria and other clinical documents, ensure that members are providing the most appropriate, up-to-date, evidence-based patient care.
On the education front, the ACC delivers the very best cardiovascular knowledge through its clinical educational offerings spanning 13 clinical pathways. Members receive discounts to live courses, like the Annual Scientific Sessions, and access to free and convenient digital content, including self-assessment tools. The ACC offers education tailored to the needs of every clinician. Our education is built with 1 purpose in mind: to provide members with support where they need it most and wherever they are.
In addition to the live programs and other tools, the ACC has spent the last several years enhancing its digital presence. The College’s new website, ACC.org, slated to debut in the coming months, is designed to bring a focused, in-depth, and personalized approach to the online experience. It will be optimized for mobile devices and will provide easy, streamlined access to the trusted content, like JACC and clinical guidelines, that users expect from the ACC. In addition, the College already has a robust suite of mobile applications developed by cardiovascular professionals for use at the point-of-care, like the new Guideline Clinical Apps, CardioSmart Heart Explorer, and ACC Connect. Additionally, we offer e-mail newsletters and are active on social media for easy access to breaking clinical news and connections with colleagues.
ACC advocacy is another major benefit of membership, serving as the voice of cardiology to Congress, federal government agencies, state legislative and regulatory bodies, private insurers, and other policy-making groups. Over the years, the ACC has helped its members and their patients in ways big and small, whether providing detailed comments on new coverage policies to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or joining with the house of cardiology to fight cuts to medical imaging, encourage funding for research and graduate medical education, or stop the latest reimbursement cuts caused by the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula. Most recently, the College and its chapters have been very successful at the state and national level regarding policies pertaining to pulse oximetry screening for newborns and smoke-free laws. Through the bipartisan ACC Political Action Committee (PAC), the number 1 cardiovascular PAC in the United States, the College is able to support members of Congress and candidates who are advocates of the cardiovascular community.
The College is also carving a space for itself around population health. Not only is the ACC partnering to pursue global sustainable development goals that would help take down cardiovascular disease as the number 1 killer worldwide, but the College is also finding new ways to encourage team-facilitated patient education through programs like CardioSmart and the development of patient/physician shared decision-making tools.
At the end of the day, the ACC exists because of its members who believe in the power of community, mission-focus, and professional growth to make a difference for the cardiovascular profession and, most importantly, for patient care. It was ACC members who planted the seeds and laid the groundwork for the many successful programs and initiatives that have come out of the ACC for the past 65 years, and it is ACC members who will help the College evolve and move forward. My job, as well as that of the entire ACC staff and leadership, is to make sure that each member has the tools that he or she needs to carry us forward.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation