Greetings from DC after a wonderful holiday weekend! There is nothing like celebrating Independence Day in the Nation’s capital.  It’s a special experience but it does remind me how quickly the summer is going by. 

This fall, ASE will host its 3rd Annual Echo Florida: Contemporary Echocardiography. As an attendee and faculty member for the past two years, I know this is a wonderful opportunity to experience the 'magic'  of an ASE course.   Mike Picard, from Mass General, has done an outstanding job planning a course that will give you insight into new techniques while solidifying your clinical skills.

Did you know that 98% of previous attendees would recommend this course to a colleague? Mike, along with his co-chair, Becky Hahn, have put together a stellar course featuring a truly outstanding faculty. Those of you who have attended an ASE course know that access to luminary faculty is a hallmark of our meetings.   This year, we are moving to a new location at Walt Disney World, The Grand Floridian.  It’s still on the monorail so getting around is a breeze.

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We just had this come up in our office meeting. The Doctors were not happy with the choppy images. We found the resolve! We now take 5 cycle clips. This does take some time to get use to but the end result is a smooth clip. This will increase your image quality and give more information to the reading Doctor to make an accurate  diagnosis. The clips are seamless. 

JulieAnn, RCS
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Thanks to persistence, hard work and a bit of luck, ASE welcomed Senator Ron Wyden to address attendees during the recent Silver Anniversary Scientific Sessions in Portland, Oregon.

Senator Wyden is one of Washington’s highest profile figures and most sought after legislators. He is Oregon's senior US Senator and the new Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Wyden has jurisdiction over a multitude of issues from health care to taxes, including broad authority over Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the tax provisions that subsidize insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

Politico magazine recently ran an article, titled Suddenly, Everybody Loves Ron Wyden, which stated: “few lawmakers have become more influential in the 113th Congress more quickly.” Thanks to Dr. Jonathan Lindner and our lobbyist, Peggy Tighe, ASE had the rare chance to directly speak to one of the key decision makers on the Hill and discuss some of the most controversial issues facing healthcare today, emphasizing the shortsightedness of funding a permanent repeal to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) via cuts to echocardiography.

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1.  When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

After other degrees, jobs, and life experiences, I completed a completed a degree program in nursing in 1978.  I worked in critical care/intensive care environments for the next 12 years, but had always had photography as a main interest and passion.  By 1989, I was ready for a change and had explored other nursing positions and degrees in photography and secondary education, but had been talking quite a bit with the cardiac sonographers at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, OR.  The imaging was what hooked me.  I’m a very visual person, and echocardiography seemed like the perfect combination of making images with my medical experience.  I went to Spokane, WA, talked with Dennis Carney, and entered the Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Technology Program in 1990.  It was the best decision I had ever made!

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Today was the final day of a great scientific sessions but first, before I get into that........... I need to thank Jonathan Linder and the entire program committee on putting together an exciting program.

Last night we (the faculty, award winners and industry round table partners) had a chance to celebrate together at the Portland Art Museum. Here are some pictures: 1) picture from entrance to museum entrance, 2) Drs. Pearlman (JASE editor), Mertens (Fiegenbaum award winner), Hahn (next year's program chair) and Linder (current year scientific session chair); 3) Drs Asch (guidelines chair) and Plana (first author for upcoming cardio-oncology guidelines and 4) Sonography Council chair Elizabeth McIlwain and Board of Director Partho Sengupta):

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Just another great day in Portland at the 25th Annual Scientific Sessions of the ASE. 

I woke up to more sun, blue sky's and crisp 70 degree weather, realized that I am now a pro at taking the tram around town. The day started with the Weyman Young Investigator award competition and the Feigenbaum honorary lecture by Luc Mertens. I was amazed at the variety and quality of the research these investigators presented.


For me, it was then off to chair a really interesting session on the role of imaging in science.  This session had presentations that spanned from pre-clinical (echos in mice), to the industry perspective of echo in drug development and ending with insights from molecular imaging.

While all of that was intellectually stimulating for me, the highlights of the day were meeting and spending time and meeting new colleagues from around the globe. We had a great meeting of representatives from around the world who each gave a short update on what is happening with CV ultrasound in their country.  Here is a picture of the group:

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Portland is beautiful! I left 90 degree temperatures and 100% humidity in Washington DC to come to lovely Portland with temperatures in the 70’s, crisp air with the smell of their famous coffee on every street corner.

And yes, the meeting is also off to a great start too!  We started Saturday early with 7 am breakfast sessions from echo in stroke to incorporating 3D into daily clinical practice. Then the main sessions started as the convention center started to fill up. Mitral valve procedures, diastology, chamber quantification and a ‘sonic adventure’ in physics are just a few examples of the offerings. Pediatric echo jeopardy and a ‘Clash of the Titans’ debate rounded out the educational session.

For me, I also packed in an investigators meeting (for those taking part in the Coapt study), meetings with our ASE chairs and council leadership and a JASE editorial board meeting. And what better way to end the day with a President’s Reception inside the Exhibit & Poster Hall to informally meet with your friends and colleagues over a glass of wine.

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Welcome back to the ASE President’s blog!  I am excited to become your ASE President and am committed to represent you and your interests in cardiovascular ultrasound excellence in quality, education, advocacy and research. I want ASE to be your go-to place for anything related to CV Ultrasound.

Many of us belong to several organizations.  Some are meaningful, important memberships while others are only an occasional newsletter or email.  I want ASE to be the type of organization that becomes part of your everyday professional life.  However, to do that, I need to hear from you.  ASE is doing A LOT of things but is it doing the right things?  Is it your ‘go to’ place?

With this first blog post, I want to get us off on the right foot and let you know I am committed to open, transparent 2-way communication.  PLEASE post your comments, questions and suggestions on this blog and/or on Connect@ASE. You can also email me at

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Can anybody tell me during which year(s) two-dimensional echocardiography came into wide-spread clinical use? I can't find any such details in online articles about the history of echocardiography.
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1.  When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

My involvement in cardiovascular ultrasound was inspired by a teacher in the ultrasound program I attended; he lectured so passionately about echocardiography’s role in diagnosing cardiovascular disease that I was hooked immediately. I’ve been involved in medical imaging my entire career, and echo seemed the perfect segue.

2.  Where do you work, and what is your current position?

I am currently with the Barnabas Health System in New Jersey, with a renowned cardiothoracic transplant division, and robust TAVR and VAD programs as well. Very exciting is the recent development of an Adult Congenital service, as echo imaging is an integral modality for following this population. Our echo department is led by a brilliantechocardiologist who is very quality-focused and supportive of the very talented echo staff. We have weekly QA meetings, and it is an environment for learning each day. I manage the lab, and do my best finding time to scan as often as possible. Our lab partners with several local cardiovascular imaging programs, offering opportunities to interact with the next generation of sonographers. I believe I learn as much from them as they do from us-I love their optimism and energy!

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These are challenging times for healthcare.  Washington is facing constant fiscal crises, driving legislators and policy makers to look for cuts in the federal budget. As one of the most used imaging procedures, echocardiography has been a tempting target, especially when a cut will mean significant “savings,” regardless of if it is short term and short sighted.

The need for strong representation on the Hill, solely dedicated to echocardiography, has never been greater. Therefore ASE has retained the services of its own lobbyist, Peggy Tighe, J.D.. She is working to ensure that care is not compromised and strives to learn and share how pending legislation will impact you.

ASE has had several significant successes on the lobbying front including:

  • Echo was excluded from the SGR patch bill that included a mandatory AUC requirement and pre-authorization for “outliers.”  
  • With Peggy’s extensive lobbying healthcare experience and numerous contacts, she makes sure echo is considered and discussed favorably at the highest levels.  During recent critical negotiations, Congressional leadership staff reached out to update her on the discussions and assure her that the deal for echocardiography was secure.
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1.  When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound? 

I decided to go back to school for cardiovascular ultrasound in 2006.

2.  What is the name and type of facility/institution  where you work, and what is your current position?

I currently work at Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC, where I have a dual role as a sonographer and a research coordinator in the Cardiac Diagnostic Unit.


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Since ACC.14 took place in Washington, DC, several ASE members and staff took advantage of the proximity to the federal government to help enhance ASE’s profile and to oppose the site neutrality proposal.

Dr. James Thomas, one of ASE’s Past-Presidents, capitalized on the opportunity to meet with his US Senator, Sherrod Brown, and presented some of ASE’s talking points to Sen. Brown. Since Senator Brown serves on the Finance Committee, a committee that has considerable oversight over this issue, the meeting was incredibly beneficial to delivering ASE’s message. The importance of having a legislator hear from a constituent cannot be overstated. Additionally, while our lobbyist had met with Senator Brown office previously, she was thus able to follow up again and further ensure that our concerns are not forgotten.

Robin Wiegerink and Irene Butler, ASE’s CEO and Vice President of Health Policy respectively, attended a fundraiser for Patrick Hope during ACC.14. As one of ACC’s lobbyists, Patrick helped coordinate a recent fly-in focusing on opposing the site neutrality proposal, and repealing the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) to replace it with a payment system that fairly reimburses for the costs of providing services.  He is running for Virginia's 8th congressional district (Arlington and Fairfax counties, Falls Church and Alexandria) and is a champion of efforts to reward providers for quality improvement and improved patient outcomes, and will stand with physicians to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

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1.  When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

I was pre-med in college.  Advisors recommend that students have a plan B, in case you aren't one of the lucky ones to earn admission into medical school.  I happened to be working as the weekend secretary for our echo lab at the time, and was given the opportunity to cross over into the clinical world of cardiology.  In 1999, I started cross-training in EKG, Holter Monitor attachment and interpretation, stress testing and echo.    I was able to complete my echo training while I was a monitor tech in a Cardiac Cath lab, gaining exposure to the invasive side of cardiology.   I successfully passed the echo board exams in Dec. 2002, earning my RDCS.

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At new job site and they use different billing codes for stress echoes.  What codes are supposed to be used for
stress echoes and  stress echoes with complete echo first.
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You are fortunate.  I only received 5 lessons for 2013 and am assuming I will not be getting any more.  My phone calls and emails have also gone unanswered.
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1.  When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

I was selected to cross train in vascular ultrasound in May of 2002.  I came from a respiratory therapy background.

2.  Where do you work, and  what is your current position of employment?

I am currently the vascular technical director for OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio.  We are a family of not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare organizations serving central Ohio since 1891.  Our network consists of 9 hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities.

3.  When and how did you get involved with the ASE?

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Anyone have an opinion of this machine? Adult echo use only.
Looking for entry level new machine at a small hospital.
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Hi ASE members,

Did you know ASE has just released two brand new apps in the Google Play and Apple iTunes stores?

The first one is the brand new Connect@ASE app. Get the latest discussions on Connect@ASE and access to ASE’s document libraries on your handheld device. Search for “Member Centric” in the Google Play or Apple iTunes stores.  Then select your organization, “American Society of Echocardiography.” You will need the email address and password associated with your ASE membership account to activate the app.  Never miss a blog post or discussion post again!

The second new one is the ASE Meetings and Event app. Stay up-to-date on all of the live educational courses by downloading the free ASE Meetings app. Find detailed information on each of ASE's events including faculty, agendas, exhibitors, networking events and more! Use the app to create or sync your event schedule and receive notifications of special activities and sessions while on-site. The app is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. Simply search for "ASE Live Educational Courses" in the Google Play or Apple iTunes stores.
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Are you faced to your Echocardiography job for the first time. I wrote a book for you: "Echocardiography beyond the first clinical scenarios"
Collegues: Your opinion and feedback would be the best. Thank you
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