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I am writing to you from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the 10th Annual WINFOCUS World Congress on Ultrasound in Emergency and Critical Care. 

WINFOCUS (World Interactive Network Focused On Critical Ultrasound) is an international society dedicated to improving the health of everyone through access to ultrasound when and where it is needed.  As such, they address all point-of-care ultrasound needs (not just for heart and vascular, but abdominal, Ob/Gyn, lung ultrasound and musculo-skeletal) with an emphasis on training new users. Some examples of the lectures were:

  1. Integration of ultrasound in medical school education so you see the valves closing simultaneously with hearing the heart sounds or see the aortic regurgitation along with hearing the diastolic murmur (visual linked with auditory)
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I am in search of some information about getting some education/training for pediatric echo. I work in an adult lab for a facility that has opened a NICU. There are about 5-6 of us that need to get some education in pediatric echo. Is anyone aware of a program that is in an online format?

Thank you for your time.

Delia Seaman, RDCS
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Hi ASE Members,

Dr. Weissman has allowed me to take over his blog for this post! Greetings from the ASE International Committee.  I’m just back from Beijing, where Becky Hahn and I represented the ASE at the 25th Annual Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology.  This is the largest cardiology meeting in China with over 10,000 attendees, and 2014 marks the eighth year that ASE has been participating in joint sessions. Over the years, we have been well served by the many Chinese-American members of ASE, who have helped us understand the complex echocardiography landscape in China.  For example, most echocardiography in China is not done by cardiologists but rather by specialists in general ultrasound imaging.

After a 14-hour flight from the States, I arrived in Beijing, none the worse for wear.  It was even a rare “blue-sky day”, with pollution levels well below corrosive.  After a quick shower, the first order of business was a welcome dinner arranged by our Chinese friends with the able assistance of Dali Fan.  It was a wonderful meal of course after course of delectable Peking-style delicacies (OK, maybe the braised pig stomach wasn’t too delectable!).  In attendance were Becky Hahn (Columbia University), Dali Fan (UC Davis), Leng Jiang (Baystate Medical Center), TG Zhu (Peking University People’s Hospital), Liu Fang (Peking University First Hospital), Xiaoxia Wu (Wujing Hospital), Lillian Lan and Raymond Shen from Links Group, an organization that helps facilitate Chinese medical collaboration with the rest of the world, Michelle Xiao from Heartworks Distributor, and Johnson Yang from Edwards China. 

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

In 1975, I was a cardiopulmonary technologist (C-CPT). My technical director was an insomniac and read medical journals to fall asleep. He kept coming across something called “echocardiography” and we started to talk about it. I then went to a training seminar with Drs. Harvey Feigenbaum and Walter Henry. After a day, they “knighted” me and sent me to conquer the world (with A-mode and M-mode). I was registered in adult echocardiography in 1981 and pediatric echo in 1986. I have been in echocardiography ever since. It has been very, very good to me.

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I remember it well, just like it was yesterday.

I was hanging a poster at the annual ASE Scientific Sessions. I was very proud to have a poster at this meeting and was annoyed the the sides of the poser were not lying flat against the board but I did not have enough push-pins.  I think she saw that I was fussing with the poster and came up to me and simply said 'Can I get you some more pins for that poster?'  She helped me 'get it just right' and we started talking about the meeting. That was when I first met Hillary, soon after she joined the staff of ASE.

Now fast forward 20 years and Hilary Lamb is the Chief Operating Officer at ASE, overseeing many aspects of the Society's operations.  Congratulations Hilary and thank you for all you have done for ASE!

I thought I would celebrate her anniversary by sharing some of the emails to / about her anniversary:

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Hi ASE members,


I am writing from sunny Orlando, FL where ASE's 3rd Annual Echo Florida is well underway at a new location, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. Course Director, Dr. Mike Picard and co-director Becky Hahn have put together a dynamic three day comprehensive echocardiography course.

It all started out with a Point of Care Symposium that featured ample time for hands-on scanning with multiple types of devices. Also, Marti McCulloch Learning Lab Director, put together a Learning Lab where participants received individualized instruction on quantitative echocardiography at computer workstations using real cases. These small group sessions allowed ample time for attendees to interact with some of ASE's experts and learn practical skills they can take back to the  lab.

Sunday's sessions focused on all the tools you need in general echocardiography (assessment of LV systolic and  diastolic function, stress echo, low gradient aortic stenosis, etc), as well as some more advanced topics in 3D and strain. Today is the last day with endocarditis, heart failure, cardio-oncology, athlete's heart, LVAD's, CRT, pericardial disease and more. 

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Hi ASE members,

Help us shape the future of ASE by nominating your peers! ASE is now accepting recommendations for Officers and Directors, who will be officially elected at the 26th Annual Scientific Sessions on June 12-16, 2015 in Boston, MA. Your nominations are invited for the position of vice president, treasurer, secretary, and five board positions. The vice president will serve a one-year term and is in a ladder position to the presidency. Guidelines for submitting nominations can be found on ASE's nominations page
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Recent actions on the Hill and from CMS signify that Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) will play a significant, evolving role in healthcare. Historically, AUC were developed as a tool to improve quality, however recent actions demonstrate a shift towards utilizing AUC to manage imaging volume.

In March Congress passed an SGR patch bill and instituted an AUC mandate to help fund the legislation. The bill established a requirement that a provider ordering an advanced imaging test, such as myocardial perfusion imaging or cardiac CT, must demonstrate that AUC were consulted. If there is no documentation that AUC were used, payments under Medicare will not be made to the furnishing professional. While this mandate does not apply to echocardiography at this time, it may be expanded to echo in the near future.  Adoption by private payers is also very likely.

ASE lobbied to be excluded from this mandate, with the concern that this would be an onerous requirement, especially during the initial implementation process by CMS. Among our concerns was the much greater number of indications for echocardiography compared with the advanced imaging modalities. For instance, the 2009 AUC for myocardial perfusion imaging list 67 indications for that procedure; the 2010 AUC for cardiac CT and MRI comprise 60 indications; while the 2011 AUC for echocardiography list 202! This attests to the robustness of echocardiography as a tool to inform us about a patient’s cardiac health. It also makes me less confident that early implementation for echo will go as smoothly as Congress imagines (think ACA rollout!).

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

I was career searching, and while I was job shadowing for the then-plan of x-ray tech, I had the opportunity to watch an ultrasound---and I was hooked!  I really didn't know what I was looking at, but knew with some training I would learn what the gray was all about and learn how to tell it all apart.  I knew I liked the challenge that lay ahead and looked forward to understanding more. When I had to pick a modality upon getting accepted into the sonography program, I thought the heart seemed the most complex and complicated and I was up for the challenge.  After only a few classes in I was completely overwhelmed but knew I was addicted to my new career choice!  I was excited to learn.  It was the hardest thing I had ever done at that point, but I was determined!

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It’s crazy to believe I’ve already been President of ASE for three months.  I became a member in 1993 and by 1995 I began volunteering on a committee. From committee member, a few years later I had the opportunity to co-chair and  then Chair a committee, then on to the lead the Scientific Sessions, serve on the Board of Directors and then Treasurer for 3 years.  That was a whirlwind of activity leading up to my current position - who would  have known when I started simply by volunteering for a committee.

Not volunteering yet? Your turn could be next!  The fall is the  time to sign up to volunteer at ASE.  We are starting with nominations for officers and Board members and later this  fall we will open for volunteers for committees.

The ASE Nominating Committee is now open to accept recommendations for Officers and Directors, who will be officially elected at the 26

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I am writing you from the Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014 at the JW Marriot Hotel in Washington, D.C. It is turning into a great one-day learning opportunity for Cardiology practice managers,medical Lab Directors and public policy makers in Washington. Cardiac imaging’s place in the new payment environment was part of the Summit’s focus, but strategies and future innovations in Value-Based Healthcare were discussed by Congressman, government and private payer leaders, leading cardiology practice consultant, as well as outstanding ASE educators and practitioners. 


Above:Echo Experts Byrd and Martin discuss Value Based Healthcare in the US with Representative Cooper and Chief Medical Officer of Geisinger Health System at ASE's Value Summit.



One of the most impactful sessions for me was the panel of patients that shared their story, from newly diagnosed severe aortic regurgitation to congenital heart disease to drug-induced cardiomyopathy. Echo played a critical role in rapid diagnosis and/or chronic management. To hear it from the patients' perspective was very persuasive.
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1.  When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

I was practicing as a pediatrician in the Center for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Vilnius, Lithuania. There I first learned and started to perform cardiac ultrasound for diagnosing congenital heart disease. I liked that diagnostic tool at once.

After immigrating to US I decided to go into this interesting field and continue as a cardiovascular sonographer in this interesting profession.

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

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

I first heard about Cardiovascular Ultrasound in 1998 and was immediately very intrigued by the technology. After completing my formal education in echocardiography in March 2000, I started my first job at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas, Texas Medical Center. It was here that I developed strong clinical skills under the guidance of Susan Wilansky MD, and Raymond Stainback MD. My first experiences with echocardiography involved learning how to scan patients with heart transplants, valvular replacements and repair, coronary artery bypass grafts, and adult congenital heart disease. The most technically challenging cases were the patients with left and right ventricular assist devices.

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Last week, I was able to visit with ASE staff in Morrisville, NC just a short drive from the famous Research Triangle Park.  It’s always great to work with people in-person and get a first hand sense of all the things they are doing to keep ASE up and running!

I first met with Robin, CEO and Hilary, COO to discuss planning for the next several months of my presidency.  We brainstormed ways to get our members more involved and how to outreach to all practitioners of cardiovascular ultrasound.   We will be taking a deeper look at this topic during the Board’s strategic planning retreat in March, 2015.

Then we met with Cheryl Williams, Education manager, to discuss how to continue educating our members with premier educational products and CME.  Our Education Committee continues to come up with innovative ideas to provide education to our growing membership.  Did you know that we are currently producing a Perioperative Echocardiography DVD and one that will explain how to provide proper measurements during an assessment?

Before lunch, Robin and I sat down with Debbie Meyer, Managing Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.  We want to continue to improve the quality of science provided in JASE.  The Journal continues to be one of our most popular member benefits. 

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There is an opening in our Echo/Vascular lab.  Utah is a great place to work and an even better place to play!!


https://jobs.intermountainhealthcare.org/viewjob.html?optlink-view=view-190185&ERFormID=newjoblist&ERFormCode=any
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I am writing you from the 'Orange City' - want to guess where I am?  No, not someplace in Florida.  Southern California hanging with the 'Real Housewives' of Orange County....NO, definitely not southern California!! 

I am half way across the world in the Orange City of India!!!

     

Endorsed by American Society of Echo, Echo Nagpur 2014, is a hands-on and case-based echo course that I had the pleasure of being part of this weekend.  Course directors (and active ASE members) Drs. Shantanu Sengupta, JC Mohan and Mahesh Fulwani
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I just got back from a wonderful meeting (in a wonderful place) and wanted to share it with you.

ASE is rapidly becoming an international organization (about 15% of our members are outside the US) and as such, our members are often involved in CV Imaging meetings throughout the world.  As your new president, I was very proud to represent ASE (and have ASE associated with) the Global Congress of Echo and CV Imaging by SONECOM (Sociedad Nacional de Ecocardiografia de Mexico).  Check out the  video by course director Hugo Valaquez Moreno on YouTube at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGT4ZTek5cE

This 4 day meeting had a 'who's who' of experts.  During the opening ceremony, I was sitting on the stage with the president-elect of the ACC, president-elect from European Assoc of CV Imaging, president of the Chinese echo society and editor of JACC Imaging.  The faculty was also excellent with great talks on a variety of subject.
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What will echocardiography’s place be as health care in the United States transforms to a value-based system? We who are versed in cardiac ultrasound know cardiac ultrasound as a cost-effective, versatile technology which yields high value information and enhances patient care. It is not enough for us to merely believe this statement, however; we have the responsibility and need the tools to demonstrate the evidence behind it.

The ASE Foundation is hosting Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014, The Role of Cardiovascular Ultrasound in the New Paradigm on September 12 in Washington, DC, to provide a better understanding of echo’s impact in patient care and research. We will explore the important roles that echocardiography plays, and how to demonstrate its value in patient-centered healthcare. This forum will feature speakers and panelists from across the healthcare spectrum, each offering their unique perspective on the transition to value-based healthcare, with a focus on the role of cardiovascular ultrasound, specifically echocardiography, in this changing environment. 

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Where are you going to be on June 13, 2015? 

Well, Boston, of course!  Why, you ask?  Well because I can already tell you that there is going to be one great ASE Scientific Session in a great city with fabulous colleagues.

How do I know this? Because I just came from a weekend work session with the 2015 Scientific Session planning committee.  This group, led by Dr Becky Hahn from Columbia University, is putting together one of the most exciting scientific sessions yet.  It will have a combination of cutting edge advances in technology, highly interactive small group encounters and program aimed to meet the needs of non-traditional users.  Being in Boston with a high density of medical schools (many of whom are incorporating ultrasound into medical education), we will also look to partner with other organizations to provide educational content for new users of CV ultrasound.

And

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