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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!!
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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:

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.


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WOW - can you believe it's already been one month since we held our Silver Anniversary Scientific Sessions in Portland. 

So many of you have commented on my opening President's remarks that I thought I would share some of it with you here for those that could not attend the session in person.

I started by pointing out how quickly technology is moving.  There is a great video available on YouTube called Did You Know that reinforces how quickly things are changing. I showed the following slide as one example of this change and then showed how this rapid change is going to effect our field of cardiovascular ultrasound:


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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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