It is my distinct honor and pleasure to serve as the 44th President of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions (SCAI). As the third woman to lead the Society, I am humbled to serve at the helm of the premier organization dedicated to the advancement of interventional cardiology across the globe.
As your president, I want to ensure that my priority is you—our members. The last four years that I have served on the SCAI Executive Committee have really guided and helped shape the goals I have outlined to help propel the profession, empower our members, and increase the quality of care for the patients we serve.
Working through COVID-19 this year has taught us how to quickly pivot. The pandemic caused a shift in SCAI leadership responsibilities and priorities that we were not expecting. I am so proud of how we were able to come together to develop several publications and white papers for our members, guiding them in best practices for treating patients amid the pandemic. It is through these efforts that we recognize not only the need for us to be proactive in our response to emerging research and global health issues but also that we are more than capable of executing timely education and resources to our community. SCAI will continue to provide rapid response to late-breaking clinical science and increase our efforts to position the Society as a thought-leader within cardiology—and as the home for interventional cardiology.
We have also seen that we can learn in many different formats. In the last few months, SCAI has hosted several webinars around COVID-19, the SCAI 2020 Scientific Sessions, and launched the virtual Congenital Heart Disease webinar series. In addition, this year SCAI will provide our other educational events such as SCAI Shock and SCAI FIRST virtually. Additionally, I would like to establish the Cases over Cocktails webinar series where members can submit cases for review and pose questions to a panel of experts in a more informal setting that is interactive, open, and inclusive. For the busy practitioner who finds it difficult to travel, these webinars may be a welcome change.
The recent racial injustices that we have seen highlighted this year in the United States have led us to revisit our core values and examine how we can more effectively pursue SCAI’s vision of saving and enhancing lives. From our committee appointments, leadership positions, and featured podium roles, I am so proud of the strides SCAI is making toward becoming a more inclusive organization. The SCAI you see today is very different from what you may have seen in the past and we will continue to identify opportunities to collaborate at a global level to drive change and innovation within the specialty.
SCAI will continue to partner with our sister organizations such as the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association, the Association of Black Cardiologists, and several international societies. Just this year, SCAI collaborated with ACC and the American College of Emergency Physicians to develop a consensus document on the management of acute myocardial infarction during the COVID-19 pandemic. We partnered with the Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology to develop a registry of COVID patients with STEMI. We also partnered with the American Heart Association and several others to encourage patients to go to the hospital if they are experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms despite fears due to COVID-19. We look forward to future collaborations as we continue to foster and cultivate those relationships.
SCAI is continuing our work around COVID-19 and its effects on cardiovascular disease. The SCAI COVID-19 Resource Center has several resources for members including news, surveys, registries, clinical documents, and emerging advocacy issues. We are proud to have also recently launched the Seconds Still Count consumer awareness campaign which aims to educate and empower patients to remember the signs of a heart attack or stroke and remind them that in the event of a cardiac emergency, seconds count when it comes to receiving life-saving care. The campaign is supported by Medtronic and Boston Scientific.
In the coming months, SCAI will grow in other ways. We will soon announce a new editor for SCAI’s official scientific journal Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, who will help propel the Society as a thought-leader in emerging research. We will also launch a new website that will be the new home for updated educational content. The SCAI Education Committee and Clinical Councils have been charged with keeping our online educational resources more up-to-date, and our new website is going to be searchable so members can get pertinent information from lectures and other resources.
We will never stop in our pursuit of positioning SCAI as the leader in interventional cardiology. This new year has ushered in several events that will inevitably change the way we practice medicine and live our day-to-day lives. The time is now for us to educate our members and advocate for the specialty amid the changes that are to come. The beauty of our organization is that you have the unique opportunity to share your voice and let us know how you feel we can evolve—so I want to hear from you. I look forward to serving as your president this year and thank you for trusting me to lead this organization during such a historic time.
Cindy Grines, MD, MSCAI
SCAI 2020–21 President