Dear colleagues and friends,
2013 Annual Meeting of EACTA
The EACTA 2013 Annual Meeting in Barcelona was very successful but also significant in so many ways. The Barcelona meeting followed the tradition of EACTA meetings as friendly gatherings of anaesthesiologists and intensivists who meet to exchange ideas, present research work and be updated in the fields of cardiac, thoracic and vascular anaesthesia and intensive care. The meeting programme contained symposia addressing all these different fields with review lectures as well as presentations and discussions on topics where the evidence-base is conflicting. Additionally, it also provided a favourable stage for young researchers to present their work.
Hector Litvan, Juan Manuel Campos and their local organising team managed to create a friendly ambiance for an outstanding educational meeting that achieved the highest ever attendance of delegates at an EACTA Annual Meeting. Their program was a fine blend of local ideas with those from the subcommittees and other EACTA members. I would like to thank the organisers and all contributors and speakers for having made the EACTA Annual Meeting 2013 such a very successful one!
Our association management company (AMC) and professional congress organiser (PCO) has been a matter of concern for EACTA over many years. While the work of our PCO markedly improved over recent years that of our AMC remained unsatisfactory. Moreover, there was a lack of integration between the two companies that was hampering EACTA’s growth. Therefore, the Directory Board (DB) initiated an evaluation process for the AMC and PCO work to select a new company that would undertake both association management of EACTA and organise its meetings. The DB went through an exhaustive evaluation of companies who might undertake these roles. Finally, EACTA chose a Vienna-based company called "Vereint" (=united) as the new AMC and PCO. Vereint has started working as an AMC on July 1st, 2013, and will organise the EACTA meetings starting from 2015. Vereint will provide a comprehensive AMC services to EACTA, which require financial investment but will be a keystone in restructuring and advancing EACTA. To this end, the DB is look forward to working together with Barbara Ferus, Andrea Bauer and Andreas Felser from Vereint!
Restructuring of EACTA
Restructuring EACTA requires agreement from the Representative Council (RC), which is the governing body of EACTA. Indeed, the RC took major decisions at its annual meeting in Barcelona, and I want to share them briefly with you. These decisions are the groundwork for EACTA evolving from simply an association that organises two meetings a year into one that is more dynamic, vivid and open that has activities which run throughout the year.
The first decision was a major change to EACTA members who come from non-European countries. From now on, if there are five or more EACTA members living in their country then they are entitled to elect a representative with full voting rights into the RC.
Number of representatives per country
A second major change concerns countries with a high EACTA membership. Until now, every country had the right to delegate a single representative to serve on the RC no matter how many national members the country had. From now on, the number of national representatives for any given country will depend on the number of EACTA members: countries with 51 or more members have the right to delegate two representatives to serve on the RC, and countries with 101 or more members, three representatives. Although this change may look like a minor step in giving countries with large EACTA memberships better representation in the governing body of EACTA, it is a major change of concept! This change should allow EACTA to better integrate ideas and work from countries with a strong EACTA membership.
Chairs of Subspeciality Committees
Finally, the RC decided to invite the chairs of the Subspecialty Committees (SubComs)* to attend its annual meeting. Although this invitation to actively participate does not include voting rights at this stage, it should greatly facilitate mutual exchange of ideas, strengthen cooperation between committees and RC and, thus, invigorate EACTA life throughout the year.
EACTA Committees and Subspeciality Committees
Another important decision made by the RC concerns the role of the SubComs within EACTA. As proposed by the DB, the RC approved a new organisational structure that endeavours to promote the SubComs as the active core of EACTA, and to simultaneously enhance interaction between the SubComs, the RC and the DB. This structure will need to be further developed in the forthcoming months, but let me already share the outlines with you.
Already, the participation of SubCom chairpersons in the RC reflects the importance of these committees. So far, the SubComs have been limited in size, and no more than two EACTA members per country were allowed in one committee. Generally, the SubComs consisted of experts in the different domains of interest of EACTA.* As proposed by the DB, the RC has decided to change this structure to make the SubComs more accessible to EACTA members, be it experts or colleagues and fellows who want to become more experienced in that field. As from now, every EACTA member can join a SubCom by contacting the SubCom chair. On social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook, that are used by SubComs, even colleagues who are not EACTA members are welcome to participate - although we hope that many of them will become active EACTA members. However, membership of EACTA is required for the privileges EACTA including voting rights. The SubCom members will elect three board members and propose the chairperson SubCom to the DB. Chairpersons will serve a three-year terms of office with the option of re-election for a second three-year term of office.
The SubCom board members will contribute subspecialty expertise and crucial work from their SubCom to three important EACTA Committees: The Scientific Committee (SCICOM), the Programme Committee (PROCOM) and the Educational Committee (EDUCOM). Chaired by Scientific Secretary, the task of the SCICOM will be to evaluate the scientific abstracts submitted to the Annual Meeting and assess grant applications. The PROCOM will create the Annual Meeting’s scientific programme that will be based on proposals from the local organising committee and EACTA officers including chairpersons of SubComs, chair of the local organising committee and the Scientific Secretary. Finally, the EDUCOM, chaired by the Honorary Secretary, will develop and facilitate initiatives and programmes for continuous medical education such as e-learning.
Taken together, I am convinced that these new structures will make EACTA a more dynamic and attractive association for cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesiologists and intensivists. Our vision is to foster assets like the EACTA Annual Meeting and EACTA Echo, to promote continuous interaction and work in the SubComs, to develop year-round educational offerings, and to facilitate multicentre research. Actively involving as many EACTA members as possible will be crucial for turning this vision into a reality.
I recognise that these changes are not a once of task but require continuous efforts on what will be a busy but exciting journey. Join us on this journey, become actively involved and help to shape the "new EACTA" with your ideas, work and enthusiasm! Please contact the SubCom chairs that are listed below, your national Representative Council member or a member of the Directory Board (listed on » Representatives) so you can become involved in your favourite field within EACTA!
I look forward to working together with you in advancing cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia and intensive care for the best of our patients, and for promoting EACTA!
*Current Subspecialty Committees and their respective chairpersons are:
1. ECHO SubCom
Chair: Patrick Wouters, Leuven, Belgium.
2. ICU SubCom
Chair: Alain Vuylsteke, Cambridge, UK.
3. Paediatric & Congenital SubCom
Chair: Ignacio Malagon, UK.
4. EACTA Cardiopulmonary Bypass SubCom
Chair: Jouko Jalonen, Turku, Finland.
5. EACTA Vascular SubCom
Chair: Mio Filipovic, St Gallen, Switzerland.
6. EACTA Thoracic SubCom
Chair: Laszlo Szgedi.
7. EACTA Haemostasis & Transfusion SubCom
Chair: Wulf Dietrich, Munich, Germany.
8. EACTA Transplant & Long-term Mechanical Support SubCom
Chair Nandor Marczin, London, UK.
EACTA Echo 2013
The next EACTA ECHO course will be held in Montpellier, France, 7-10 September 2013. The scientific program has been conceived by the experienced EACTA ECHO committee, with the aim of making it appealing both for beginners and experienced echocardiographers.
On Saturday and Sunday, Basic and Advanced Courses will run in parallel. The Basic Course assumes you have minimal or no previous experience with echocardiography. The aim of the Basic Course is to help you to get started with basic echo and Doppler views by showing their relationship with the anatomy and function of the heart. Keys lectures will alternate with hands-on session and human anatomic dissection in a wet lab.
The Advanced Course is aimed at giving experienced echocardiographers updates on new developments in technology and their possible application to specific fields in the operating room and beyond. Ultrasonography in the intensive care unit, for grown-ups with congenital heart disease (GUCH) and mechanical cardiac assistance are new lectures that will given by outstanding speakers from Europe and overseas. The sessions will be enlivened by cases reports and interactive sessions.
On Monday and Tuesday, we will run the traditional Certification Course, specifically dedicated to prepare attendees for the official EACTA/EACVI transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) certification examination. The content is adapted to the natural evolution of TOE practice such the role of TEE for transvascular closure of atrial septal defects closure, mitral valve clips and transvascular aortic valve implants.
Joint Meeting of EACTA and ICCVA,
Florence, Italy. 17-19 September 2014
On behalf of EACTA and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA), I’m delighted to announce that the joint EACTA 2014 Annual Meeting and 14th International Congress on Cardiovascular Anesthesia (ICCVA) will be held in Florence, Italy, on September 17th-19th 2014.
I invite you to discover the beauty of Florence, an ancient city that is rich in architectural and artistic attractions, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Florence is Situated in unparalleled location in the middle of the Italian peninsula and surrounded by green hills, Florence has an enviable reputation for cultural richness, convenient transportation links to countries across Europe and overseas as well as excellent accommodation that is conveniently located to the conference venue. In mid-September, under the never-ending sunshine, you will enjoy the beauty of the vineyards that produce astonishing wines to accompany the wonderful cuisine of the region.
The International Scientific Programme Advisory Group has created an extraordinary scientific experience which will showcase the tremendous opportunities that lie before us as we seek to translate scientific evidence into effective therapies. The aim of the meeting is to provide a truly outstanding scientific and educational programme featuring leading figures in cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia and critical care from around the world. The scientific content will address the theme of meeting that is ‘Appropriate care in the face of reduced resources and increased morbidity’. The faculty speakers will include innovators who are transforming our ability to manage the critically ill patient in undergoing cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia and critical care in a way that were undreamt off just a few years ago. Lectures by these notable speakers will be complimented by scientific and educational workshops spanning the broad spectrum of cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia and crtical care. The workshops will address the most challenging clinical perspectives and providing interactive discussions on the latest techniques along with opportunities to learn first hand about new and successful clinical approaches.
I invite you to attend the EACTA/ICCVA meeting in Florence so please put the dates 17-19 September 2014 in your diary and make your travel arrangements. I also ask you to share this exciting information with your colleagues so they also can plan to join us in one of the most attractive cities on earth.
Looking forward to meeting you all in Florence in September 2014.
Chair of the Local Organising Committee
Report from the Scientific Secretary
Abstracts for the Annual meeting in Barcelona 2013
Eighty percent of the abstracts submitted to the meeting were selected for presentation. Five of the oral and five of the poster abstracts were selected for presentation in the Best Oral and Best Poster Sessions. They were selected because of the high scores that they had been awarded by the members of the Scientific Committee in a blinded review process. The ‘Best Oral Session’ and the ‘Best Poster Session’ were both of a very high level with an active discussion from the audience. Prizewinners were selected based on the scoring of their presentations by members of the Scientific Committee, Directory Board, and Representative Council. The prize winners of the Best Oral and Best Poster Sessions are available on the EACTA website and the sessions can be watched as a EACTA Webcast Update that will be available from July 6.
EACTA Research Grants
For the first time, a specific session was organized at the Annual Meeting in Barcelona, providing time for the authors awarded the Research Grant in 2012 to give an update on the status of their projects. By doing this, the EACTA members were given the opportunity to follow the studies that had been awarded grants. The session was well-attended and allowed the Scientific Committee to ensure that EACTA is getting value for its grants. One of the researchers abstracts had already been selected on its own merit by the Scientific Committee for presentation the Best Oral Session, and was awarded with the second prize.
The new initiative of undertaking surveys of EACTA members has been successful and two surveys have been performed so far. The first of them was a ‘Questionnaire on thoracic anaesthesia’ conducted by the Thoracic SubCom and was presented at one of the scientific sessions at the Annual Meeting in Barcelona.The Scientific Committee recommends and encourages all members to be participate in future the surveys so that they are truly representational.
There will be focus on the SubComs in the years to come both on the activities within as well as collaboration between, the SubComs. There are several ideas emerging from some of the very active SubComs, and the new structure within the DB, which will be finalized in September, will follow and support those for benefit of our members as well as of EACTA in general.
At the EACTA Annual Meeting Barcelona a brain storming meeting was held to explore what educational activities should undertake over and above its’ Annual and Echo Meetings. The meeting was widely advertised and open to all those who wished to participate. The meeting agreed the importance of developing a high quality, dedicated e-learning programme under the banner of EACTA. It was agreed that the programme should be more than simple webcasting of lectures and probably should include webinars, dedicated courses, e-posters, case discussions and problem-based learning. Ideally, this programme should accessible through one portal from the EACTA website that incorporates a powerful search engine. There was agreement that such a programme will demand substantial human and financial resources. To further educational development, the Educational Committee will be reconstituted by the implementation of EACTA's new subcommittee structure. All subcommittees will be required to delegate one of their members to the Educational Committee and importantly, younger EACTA members will be encouraged to volunteer for this exciting initiative.
As far as webcasting of lectures, this initiative starting with EACTA 2012 Annual Meeting and will be re-evaluated after EACTA Echo 2013 is webcast. The objective of the webcasting is to provide added value for members of EACTA. For this reason, the webcast of lectures from the Annual Meetings in Amsterdam and Barcelona will be available free to all members in good standing. Two emails have been sent already to all members: one with a trailer of lectures at EACTA 2013 in Barcelona and a second, with the best Oral and Posters Presentations from EACTA 2013 Barcelona including the six Prizewinners. Three more emails will follow incrementally releasing the full webcast of lectures from Barcelona. In addition to members, these emails have also been sent to delegates of previous EACTA meetings allowing them to either subscribe to the webcast or become a member so as to gain free access to them.
Lectures from EACTA Echo 2013 in Montpellier will be recorded but rather than simply webcasting them, they will be produced into an educational course available on-line. This course is intended to replace the successful but increasingly dated, EACTA Echo educational DVD that was recorded at EACTA Echo 2009 Leicester.
EACTA is fortunate to have sufficient assets to allow investment in the professionalisation of its association management in order to provide more for its members. The Directorate Board (DB) has great expectations of the collaboration with Vereint who is EACTA’s new association management company. Vareint was selected after a well conducted public tender process from companies and an exhaustive evaluation of their proposals. Currently, we are negotiating the finer points of the financial contract with Vareint. Embedding EACTA’s new association management company will result in an initial decrease of assets so as to allow Vereint to take to the wing. The DB is convinced the financial investment will be well worthwhile. Within two to three years, you will be enjoying the benefits of this investment which will allow EACTA to become a vibrant and dynamic year-round association that gathers together either through research or education, all those professionals who are interested in cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia, intensive care and other related fields.
President Elect and Honorary Treasurer
Mark your calendar:
EACTA Echo 2014 will be held in Leipzig, Germany, in May 2014 (EACTA Echo Istanbul has been postponed to 2016).