EACTA NL October 2011

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Message from the EACTA President, Pascal Colson

1- Improving the communication and relations between EACTA members

A new committee has been created, the Communication Committee, chaired by Heinz Tschernich. As with other EACTA committees (see below), the committee is open to any EACTA member who wish to be active in that domain. Among option for development, social networking will be explored to facilitate contact between all of us. A dedicated domain will be soon opened, and we plan to open subpages for sub-committees. Do not hesitate to contact Heinz (heinz.tschernich@me.com).

2- EACTA Subcommittees

The nine Sub-committees* of EACTA represent the main domains of interest for EACTA members. The sub-committees contribute to the scientific programme of the Annual Meetings, and may propose educational and research programmes, guideline development, recommendations and surveys.

Each sub-committee is chaired by an EACTA member who is of good standing, for a three-year term of office. The office is renewable for one additional, consecutive three-year term. Chairpersons are proposed to the RC by the DB on the basis of a well-known involvement in the field of the sub-committee and they will be responsible for communication with the DB. Sub-committees are open to any EACTA member, and will be constituted with no more than two members from the same country. Should more than two members from the same country wish to serve on the sub-committee then the Representative Council (RC) member for that country will adjudicate as to who will serve. Members may not serve on more than two sub-committees at the same time.

Do not hesitate to contact the chairs of the subcommittees to express your interest in joining the subcommittee. I believe that the development of the subcommittees will be really well received.

* The 9 EACTA subcommittees are: ECHO (Chair : Patrick Wouters), ICU

(Alain Vuylsteke), Paediatric & Congenital (Ignacio Malagon), CPB (Jouko Jalonen), Vascular (Mio Filipovic), Thoracic (Giorgio Della Rocca), Haemostasis & Transfusion (Wulf Dietrich), Transplant & Long term Mechanical Support (Nandor Marczin) and Communications (Heinz Tschernich).

3- Surveys

EACTA Directorate Board (DB) wishes to conduct surveys, to get feed-back on members' expectation, satisfaction or disagreement on all aspect of EACTA life.

EACTA Sub-committees are also entitled to conduct surveys in medical practice or any other aspects in relation to the sub-committee's domain.

Please give us your agreement to receive e-mails via the membership secretary for surveys coming from DB or Sub committees.

Message from the Scientific Secretary, Bodil Steen Rasmussen

It is encouraging that an increasing number of abstracts have been submitted during the last years reaching a number above 200. It is a challenge every year for the Abstract Committee to select the best abstracts. Almost 80% of the submitted abstracts are accepted to be presented as orals or posters at the forthcoming EACTA meeting. The Oxford Abstract System is now open for submission of an abstract for the EACTA meeting in Amsterdam 2012. Deadline for submitting abstracts is January 12th, 2012. Further details and instructions are available on the EACTA website: http://eacta.org/page-11-05-01.shtml

Also, the numbers of applicants for the EACTA Research Grant have been increased. This year, seven excellent applications have been received to be evaluated by all members of the Scientific Committee. The final decision comes under the EACTA directory board on January 2012 according to the Scientific Committee advice and possible splitting of the annual grant of €25,000.

During the last three years there have been no applications for the EACTA Clinical Fellowship. Please consider this possibility to be financially supported by EACTA either to visit a European department by your own or to encourage a colleague to visit your own department. The Clinical Fellowship Grant is intended to support junior colleagues who are from a European country and have a limited income, to spend a six-month fellowship in a different European country. Limited income is defined as a gross salary less that €2000 per month. Further details are available on the EACTA website: http://eacta.org/page-02-01.shtml

Message from the Vice President (Educational Committee), Manfred Seeberger

Education in the fields of cardiac, thoracic and vascular anaesthesia and intensive care is one of the main missions of the EACTA. Besides promoting professional education by organising the EACTA Congress and the EACTA Echo every year, the EACTA has joined forces with the European Society of Anaesthesiology to create a "Consensus Document for European Education and Training in Anaesthesia for Cardiothoracic and Major Vascular Surgery". This document can be accessed on the EACTA homepage (www.eacta.org).

The aim of this joint effort was not to obtain legal recognition for subspecialty training from the national authorities but "to give information and guidance to institutions, educators, intending specialists and other interested parties as to the structure and content of a training programme in anaesthesia for cardiothoracic and major vascular surgery for certified anaesthesiologists...". Two hospitals have successfully implemented these recommendations for a two-year training programme and have been accredited by EACTA: the Leipzig Heart Centre in Germany and the Southampton General Hospital in the UK. In 2010, the Representatives' Council of the EACTA has approved a proposal to create a one-year programme that is based on the recommendations of the consensus document but includes training in cardiac anaesthesia only.

Educators at institutions in Europe are encouraged to apply to the EACTA for accreditation of their training programme. The Educational Committee (consisting of the vice president and the scientific secretary plus an additional directory board member) will evaluate the programme, and the EACTA directory board accredit those in compliance with the recommendations.

Fellows who have successfully completed the two-year fellowship in cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia or the one-year fellowship in cardiac anaesthesia will receive a written certificate signed by the local course director and the EACTA vice president as an academic recognition of their successful fellowship.

I hope you consider applying to the EACTA for academic accreditation of your programme if you are the director of a training programme in cardiac or cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia.

Message from the Past President (Endorsement and Election Committees), Marco Ranucci

During the last recent years, EACTA has been receiving an increasing number of requests for endorsement of congresses, events, and scientific documents/articles.

To give order to this matter, the Endorsement Committee has been created, chaired by the Past President. It is the role of this committee to analyze the requests and provide suggestions to the DB about approval or rejection. Basically, EACTA does not endorse events unless it is directly involved in the organization, but there are exceptions based on the scientific quality of the event and/or the presence of dedicated EACTA sessions. Apart from the directly organized Annual Meeting and EACTAECHO course, EACTA is presently endorsing the HAI meeting in Berlin and the INTECEPT meeting in Milan.

For the endorsement of scientific articles/documents, it is mandatory that EACTA is involved at the early stages of the preparation. The Endorsement Committee usually identify the expert(s) in the matter within the EACTA members, and nominate them to take part in the process. EACTA has endorsed in the past a Consensus Document on iNO use (published in Intensive Care Medicine) being represented by Marco Ranucci and Giorgio della Rocca; a review article on Patient Blood Management published in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, being represented by Marco Ranucci, Wulf Dietrich, and Christian von Heymann; two documents on TEE being represented by Rob Feneck , Fabio Guarracino and the Echo Committee.

The Election Committee follows the Election procedures, taking note of the vacant positions, and collecting candidates.

Message from the Honorary Secretary (Website manager), Peter Alston

The EACTA web site is a useful portal for members to find out about and register for EACTA Meetings, to renew your membership and obtain records of EACTA's business such as the minutes of the DB meetings and EACTA's annual accounts . However, the DB recognises that the EACTA web site has some important limitations such as the member' area which is of limited functionality. Over the next year ,we plan to upgrade the EACTA web site to make it more functional and I would value your input as to what is wrong with the current site and how it could be improved. If you have any ideas about the website then please contact me (peter.alston@ed.ac.uk).

As already explained in item one of this newsletter, a Communications Subcommittee is being formed to explore how EACTA might use social networking to facilitate communication by members within EACTA. However, there are two groups already formed: the ICU Sub-committee has a group on Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/171634776231317/) and there is an EACTA group on Linkedin (www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2574760&trk=hb_side_g) so if you are interested in either, please join.

Message from the Treasurer, Peter M.J. Rosseel

The purpose of EACTA's treasury is to facilitate financially EACTA's mission. Furthermore we need to prepare our Association for economically turbulent times. In line with other ambitions of EACTA the treasury was updated to become more transparent, professional and dynamic.

Transparency: In the last few years EACTA's finances have been made more straightforward and transparent. The bank accounts have been simplified and moved from Ireland to the continent. A new bookkeeping template has been adopted which provides more comprehensive and detailed insight in the income and expense pattern of EACTA. There is now a clear distinction between operational and educational expenses.

Furthermore an electronic bookkeeping system has been implemented which provides an immediate and clear overview of EACTA's financial state. And last but not least the DB decided to publish the financial annual report on the member section of the website (starting from 2010).

Professionalism: EACTA's Income stems mainly from 2 sources; 1. The membership income which shifted from either a 1 or a 3 year membership to 1 year only membership and 2. the congress income consisting of an income share on the registration fees and a share in the profit (or loss) of the congresses. The congress profit is shared between EACTA, the Conference Organizer (actually MCI-Dublin) and - to a minor extent - the Local Organizing Committee according a fixed split. Traditionally the Annual Meetings result in a surplus while the ECHO meeting tends to be financially break even or even may incur a small loss.

The DB's decided to professionalize the membership system and management assistance by hiring a professional management organisation in order to comply with the expectations of our members. Furthermore EACTA expanded its educational value by valorising grants and prizes and for the first time by editing a successful EACTA Echo DVD which was sold to members far below cost price.

Dynamic response towards a changing context. Of course all this comes at an increasing cost while at the same times the revenues are lagging behind. The latter mostly because we needed to amortize a decrease in cash flow due to the transition to the new "one year only" membership system. Furthermore the free "Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anaesthesia" (JCVA) was costing more per member than the total membership fee.

Although EACTA has inherited from the initial Annual Meetings in the nineties a substantial financial buffer, the DB preferred not to touch our financial reserves more than strictly necessary. Therefore the DB negotiated a new contract with Elsevier, the Publisher of the JCVA, which continues to guarantee free subscription to our members, but now at a substantial lower cost to EACTA. This should allow to keep the membership fees unchanged for the near future, a feature which is important for colleagues with low income and to keep EACTA competitive with respect to other Anesthesiology societies.

After accepting a loss on Investment EACTA in 2009, EACTA decided to allocate our reserves to a fixed deposit account, which will hopefully secure EACTA's reserves in the actual economic climate. However sound Annual Meeting budgets generating some remain important in order to keep EACTA's finances sound and in equilibrium.

In conclusion the increased costs inflicted by introducing more transparency and professionalism into EACTA are compensated by budgetary control where EACTA aims at on one side an improved membership income by attracting more members and consolidation of congress income while at the same time controlling operational costs and trying to invest more in education at the other side.

All this to achieve fulfilment of EACTA's mission i.e. the promotion of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anaesthesia within Europe.

Peter MJ Rosseel,
EACTA's Treasurer