EACTA 2015 Prospects
Procrastination made me writing this message on January 8th, not foreseeing that the dreadful events in Paris would distract and affect my thoughts. I have no doubt we all share the same feelings of unbelief, disgust and mitigated feelings about how to respond to this attack on the values of mankind inscribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/), in fact stemming from the French revolution “Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité”.
Reflecting on what happened and trying to understand the deeper reasons I managed to redirect my thoughts towards EACTA. So I realised that EACTA actually offers a forum where Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anaesthesiologists, Intensive Care and related physicians (CTVA&IC) from all over the world - irrespective of nationality, ethnics or religion - encounter and exchange thoughts and ideas most often in a respectful way if not in an atmosphere of camaraderie. I admit this feeling of being part of a community and appreciating the similarities more than the differences is one of the reasons I like so much when participating at international meetings, in particular with EACTA.
However EACTA and many other Medical Associations - national or international - are struggling with their raison d’être in an increasingly complex and individualistic world where the World Wide Web with social networks, electronic forms of communication and an overflow of immediate information prevails over “natural” and “old fashioned” relations and communication. Although this may sound as a grumpy generalisation, it is not without importance for our vision on EACTA and the policy we are deploying, in order to respond better to the needs and constraints of these soaring times.
I expect you are increasingly aware that EACTA is also rapidly but thoughtfully being transformed into a network where enthusiastic CTVA&IC and physicians from related specialties can meet, work and inspire each either virtually, face to face or both. EACTA always has been a forum where many CTVA&IC physicians go to know each other. However the ways in which member can become active has expanded significantly and now includes transparent and democratic access to Subspecialty Committees, Permanent Committees and even Officer Positions. The opportunities to actively participate in EACTA’s diverse activities are growing by the day and I invite you to browse through our new website to find out how you may do so.
From 2015 on, our association management company, ‘vereint’, will be in full support of EACTA’s association management as well as conference organisation. Andrea Bauer, Andreas Felser as CEOs and Sonja Niederkofler and Corinna Choun as key account managers are doing a great job to overcome the inherent problems associated with such a major transformation in the management of EACTA and to support EACTA membership. In addition, there have been a burgeoning number of requests for surveys, endorsements of events and studies since the Annual Congress in Florence. After some difficulties in streamlining and coping with the process, most of these requests for endorsements are now approved. You will be asked to participate in surveys and studies, please do not miss out on these opportunities to provide your opinions. Please give particular attention to EACTA’s members’ survey that will be launched shortly. The findings of this survey will provide us with wider and deeper insight on how EACTA can further serve you.
The EACTA Directory Board has also been very active. The governance structure of the EACTA is now clearly defined including well-delineated job descriptions and short lines of communication. Please consult the website for more information about these changes.
EACTA’s Scientific Journal
In the light of the above we are very proud to announce that we renewed EACTA’s contract with Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia (JCTVA). In particular, I am pleased to inform you that the contract has been upgraded into a real partnership where EACTA will become more visible in the Journal and several outstanding EACTA members will be nominated to Editorial Board (as of the April issue). Further several combined initiatives will be undertaken that should further increase the JCTVA’s impact factor. There was controversy in DB why in times of Open Access journals popping up everywhere, and the JCTVA often readily available to many members from institutional libraries, EACTA should continue to opt for JCTVA. However, thorough reflection along with consultation with members and elsewhere convinced the DB that the ‘Red Journal’ is at the heart of our practice. In addition, offering acomplimentary electronic subscription within the membership fee to all members would be a great way to broadening EACTA’s global membership base. I am also happy to announce that the fee for the paper copy of the JCVA will not increase. Finally, the abstracts of our Annual Congresses will again be published in the JCTVA. I would really invite you to support this partnership and consider submitting your best scientific work to JCTVA.
30th Annual Congress Gothenburg, June 24-26, 2015
Our traditional Annual Congress is as ever the opportunity of the year to meet, greet and network while being educated and updated on the state-of-the-art practice of our profession. The theme of this year’s congress will be ‘Organ dysfunction in cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia and critical care’. I am sure that Sven-Eric Ricksten and Anne Westerlind as Chairs of the Local Organising Committee will make sure that you can experience it all; an exciting Programme, EACTA camaraderie and last but not least Swedish flavour. Do not miss out on this experience. Considering the great success of the first EACTA Trainee Course in September 2014, we are delighted to announce that the second EACTA Trainee Course will be held in connection with the EACTA Annual Congress on Friday, June 26, 2015.
EACTA ECHO Course The Hague – the stethoscope revisited, September 12-15, 2015
With many outstanding TOE ultra-sonographers in our ranks pushing, EACTA could not stand still and the EACTA Echo is undergoing a major upgrade. The highlight will be a brand new Critical Care Ultrasonography Course that will bring 2 days of hands-on only training in transthoracic echo, lung ultrasound and vascular access. This course will be offered as a ratio of one instructor to 4-5 students. It will be offered as blended learning where the students will have to prepare theoretically with the help of a module of top quality e-learning material. The e-learning material will be included in the registration fee and will be sent well in advance to the students. Do not miss out on this opportunity as there will be limited places that will be filled on a first-come first-serve basis. The already very well regarded Basic and advanced courses will focus respectively on the TOE novice and expert but innovates by including more interactive and hands-on sessions. The Certification Course will more closely align with the curriculum for the European TOE exam, which continues to be organised by a combined effort between EACTA and the European Association of Cardiologic Imaging (former European Society of Echocardiography).
New Year’s intentions
Dear colleagues and friends, traditionally we start New Year with the best intentions. For you as EACTA members this New Year offers many opportunities to participate and express yourselves to participate in EACTA’s transformational journey, irrespective of where you are from.
Most of all I wish you and those close to your heart, a truly Happy New Year,
Peter MJ Rosseel