Officers, Board of Directors, Committee, and Taskforce Members Conflict of Interest Policy and Disclosure Statement

 
  • Officers, directors, or those holding voluntary or elected office on behalf of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) have a fiduciary duty to ASE, including the duties of loyalty, diligence and confidentiality. Despite the self-interests that members inevitably have, those in positions of responsibility, in their fiduciary capacity, must act in utmost good faith on behalf of ASE. In accepting their positions, they undertake to give the association the benefit of their care and best judgment and to act solely in the interest of the association and not for their own personal interest.

    Conflicts of interest arise when participants in positions of responsibility have personal or outside financial, business or professional interests or responsibilities that conflict with their duties to ASE. The immediacy and seriousness of various conflicts of interest situations can differ. Of significant importance is the degree to which an actual or potential conflict would tend one toward bias in educational matters, pre-disposition on any issue affecting the Society or its members or otherwise compromise the interests of the Society in any way.

    A conditional, qualified or potential conflict of interest can arise when the outside interest does not relate to any contemplated action of ASE. For example, a person might hold a minor financial stake in a non-commercial company wishing to do business with the Society. Disclosure is ordinarily sufficient to deal with this type of conflict, provided that there is no reasonable belief that ones decisions could be biased or ones duty of loyalty to ASE affected.

    A direct conflict of interest arises when an individual holds a position of responsibility with the ASE and also holds a material interest in the issues charged to the volunteer or elected position at hand. Direct conflicts of interest arise when an individual engages in a personal transaction with the Society, holds a material interest or position of responsibility in an organization involved in a specific transaction with the ASE, or has loyalties which lie in equal measure with a commercial entity. Such situations place the person in the impossible position of attempting to represent both the ASE and his or her personal interests or those of the other organization. The mandatory course of action in such cases is to disclose the conflict and remove oneself from the deliberations and the vote on the issue. Should the ASE feel that ones conflicts of interest cannot be resolved to maintain the goals or integrity of the position, ASE will revoke invitation to participate or reassign that individual to an alternate position where the identified conflicts will have no bearing on any voting matters.

    In rare circumstances, an individual currently seated in a voluntary or elected position may have a serious, ongoing and irreconcilable conflict, where the relationship to an outside organization so seriously impedes ones ability to carry out the fiduciary responsibility to the ASE, that resignation from the position with ASE or the conflicting entity is mandatory.
    Due to the public nature of their positions, members of the ASE Executive Committee and voting members of the ASE Board of Directors are held to standards that exceed those of other members.

    Officers and Board of Director members are not permitted to participate in paid consultancy positions with commercial entities relative to the cardiovascular field (e.g., device and pharmaceutical companies) or for-profit educational bodies (e.g., cardiovascular web business, etc.). Royalties from published educational materials are allowed. Officers may not serve in simultaneous leadership positions on other membership organizations/societies relative to the cardiovascular field during their term of office. Participation on credentialing and/or accreditation bodies or governmental agencies relative to the cardiovascular field is allowed.

    Officers may not provide testimonials and/or endorsements or participate as speakers for commercial entities relative to the cardiovascular field (e.g., device and pharmaceutical companies) where those endorsements have not been specifically approved by the Society.

    Dealing effectively with actual or potential conflicts of interest is a shared responsibility of the individual (disclosure) and the organization (resolution). Accordingly, ASE requires the completion of a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement by members of each Committee, Task Force and Council. The Society reviews each Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement individually. ASE officers and members of the Board, Committees and Task Forces must file annual signed statements with the executive office of the Society. Statements are also required at the time of appointment to a Board, Committee or Task Force. This information will be retained in the files of the ASE office and may be shared with members of ASEs leadership, staff and other individuals as necessary.
  • If you have any disclosures described in the following questions, please enter them in the space provided.
  • Describe any relationship you have with a commercial interest. A commercial interest is defined as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on patients, with the exception of non-profit or government organizations and non-health care related companies. Providers of clinical services directly to patients are not considered a commercial interest. Relationships in any amount should be disclosed. If you do not have a disclosure to the related question, please leave the field blank.
  • If you did not provide a disclosure to questions 1 through 11 in the previous sections, you have finished the disclosure section. Please continue with the questions in the "Agreements" section.

    If you have entered a disclosure to one or more of these questions, please complete question 11a through 11e.
  • The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requires the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals responsible for the development, management, presentation and/or evaluation of a CME/CE activity. In order to fulfill this requirement, ASE can only approve a CME/CE activity when all individuals involved in the educational process have completed the following content control agreement:
  • I agree to:
    • Acknowledge my responsibility to the ASE and agree to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest;
    • Acknowledge that at times I may have access to confidential information and agree to protect the confidentiality of that information;
    • Disqualify myself and absent myself from participating in any association matters which are a conflict of interest; and
    • Update this form as needed to keep it current and accurate.
 

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