2012 Plenary Business Meeting Minutes

Sunday, July 1
National Harbor, Maryland

Philadelphia City HallWELCOME
The meeting opened with Convention Chair announcements, from Sherif Nagueh, MD, FASE. He noted that registration numbers showed over 2,400 registrants from 46 countries and 61 exhibitors. He reviewed the highlights of the meeting. Then he thanked the 2012 Session Chairs and Program Committee, including:
• Judy Hung, MD, FASE, Abstract Chairperson & Incoming 2013 Program Chair
• Robert Davis, RCS, FASE, Sonographer Chairperson
• Scott T. Reeves, MD, FASE, Perioperative Track Chair
• William Border, MD, FASE, Pediatric & Congenital Heart Disease Track Chair
• Vijay Nambi, MD, FASE, Vascular Track Chair

President James Thomas, MD, FASE, called the annual business meeting to order and read the Society’s Conflict of Interest Policy. Secretary Marti McCulloch, MBA, BS, RDCS, FASE, asked for and received a proper motion and second, from an approval of the June 2011 Business Meeting Minutes. They had been announced in newsletter and posted online for member viewing.

Dr. Neil Weissman, ASE’s Treasurer, reported on the association’s finances. He gave an update on the 2011 end-of-year audit. He noted that the association ended the year with a positive balance of $153,000. Of this revenue, $51,000 was donated to the ASE Foundation (a 1/3 of proceeds were earmarked by the board of directors to help the Foundation grow). The remainder was allocated to develop and support board strategic projects from March 2012. He then gave highlights from the May 2012 financial statements. He noted that there were positive indications for reaching our budget targets including:

• Membership dues were on target.
• Echo Hawaii, State-of-the-Art and ASCeXAM Review Courses were very popular and achieved targeted income.
• Products, including Guideline apps, are very popular, selling beyond targets at our recent exhibits.

However, there were also some negative indications; areas that were not going to perform as expected when the budget was conceived:
• Advocacy needs are very diverse. ASE’s legislative and coding needs continue to build and may require additional funding and consultant support to manage.
• Maintaining and attracting industry support is increasingly difficult with expanding regulations like the Sunshine act and a volatile economy. Our industry unrestricted grant income is lower than expected for the Scientific Sessions.

ASE Investment Report
Dr. Neil Weissman reported on the ASE’s investment account which had a $4.39 million value at the end of May 2012. He noted that our investments are positioned for conservative growth with ½ bond funds and ½ equity. Their performance, from 2006 through May 31, 2012 is up 3.81%. Gains for the year are $178,899 (4.24%).

Current Year-End Forecast
Dr. Weissman reported that the approved 2012 budget was close to balanced with income of $6,386,270 and expenses of $6,386,622. Current budget projections show the association with a close to neutral ending for the year.

Dr. Thomas presented his summary of ASE’s progress over the past year. He noted that ASE is growing and globalizing, especially our efforts to standardize patient care. He noted the recently completed guideline publications including the Three-Dimensional Echocardiography: Recommendations for Image Acquisition and Display, which was published in JASE in the January 2012 issue. He reviewed ASE’s efforts to supporting Echo research including funding research support for fellows and sonographers and supporting standardization for both clinical work and clinical trials including the ASE-EAE-Industry Initiative to Standardize Deformation Imaging and the FDA Standardized Data Collection for Cardiovascular Imaging Initiative. He also stated that ASE was advocating for the field as ASE was able to mobilize its grassroots network to defeat two proposals the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners were considering related to TEE and work with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to present results of an American Medical Association (AMA) survey to maintain the current valuation for several echocardiography codes. He noted that ASE joined the Alliance for Specialty Medicine and lobbied for increased attention to features of the ACA program. And, he told the crowd that ASE joined the ABIM’s Choosing Wisely Campaign and will be delivering appropriate use guidelines to members of this organization and the public. The organization had furthered its guideline standardization through the creation of new products including the “Right Heart” App, and the “How to Do a Basic Transthoracic Echo: Transducer Position and Anatomy” DVD and the “ASEUniversity II” DVD and a self-study ” Simulation ASCeXAM”.

He stated that the organization has also offered quality echo education at its courses and made plans to introduce a new course starting in October called Echo Florida. The Website has been refurbished and now attracts over 51,000 visitors each month. In online content, ASE offered Webinars including “The Basics of Using Contrast” in conjunction with ICAEL; “3D Echocardiography” featuring Dr. Roberto Lang; and “Assessment of the Right Heart” featuring Dr. Lawrence Rudski. In addition, it created educational alliances for online content with Heartworks (TEE and TTE simulators); 1-2-3 Sonography and E-echocardiography.

The organization also enhanced its communications with members and partners starting a monthly ASE Corporate newsletter, a quarterly Foundation newsletter, his President’s Blog, an Advocacy Blog, and Council Messages on Connect and, coming soon, a news source called “Echo.”

The Society expanded its global presence by hosting the first Member Reception at EuroEcho and having participation and presentations on ASE at the JSE, CSE, and Great Wall China meetings. It held its
first educational and philanthropic event in India which was a “teleicine” project connecting 70 readers with their counterparts in India. He acknowledged the efforts member volunteers had made in humanitarian missions, including India trip leader, Dr. Partho Sengupta, and showed a slide with the names of the participants, including the image readers.

He stated that ASE has achieved its largest membership reach with 15,561 members by February 2012 and the largest number of International members at 2,311 participants. Other notable progress included the highest ranking for JASE, which is now in the top 30 of 114 publications, and was listed as an ”Essential Journal” by NEJM.

He announced that the 2012 Annual Appeal had begun to raise funding for projects not supported by dues including Research Grants, Travel Grants, Scholarships, a Technology Summit and philanthropic missions focusing on the use of Echo – slated to be held in December 2012 in India and April 2013 in Vietnam. He encouraged members to invest in their future and the field of echocardiography and help ASE to respond when opportunities or challenges arise. He noted some new ways to give including a text-to-donate program, a monthly giving option and a Local Society/Hospital Competition.

Dr. Thomas announced the winners of the 2012 awards including:

ANNUAL FEIGENBAUM LECTURER, Philippe Pibarot, DVM, PhD, FASE. He will present on “Doppler Echocardiography is the Cornerstone of the Management of Aortic Stenosis.”






Dr. Thomas also announced the winner of the 2012 Alan D. Waggoner Student Scholarships and the
Honorary Fellows of the American Society of Echocardiography. He also thanked the 2011 Annual Appeal supporters including Edwards Lifesciences, Esaote North America, Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), McKesson, Qi Imaging, Studycast, and TomTec. Then he thanked our 2012 IRT Members including GE Healthcare, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., Philips Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.


Dr. Thomas thanked the Outgoing Directors:
• Deborah A. Agler, RCT, RDCS, FASE
• Carol K.C. Mitchell, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R), FASE
• Vera H. Rigolin, MD, FASE
• Rebecca Tung Hahn, MD, FASE
• Tal Geva MD, FASE
• Theodore P. Abraham MD, FASE

And the Outgoing Executive Committee:
• Sanjiv Kaul, MD, FASE, Past President
• Neil J. Weissman, MD, FASE, Treasurer (he will remain on the committee in another role).

Then, he recognized the new members of the Executive Committee:
• Patricia A. Pellikka, MD, FASE, President
• Benjamin F. Byrd, III, MD, FASE, President-Elect
• Neil A. Weissman, MD, FASE, Vice President
• Sherif Nagueh, MD, FASE, Treasurer
• Marti L. McCulloch, MBA, BS, RDCS, FASE, Secretary
• Ken Horton, RDCS, Member at Large
• James D. Thomas, MD, FASE, Past President

Then, he recognized the new members of the Board of Directors:
• David H. Forst MD, FASE
• Partho P. Sengupta, MBBS, MD, DM, FASE
• Kathryn E. Glas, MD, FASE
• Matt M. Umland, RDCS, FASE
• Richard A. Palma, BS, RDCS, RCS, APS, FASE

Dr. Pellikka then presented Dr. Thomas with a plaque for his inspiration and dedication as President of the American Society of Echocardiography (June 2011- June 2012).

Dr. Patricia A. Pellikka, MD, FASE, Mayo, Rochester, MN, gave an overview of her upcoming presidency, listing her targets for action. They included, first, building membership in the early career and international categories, and for current users of echocardiography. Second, increasing member involvement by increasing the rotation on our committees, streamlining online applications, and allowing more new members to take part. She also wants to continue to emphasize raising quality and re-appointed Dr. Kirk Spencer to work on defining and standardizing the practice of CV ultrasound. She announced that the organization is developing new guidelines including:
• Thoracic Aortic Disease (Multimodality)
• Echocardiography in Hypertension
• Tetralogy of Fallot (Multimodality)
• Pediatric 3D Echo
• Directed Focused Cardiac Ultrasound
• Echo and Cancer Chemotherapy
• Heart Complications of Radiotherapy (Multimodality)
• Pericardial Disease (Multimodality)
• General TEE (Update)
• Echo in Advanced Heart Failure
• Chamber Quantification

She would like to increase the dissemination of ASE guidelines and aims to be the premier source of information for echocardiographers globally. She would also like to revamp our Scientific Sessions to better attract new members and reflect current practice issues. She noted that she would like to promote research that supports echo’s essential role in improving outcomes and seeks opportunities to feature and support investigators. She also plans to strengthen partnerships with NIH thorough the Research and Technology Summit this November. She would like to see more micro-volunteering projects like India, and expand to these to Vietnam. She wants to institute a new International program for training sonographers and has convened an International Sonographer Training Task Force to this aim. In advocacy, she will seek to position Echo as the most valuable imaging technique in the changing healthcare environment. The organizational efforts will include getting a seat on the AMA to be able to directly advocate for Echo.

With no further business to report, the meeting adjourned with the announcement of Edler Lecture
By Roberto M. Lang, MD, FASE and Internationally renowned cardiologist and specialist in echocardiography, a pioneer in the development of 3D echocardiography and ASE Past President
“3D Echocardiography has Come of Age: Promises and Perspectives. “

Respectfully Submitted by
Robin Wiegerink