Dr. Judy W. Hung Elected President of the American Society of Echocardiography

Judy W. Hung, MD, FASE, takes the helm as president of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) today. She has served on the Board of Directors as Vice President and President-Elect prior to ascending to her one-year presidency.

Dr. Hung will share her vision for the future of ASE on Saturday, August 8, during the opening session of the ASE 2020 Scientific Sessions Virtual Experience. When asked about her upcoming presidency, she said “I see tremendous opportunity for ASE to advance its mission to be the leader of quality, education, innovation, research, and advocacy in the field of cardiovascular ultrasound. ASE is currently well-positioned to adapt to the changing and challenging healthcare environment and to lead innovation in echocardiography through its international reputation, organizational infrastructure, and commitment to quality and research. I have a deep admiration and belief in the goals and mission of the ASE and the dedication of my ASE member colleagues.” Read more here.

ASE Headquarters Closed: July 3 & July 6

ASE Headquarters will be closed in observance of U.S. Independence Day on Friday, July 3 and Monday, July 6. Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, July 7.

Live Webinar: Use of TEE to Assist with Surgical Decision-Making in the Operating Room

Join Alina Nicoara, MD, FASE, and Nikolaos Skubas, MD, FASE, for a LIVE webinar, Thursday, July 9, 5:00 – 6:00 PM EDT as they review the recently published ASE guideline, Guidelines for the Use of Transesophageal Echocardiography to Assist with Surgical Decision-Making in the Operating Room. They will discuss a systematic approach on how to apply the existing guidelines in the intraoperative environment to answer questions specific to open, minimally invasive, or hybrid surgical procedures.

  1. To register, login to your ASE member portal.
  2. Select the ASE Learning Hub from the top red menu.
  3. Register for the webinar here.

Registration is FREE for ASE members and $25 for nonmembers. You can claim 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ within 24 hours of watching the webinar. The webinar will also be posted for on-demand viewing and claiming CME. Click here to find out when the webinar is taking place in your time zone.

Specific questions regarding webinar registration can be sent to Jenn Goss at JGoss@ASEcho.org.

Update Your Guideline Product Collection

New educational resources have been developed by ASE experts to help you enhance your practice. Add these latest products to your guideline collection with the most up-to-date Guidelines for Performance, Interpretation, and Application of Stress Echocardiography in Ischemic Heart Disease.

Visit the ASE Learning Hub to see all of ASE’s educational resources, and don’t forget to login to your member portal to take advantage of your member discount.

June JASE Free for Everyone

ASE and Elsevier have collaborated to offer the June JASE content free to everyone interested in cardiovascular ultrasound around the world. Please share this news with your colleagues and students so they may dig into the double focused issue including the new ASE guideline about echo and surgical decision making, echo and COVID-19, and original research abstracts accepted for ASE’s Scientific Sessions.

New ASE Guideline Outlines the Use of TEE to Assist with Surgical Decision-Making

Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography is a versatile diagnostic and monitoring tool used to assist in patient management in a wide-range of cardiac surgical procedures. The new document, Guidelines for the Use of Transesophageal Echocardiography to Assist with Surgical Decision-Making in the Operating Room: A Surgery-Based Approach, outlines a systematic approach on how to apply the existing guidelines to address questions on cardiac structure and function specific to the intraoperative environment in open, minimally invasive, or hybrid procedures. This peer-reviewed guideline was developed in collaboration with the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and has also been endorsed by 18 ASE International Alliance Partners. Read more here.

June JASE Features a Double Focus: COVID-19 and the Role of Echo In Surgical Decision-Making

Editor-in-Chief Michael H. Picard, MD, FASE, announces a double focus topic issue for the June Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE). In his editorial titled Life is Dynamic and So is JASE, he writes “I had planned that this June issue of JASE would focus on the role of echocardiography in surgical decision-making and also include some cutting-edge papers that would serve as a complement to the ASE’s Annual Scientific Sessions. However, the world changed quickly, and so I felt it was important for the Journal to do so also.” Read more here.

Message from the President

Dear friends,

The last week has been a difficult one for many people and for many reasons. Troubling scenes of public anger have been playing out as people express their frustrations over racial inequities. Coupled with a disheartening milestone of the country exceeding 100,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, and its disproportionate impact on people of color, public sentiment is boiling over.

It is challenging for those who have never experienced discrimination of any kind to truly understand what someone feels when they face a constant threat of inequitable treatment based on circumstances beyond their control. As healthcare providers and those who help manage patients with cardiovascular disease, we are also witness to the negative impact of racial disparities on health and disease. As professionals, we often see unequal opportunities and discrimination in the workplace. While it may be hard to find words to express our emotions, we should not be silent spectators either. Witnessing acts of injustice and inequity should fuel us to act in a just and equitable manner, thereby forcefully opposing discrimination and bias. Collectively, we can and should make a difference.

ASE always stands for diversity and inclusion in all that we do. It is a core value and a driving principle that guides our actions. We reaffirm our commitment to standing together with those who feel that they are treated unjustly and pledge to eliminate those disparities. We truly aspire towards creating a caring community of echo enthusiasts. However, that can only be achieved if we commit wholeheartedly to ensure a diverse and inclusive society in which everyone feels a sense of belonging and celebrate what makes us different.

I am deeply appreciative of those who have tirelessly given their time and effort during this crisis by selflessly caring for our patients, our colleagues, and our community. The only way we can get through these difficult times is by supporting each other.

In what may feel like a dark moment in our history, let us make a commitment to make this world a better place for our families, our friends, and our communities. Let’s pledge to make at least one simple act of kindness and caring a part of our daily routines. It is truly by our actions that we will succeed together in creating a brighter future for our children.

Sincerely,

Madhav Swaminathan, MD, FASE
ASE President

ASE Statement on the Reintroduction of Echocardiography Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A group of ASE leaders prepared a very timely Statement on the Reintroduction of Echocardiography Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic to share with members and the entire cardiovascular ultrasound community. As the pandemic unfolded, many non-urgent echo studies were deferred in an attempt to reduce coronavirus transmission among patients and healthcare workers, conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and prepare for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. Although COVID-19 prevalence and new case trends continue to differ substantially by region, many facilities are now planning resumption of non-urgent and elective medical services. Safe and efficient reintroduction of outpatient echocardiography services will require consideration of appropriate timing of reopening based on projected COVID-19 case trends, prioritizing procedure scheduling based on current or change in disease acuity, applying exam protocols to address the clinical question while enhancing lab throughput, implementing appropriate PPE and sanitization protocols, and performing pre-procedural COVID-19 testing in certain patient cohorts.

ASE is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our members and the patients we serve. Judy Hung, MD, FASE (Chair), Theodore P. Abraham, MD, FASE, Meryl S. Cohen, MD, MS Ed, FASE, Michael L. Main, MD, FASE, Carol Mitchell, PhD, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, FASE, Vera H. Rigolin, MD, FASE, and Madhav Swaminathan, MD, FASE helped create this resource for sonographers, nurses, advance practice providers, and physicians who have a duty to care for patients.

Register today to join experts on June 5, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT for a live webinar. During this webinar, Dr. Judy Hung and a team of experts will address your questions based on this new statement. Once you register for the webinar, you will receive a link to a form to submit your questions in advance of the webinar. The experts will discuss issues relating to when to reopen, scheduling of deferred cases, protocol changes, PPE, and COVID-19 screening and testing. Learn more here.

ASE Supports Healthcare Workers’ Mental Health in Next Coronavirus Aid Package

Earlier this month, ASE was contacted by U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s office requesting support for providing mental health resources for frontline healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Healthcare workers are making enormous sacrifices every day to defeat this virus and ensuring access to the mental health resources needed is imperative. A bipartisan letter was sent to House leadership calling for the inclusion of enhanced mental health resources for healthcare workers in the next coronavirus aid package. ASE proudly supported this request that includes the establishment of a Department of Health and Human Services grant program to allow healthcare employers and facilities to confidentially assess and treat the mental health of frontline workers in addition to ordering a comprehensive study on healthcare workers’ mental health. This letter was signed by over 90 members of Congress and is supported by over 50 organizations. Read more here. ASE’s lobbyists are monitoring this bill, and we will report further developments as they arise.

 

ASE Headquarters – COVID-19 Update

Beginning March 26, 2020, the county where the ASE Headquarters is located is under a government order to “Stay at Home” due to the spread of the coronavirus. These “Stay at Home” recommendations continue to be in effect and depend on the infection rates in the County/State. ASE will keep all but essential personnel telecommuting until a time when it is judged safe to return to work. We are not suspending or closing operations; our employees will remain working and providing excellent customer service to our members and the cardiovascular ultrasound community. However, ASE will slightly modify its official open hours to 9 AM – 4 PM Eastern TimeMonday-Friday. Should you need to get in touch with a staff person, call our main office at 919-861-5574 and a phone list by department will be available. A staff directory is also available here. All general questions can also be sent through ASE@ASEcho.org. Thank you and our best wishes for your continued safety.

New 3D Imaging Code Survey Needs U.S. Physician Input

This is your opportunity to participate in the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) process to ensure fair and adequate code valuation. The proposed CPT add-on code that describes the additional work required for 3D imaging, in addition to the base echocardiography service, is currently under review at the AMA RUC. Your participation in the RUC survey process is key in the assessment of the time, complexity, and physician work value for these procedures. If you were randomly selected, you received an email from “Qualtrics” with the subject line, “AMA RUC Survey – 3D Imaging of Cardiac Structures.” We ask you to look for it in all your email folders, as many members have found the survey in their spam/junk folder.

More information about the RUC and the survey process is available here.The AMA has created a video to explain the purpose of the survey process and provide specific instructions on how to complete the survey accurately. Please contact Irene Butler, ASE’s Vice President of Health Policy & Member Relations at IButler@ASEcho.org, with any questions. We greatly appreciate your time, input, and expertise.