Dr Richard Kovacs Discusses the Virtual Shift of ACC.20/WCC 2020 and Upcoming Scientific Highlights

March 25, 2020

We have our featured research that we're going to bring—our keynotes, our Young Investigator Awards presentations, and we're going to have some special emphasis on global health, especially relevant in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Richard Kovacs, MD, FACC, clinical cardiologist and president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

We have our featured research that we're going to bring—our keynotes, our Young Investigator Awards presentations, and we're going to have some special emphasis on global health, especially relevant and in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Richard Kovacs, MD, FACC, clinical cardiologist and president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Transcript

Can you describe the process of guiding ACC to the decision of delivering a virtual program?

The American College of Cardiology came to the decision fairly early on that our annual meeting was not going to be able to be held in the current environment. So, we went through the usual Kübler-Ross stages of anger, denial, and grief, and then we thought about what could we do?

So we quickly broke down into what were the parts of the meeting, and we decided that there was a very intellectual part of the meeting with science and education, but there was also an emotional and a social part of the meeting with our ceremonies, our opening event, our convocation, and all the social interactions that go on. Then there's a business part of the meeting with our industry partners and our exhibits. We looked at how we could accomplish each of those—we decided with social distancing that it was going to be very difficult to have those social interactions, but that we could maintain part of that community aspect to the meeting.

We also felt that it was very, very necessary for us to push the science that had been developing over the course of the year forward. Finally, our fellows in training and the people who are presenting abstracts and being on the national stage for the very first time in their career, we thought that was also critically important. So, we integrated all those into our virtual meeting.

What do you think will be the scientific highlights of the program?

Certainly we're going to bring forth all of our late breaking clinical trials as part of the program. We have our featured research that we're going to bring—our keynotes, our Young Investigator Awards presentations, and we're going to have some special emphasis on global health, especially relevant and in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have some emphasis on cardio obstetrics. Our late breakers span the areas of heart failure, of revascularization, of prevention, of ischemic heart disease treatments, and so we're going to see a very broad and deep program.