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Your President's Final Report

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Maryl Johnson, MD
2017 ISHLT Presdient

It seems like only yesterday that we were in Washington, D.C. at the 2016 Annual Meeting, and I was being handed the gavel to assume the role of ISHLT president. However, it has been a year (a very fast one for me!) and it is now time to reflect on the past year and update you, the ISHLT members, on our accomplishments. More importantly, I want to make you aware that the path that is being charted for the ISHLT is designed to allow (and in many ways require) ISHLT members to actively participate to enhance future success.

At last year's annual meeting, the ISHLT's Strategic Framework 2016-2020 was unveiled (see May 2016 ISHLT LINKS for details). This year's primary focus of the ISHLT leadership and staff has been to prioritize objectives to pursue and develop tactics for implementation. Some of this progress has been shared in previous issues of the LINKS (May and November, 2016), but to make it easier to comprehend the accomplishments, I will summarize below the Strategic Imperatives that have happened or remain in progress.

Strategic Imperative: Enhance Membership Value

Strategic Imperative: Engage Our Community Worldwide

Strategic Imperative: Improve Science and Drive Innovation

Strategic Imperative: Ensure Organizational Vitality

Although working to move forward the objectives defined in the ISHLT Strategic Framework has been a major focus for the ISHLT, its leadership and staff this year, several other items of importance to ISHLT members are also in progress. Highlights of some of the other initiatives include:

  1. A rewrite of ISHLT bylaws occurred as the current bylaws are not in compliance with the Illinois law for non-profit organizations, to which ISHLT is subject. A copy of the bylaws and a summary of the changes included was sent to all members and the bylaws will be voted on at the ISHLT Annual Meeting to be held on Friday, April 7 at 9:30 am in Seaport A-E. Let your voice be heard and join us not only for the vote on the bylaws but other important society business and the election of our new Board members and officers.
  2. Upon recommendation of a task force, which included members of the Pulmonary Hypertension Council, a Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) Council has been formed under the leadership of Bill Auger. The first council meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 5 at 6:15 pm in La Jolla AB. If you are interested in participating, please attend the meeting or contact Bill and inform him of your interest.
  3. In discussing the possibility of a CTEPH Council, it became apparent that the ISHLT did not have criteria for when a new Council should be formed or how Councils should be evaluated. A Board work group was established to bring back recommendations to the Board concerning these issues.
  4. With "Engage Our Community Worldwide" being one of the strategic imperatives in the ISHLT Strategic Framework, the Board decided that we needed to define how we can improve our efforts in this area. Over the next year a task force will be formed to evaluate how the ISHLT can improve international engagement, not only among our members but the worldwide community of providers interested in the care of patients with advanced heart and lung disease.
  5. The Board has tasked specific members to work with us to develop ways the ISHLT can celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first heart transplant which occurred on December 3, 1967.

From the length of this summary, it is apparent that a lot has happened in the ISHLT over the past year. This work has been the result of the efforts of our members, Councils, Committees, Board (in particular the Executive Committee), and staff, all of whom I wish to sincerely thank for their efforts and contributions. Moving the ISHLT forward is best accomplished by contributions from all of its members, so if you have been involved, I thank you. If you haven't, I encourage you to talk to your Council leadership or a society leader to indicate your specific interests.

I want to express sincere gratitude to Jeff Teuteberg, his program committee, and the ISHLT staff for organizing an excellent meeting in San Diego and one you won't want to miss. Please see Jeff's program chair report in this edition of the LINKS for further details.

Finally, I want to thank the ISHLT for the opportunity to serve as your president over the past year. My passion for the ISHLT, its mission and the bright future that we have has only been enhanced by my more direct involvement. The society will be in excellent hands moving forward as Andy Fisher assumes the presidency in San Diego. I pledge to Andy and to you, all ISHLT members, that I will continue to support the ISHLT in the future in whatever way I can.

I will leave you with a quote that I read in a coffee house in Banff, Alberta, Canada last fall which I think states well what is required for the ISHLT to continue to move forward. That quote is, "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." As the ISHLT community, we have the true opportunity to improve the care of patients with advanced heart and lung disease and our likelihood of success is enhanced by working together.

See you in San Diego! ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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