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In this issue, we close the books on an eventful year with some closing articles. Strategic imperatives are in place to enhance membership value with more transparency, accountability and accessibility. Occasional droppings on the art of medicine from great literary works were added focusing on pain, suffering and death with hopes that we have been enlightened. Finally, brood over this months' quote by Tyler Joseph of the Twenty One Pilots. Take note of the name origin of this Grammy Award winning duo who has burst on the alternative rock scene in America.

Look forward to seeing you in Sunny San Diego!

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


Oral Session 53:
Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Psychosocial Factors Predict Outcomes in Transplant MCS

Session Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017

New Session Time:
8:00-9:30 AM

Location: Coronado A-C

The Mobile App and 2017 Final Program PDF are updated to reflect this change; however, the 2017 eBook cannot be updated and still shows the old session time of 12:00-1:30 PM.


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Your President's Final Report

Maryl Johnson, MD
2017 ISHLT President

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. Read more →

Program Chair's Report

Jeffrey Teuteberg, MD
2017 ISHLT Program Chair

It is hard to believe that the Annual meeting is almost upon us and will soon be officially in the books. It has been a busy winter for the Program Committee and staff grading, finalizing and scheduling the abstracts into sessions and assigning session chairs. We are currently reviewing the late breaking clinical trials, and I am confident that there will be something for everyone to learn from these submissions. I am also looking forward to the ID and Pathology sessions which were placed to conform to the clusters that were part of this year's program. We are pleased to see that the number of abstracts submitted this year have increased by 8% over last year, 1633 versus 1516, despite the new submission fee. The percentage of accepted abstracts was 85%, nearly identical to 2016. The graph below shows the number of submitted abstracts and the percentage of accepted abstracts over the last decade. Read more →


How To Access Program Information

ISHLT is moving toward making the Annual Meeting a greener meeting. There are many ways to get more detailed information about ISHLT 2016 from digital sources. With the OASIS mobile meeting app you can explore the entire meeting program by target audience, session type, day, or speaker. You can build your personal schedule for the meeting, bookmark sessions, take notes, share contacts, view abstracts, maps and floor plans, and much more. In addition, meeting registrants will be able to access presentation slides from the app. You can also use it to access news and social media. Stay informed about hot issues, event program changes, upcoming sessions and organizer messages. The app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android. Read more →

Tweeting at #ISHLT2017

links imageWant to get even more out of ISHLT 2017? Twitter can help!

Reading on Twitter about what others are learning in sessions is the easiest way to start. If you're new to Twitter, CLICK HERE for easy to understand information on how to set up a Twitter account, how to read what others are posting, and how to post your own comments.

If you want to really engage, you can share comments about what YOU are learning. Share your conference experience and use #ISHLT2017 to connect with attendees, build professional relationships, uncover ideas, spark inspiration, and help others!

A #ISHLT2017 Twitter feed will be scrolling across the bottom of the mobile meeting app home page all day every day to provide real-time commentary and information.

Pam Combs' Musings on the ISHLT Annual Meeting

Pam Combs, PhD, RN

links imageSince the inception of the ISHLT annual conference in 1981, members gather to encourage and stimulate basic and clinic research and promote new therapeutic strategies relevant to end-stage heart and lung disease. Since 2005, members within the MCS field are offered a specific session/forum that addresses matters involving this complex patient population. In the year 2017, I look forward to attending the annual conference which will embody collegiality of those interested in promoting new strategies within the field of heart and lung transplantation, and end-stage heart and lung disease. From my vantage point, I can feel the excitement increasing every day from various members. What makes a conference great? My three answers are the following: 1) The quality of people around me, 2) the quality of the speakers, and 3) the focus of the content. Read more →

Let your Presentation Purr in San Diego: Remember the 4 P's: Procrastination, Preparation, Practice, Presentation

Vincent Valentine, MD
Allan Glanville, MBBS, MD, FRACP
John Dark, MB, FRCS

To deliver a good speech or make a great presentation, let's refer to the January 2012 ISHLT Links, Issue 8, Volume 3, On Teaching and Learning. From this article, pay attention to the following points: 1) the one who learns the most while sharing knowledge is the teacher or presenter, and 2) when teaching, presenting your poster, delivering your lecture, or writing your paper, you should ask yourself, "What do I want the intended audience to know in five years?" Perhaps better advice can be found in the rules for posters and presentations. Finally, the best advice for the success of ISHLT 2012 in Prague is in the June 2011 ISHLT Links, Issue 1, Volume 3article, On to Prague, from our Program Chair, Stuart Sweet: "brevity and clarity will be key, particularly in oral presentations." Read more →


Click here to the times and locations of all Council Meetings and Networking Receptions taking place at the 2017 ISHLT Annual Meeting


Getting High with Patients

Daniel Dilling, MD

links imageAs members of ISHLT, we work in the rewarding but stressful fields of thoracic transplantation, MCS, and pulmonary hypertension. Caring for patients who are either extremely ill or who have been rescued by our lifesaving therapies. We see them often and our appointments are sometimes long. They are in the hospital periodically and we see them for procedures too. We get to know them well. We see them through the worst of times and through the best of times. We get to know their families and loved ones well too. These are rich relationships. I always teach students and trainees that transplant medicine is really just plain old internal medicine, but "on steroids" -- and so, too, our doctor-patient relationships are also more in-depth and intense than average. Read more →


Experiencing Death

Vincent Valentine, MD

In the last issue, we began the topic of death "Dealing with Death as Witnesses." In this issue, we continue the march to death as an experience. In all honesty, a peaceful acknowledgement of death is complicated. Art does offer experience; however, it is not the same as the experience science offers. We can experience anything from books, paintings, films and music, and these experiences are not the same as the actual experience of death. So, can art give us the experience of dying? It is art that allows us to imagine a reality we cannot afford to experience giving us a grasp of things that can be only encountered once. There is something to be said about reading on suffering and death. Reading educates and schools our emotions and feelings. Literature provides an experiential view of things giving us various perceptual dimensions of death. Art as experience can occasionally overstate the issue. For example, do we really know what it's like or how someone feels when we try to empathize and state, "I know how you feel?" Recognize that pain, suffering and death are not the same as these actual experiences. Read more →

Recapitulating Pain, Suffering, and Death

Vincent Valentine, MD

Pain is universal. We all experience it, physically, emotionally, directly and indirectly. As healthcare providers, we witness pain through illness and death. We see patients suffer from medication side effects, cope with attachments to machines and eventually die; however, we do not personally know what it is like to live with illness, or for that matter, die. Art and literature help explore pain beyond science's depth to provide a broader view of a patient's diagnosis and suffering. Although substantial improvements have been made through innovation, modern science allows healthcare providers to be emotionally detached with depersonalized terminology and breviloquent bedside manner. For example, we hear of the ECMO patient in the ICU, rather than the wife with IPF eating, breathing, walking, sleeping and going to the bathroom in the confines of a 100 square foot room for more than three weeks awaiting lung transplantation. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"Death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit."
— Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots TØP

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Disclaimer: Any opinion, conclusion or recommendation published by the Links is the sole expression of the writer(s) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ISHLT.