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Heart Failure and Transplantation Council Year in Review and Glance Ahead

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Michael Pham, MD
Heart Failure & Transplantation Council Chair
California Pacific Medical Center
San Francisco, CA, USA

Over the past years, the HFTX Council has been fortunate enough to have benefited from the strong and growing engagement of its members. While the Operating Board is growing and diversifying, international members and surgeons are still under-represented in the Council leadership. Last year, we were thrilled to welcome Hannah Copeland as our Standards and Guidelines Workforce Leader and Alejandro Bertolotti this past April as the I2C2 Workforce Leader. Our Vice-Chair, Jig Patel, hasn't ceased to impress with his wisdom and ability to distill complex information down to a few concise sentences and is probably cringing right now reading this wordy article. Our ever-so-enthusiastic Board Liaison, Howie Eisen, has been our strongest advocate and balances my seriousness with his sense of humor. Currently, we are discussing ways to keep members informed and involved in between the face-to-face Council meetings. This may involve a virtual town hall meeting each October, in which we spend half the time updating our members on the status of Council-initiated projects and the other half soliciting feedback and engaging in discussion.

Education. We relaunched Journal Watch, our online journal club, in January under the leadership of our JFTC Liaison, Marco Masetti. We will continue the format of reviewing the previous month's literature, along with having special themed issues devoted to topics of special interest, such as the March 2017 issue on C1q Antibodies in Thoracic Transplantation. We're always looking for volunteer reviewers, so please reach out to Marco if you are interested in helping out. Similarly, we're in the process of resuscitating our Donor Selection and Management Forum under the leadership of Natasha Altman and Jennifer Cook and in partnership with the JFTC. Every other month, we will post a challenging donor selection or management case, selected from transplant centers around the world, on ISHLTConnect. We will then poll forum members on how they would proceed and provide the results of the voting, along with some follow-up on the case and lessons learned.

Preparation for next year's Core Competencies Course on Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine is already underway and led by our Academy Chair, Shelley Hall, and Co-Chairs, Lavanya Bellumkonda and Eric Epailly. At our Council Meeting in San Diego, we discussed the need to offer advanced training in heart transplantation. Topics such as immunology, donor and recipient matching, and antibody-mediated rejection are more conducive to in-depth discussion in an interactive small group setting, and the Council will be working on an application for a Master Class in Heart Transplantation as part of a future ISHLT Academy.

Our Education Workforce has grown every year. This year, our WF includes 42 members from 7 countries, and we have a balanced distribution of members representing the full spectrum of career length, from trainees to those who have been in practice for over 15 years. Our WF members are working hard to come up with symposium proposals for next year's meeting, helping each other develop ideas, and providing thoughtful feedback to proposals generated from other Councils. Before leaving the area of education, I'd like to acknowledge Daniel Kim as the best Education WF Leader and most thoughtful colleague any Chair could ever hope to work with. He deserves a medal for the incredible amount of work he's put into the symposium development process, but I think I'll just buy him a fancy drink in Nice.

Standards and guidelines. Hannah Copeland started running as soon as her feet touched the ground last year. A writing group has already been formed to work on an ISHLT Consensus Document on the Evaluation and Procurement of Heart and Lung Allografts, and we anticipate that a final draft will be ready for review by expert reviewers prior to next year's ISHLT meeting in Nice. The ISHLT Board of Directors also approved a separate Consensus Statement on Donor Heart Selection. Preparatory work for this document will include an ISHLT member survey of international donor selection practices, which will go out in the next month.

Speaking of guidelines, can you believe that the ISHLT Guidelines for the Care of Heart Transplant Recipients are already 7 years old? The guidelines have been cited over 300 times since they were published in 2010, and they are due for a refresh. Our Council will be working on a focused update in the next year to reflect new data and current best practices in the management of heart transplant recipients.

Engagement of our worldwide community. The HFTX Council worked with I2C2, the Pulmonary Transplantation Council, and the Brazilian Association of Organ Transplantation (ABTO) to co-sponsor an ABTO/ISHLT Joint Symposium on Management Dilemmas and Practical Insights in Thoracic Transplantation and Mechanical Support. The joint symposium will be held at the 16th Brazilian Meeting of Transplantation on October 20, 2017 and will address some thought-provoking issues around donor/recipient management and thoracic organ replacement. The Council has also been working with our colleagues from the Colombian Society of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery to plan a joint session at the XXVII Colombian Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery in 2018. There is palpable excitement in further developing our relationships with advanced heart failure programs in Southeast Asia, and we hope that a proposal to highlight the opportunities and challenges with transplantation and MCS in India will make its way to one of the symposium slots for the 2018 meeting.

We look forward with excitement and anticipation to all that the next year will bring. ■

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

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