As Heart Rhythm 2016 winds down, it is my hope that you take home the inspiration of groundbreaking discoveries and insights that spark both contemplation and debate, and practical and tangible guidance to improve patient care in your corner of the world.
I would like to extend my thanks to our Immediate Past President, John D. Day, MD, FHRS, for his great work over the last year. His leadership, energy, and vision have set a very high bar, which I aspire to match.
It has been 25 years since I attended my first Heart Rhythm Society (then NASPE) Annual Scientific Sessions in 1991. I was a young and ambitious electrophysiology fellow presenting a moderated poster for the first time. Looking back, I recall being both inspired and intimidated when meeting the giants in the field, who I had only read about in journals. Nevertheless, I met them, and they welcomed me while providing constructive feedback on my research. There was, and there remains today, a special collegiality about this meeting and this community. Even as Heart Rhythm has grown to become the largest, most encompassing arrhythmia meeting in the world, the engaging, interactive environment is one important reason it remains the go-to meeting for anyone in the field.
Without a doubt, the continued rapid growth in innovative techniques, devices and therapies makes this an exciting time for us all. We are discovering new and better ways to treat children and adults of all ages with catheter-based, medical, and surgical therapies.
Despite these advances, we remain challenged by declining reimbursement and reduced research funding. I believe the partnership with industry in this field is unique and vital, yet the constraints of our interactions continue to grow, at times restricting education or clinical progress.
From my perspective, a three-part mission of education, research, and clinical care is at the very foundation of continued progress. This remains my passion and clinical focus, and it will be the touchstone of my year ahead serving the HRS membership and EP community. We will begin by engaging our young physicians and researchers, offering guidance and opportunities to tap into fresh ideas and approaches, and balancing that energy with the experience and wisdom of the senior leaders in the field. We will be inclusive, going beyond geographic boundaries that are typically associated with medical societies, as well as expanding to APs, PhDs, and students in the leadership process. And finally, we need to address the gender and racial boundaries that have dominated many medical societies. The goals are lofty, but we will pursue them aggressively.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve as the 38th President of the Heart Rhythm Society. I am honored, and will do my best to live up to the very high standards established by my outstanding predecessors. I look forward to working side-by-side with the professional staff at the Heart Rhythm Society and the volunteers who are so generous with their time and expertise, in order to advance education, research, and clinical care in our field.