Vacancy: QUIP Committee Chair

Take a lead role in driving quality improvement in cardiothoracic surgery

 

Do you have the strategic vision to lead EACTS’ Quality Improvement Programme (QUIP)?

EACTS is looking for a dedicated member to Chair our QUIP committee and play an important strategic role in representing the Programme’s vision and purpose.  

The Quality Improvement Programme operates two international databases: the Adult Cardiac Database (ACD) and the European Registry for Patients with Mechanical Circulatory Support (EUROMACS). These registries transcend national boundaries to unite individuals and institutions from around the world to advance clinical research and improve the outcomes and lives of patients.  

This is an exciting opportunity to drive quality improvement in cardiothoracic surgery and promote the importance of integrating quality improvement initiatives into daily clinical practice. 

Application

Applications are now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact us at quip@eacts.co.uk. 

About you  

  • Proficiency in English.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in the field.
  • You will be committed to the charitable objectives of the Association and the Committee, and be dedicated to the pursuit of clinical/research excellence and improving patient outcomes.
  • You will have an interest not just in cardiothoracic surgery, but also experience in managing clinical registries for hospital(s) on a national or international scale.
  • You will have a good understanding of epidemiology data and benchmarking, and be able to provide guidance in data collection, validating, and reporting.
  • You will have experience in monitoring efficacy of registries and applying strategic knowledge to support databases and their output. 
  • You must have sufficient time to attend at least four meetings per year and be willing to contribute between meetings as necessary.
  • The ideal candidate must be able to make the decisions on the nitty gritty of software logistics and data collection, without losing sight of the ‘big picture’.  

 

Job Description 

Job Title: Quality Improvement Programme Committee Chair 

Key Relationships: QUIP Manager and Members, EACTS Task Forces and Committee Chairs, EACTS office, EACTS Councillors.

Purpose of the role: to effectively manage the Committee and outline clear, long-term goals which are both in line with EACTS’ mission and help the Committee fulfil its purpose.  

 

Main duties and responsibilities 

  • To provide strategic and operational guidance to the Quality Improvement Programme and to the various current/developing international databases. 
  • To assess and advise on the QUIP objectives to ensure they are in line with the EACTS charitable objectives and 5-year strategy.  
  • To lead the Committee, recruiting members according to the skillset and knowledge required, chairing meetings and establishing milestones. 
  • To liaise with the other relevant EACTS database Task Forces and Committee Chairs to give strategic advice that will correspond to the overall objectives.  
  • To review the operational and technological requirements of the databases, assessing software support and platforms are performing at a sufficient standard to satisfy the needs of the users.  
  • To assist and advise panel on tender processes for relevant software and platforms to support the databases.  
  • To coordinate with the other database task forces/committee to analyse, review, and advise on the data in- and outputs of the databases, monitoring efficacy of the registries and user feedback.
  • To advise on the financial policy of the databases and coordinate with potential industry and stakeholders accordingly. 
  • To be a non-voting member of the EACTS Council / to provide reports on the progress of the QUIP Committee and the activities to the EACTS Council.  

 

Expected Commitments  

  • Regular Zoom and sometimes in-person meetings with the Committee. 
  • Attend/present at the EACTS Annual Meeting.  
  • Strict confidentiality observance. 
  • Provide true and complete information on relationships with industry; provide annual declaration of interest.  

EACTS designates emergency fund of €100,000 to support the cardiothoracic community in Ukraine

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery unreservedly opposes the unlawful invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. We join with the overwhelming international majority in condemning these actions and in demanding an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.

 

As an Association, we have considered how best to respond to this crisis in the interests of our Ukrainian members and the patients they support. We have taken the following steps;

  • We are immediately designating an emergency fund of €100,000 which we will use to best support the cardiothoracic community of Ukraine. We will be consulting with Vasyl Lazoryshynets, the Director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Ukraine and other relevant bodies on the best use and timing of this fund whether in the form of emergency support now or to support rebuilding services in the future.

 

  • We have invited Vasyl Lazoryshynets to address members of EACTS Council, when convenient, to help us understand how best we can further support our Ukrainian colleagues both through the use of the emergency fund and other tangible means of support.

 

  • Today, our President – Friedhelm Beyersdorf – and Secretary General – Rafa Sadaba – have written to each Ukrainian member of EACTS setting out the steps we are taking and offering our unreserved support.

 

  • EACTS is an association of individual members; we do not have countries or their societies in membership. As a small gesture, we will be waiving the membership fee for all members from Ukraine, including for any new members who wish to join this year. It is important the services and educational tools we offer and all the benefits of EACTS’ membership, are available as widely as possible to those in greatest need.

 

  • We have posted statements on our social media accounts condemning the invasion. We have posted a video message from Vasyl Lazoryshynets and will continue to demonstrate our solidarity with the people in Ukraine.

 

We want to express our unequivocal support for the cardiothoracic surgeons and wider heart teams, their families and friends in Ukraine at this time. This act of aggression is having a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people, leading to multiple casualties and loss of life, separated families and a humanitarian crisis. We are deeply concerned for our Ukrainian members and Ukrainian citizens and express our solidarity and support for the people and health professionals of Ukraine.

The EACTS Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee welcomes its newest members

On International Women’s Day 2022, EACTS would like to acknowledge and celebrate the tireless work and achievements of women in cardiothoracic surgery across the world.

The Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee, chaired by Dr Jolanda Kluin, provides a forum for community-building, networking and leadership development for women cardiothoracic surgeons.

The committee has a clear mission to promote diversity and inclusion within EACTS and the wider field and help more women establish themselves in cardiothoracic surgery and take up leadership roles.

The Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee recently welcomed two new additional members – Miia Lehtinen and Maroua Eid – to further strengthen the Committee and support its ongoing work.

Look out for more details about the committee’s work in the next issue of EACTS News.

EACTS is in solidarity with EACTS members in Ukraine

EACTS utterly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine. No doubt all of us will want to express our unequivocal support for the cardiothoracic surgeons and wider heart teams, their families and friends in Ukraine at this time. This act of aggression is having a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people, leading to multiple casualties and loss of life, separated families and a humanitarian crisis. We are deeply concerned for our Ukrainian members and Ukrainian citizens.

EACTS has received a video from Vasyl Lazoryshynets, a member of EACTS and the Director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Ukraine. Vasyl explains the impact of the war on the Ukrainian people and we encourage all members to watch his video.

As cardiothoracic surgeons, our actions save and improve lives for people every day. As Vasyl highlights in his video, ‘let’s stay united to protect the basic human right to life.’

If anyone would like to contribute to the humanitarian relief efforts, please consider supporting the UNHCR or ICRC. 

INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES OVERVIEW

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Francis Fontan Fund Fellowships: Open for Applications Now

Francis Fontan Fund Fellowships: Open for Applications Now until mid-end Sep 2021

Fellowship scheme
EACTS members can now apply for a prestigious Francis Fontan Fund Fellowship. A wide variety of Fellowship schemes are available to members around the world with the aim of supporting surgical education, fostering professional development and strengthening the global cardiothoracic community through increased knowledge share.

The Fellowship programme offers unique career opportunities across a range of cardio and thoracic surgical experiences, with access to world-class courses, residential training in both European and American centres of excellence and clinical proctorship with surgical leaders. The Fund represents a vital part of the EACTS’ educational offering.

Professor Rafael Sádaba, EACTS Secretary General & Chairman of the Francis Fontan Fund, says: “The Fund’s mission is to create a global community sharing and learning from the highest standards of cardiothoracic care. Our Fellows are given the tools to establish life-saving new techniques in their institution and to emerge with skills, techniques and supportive professional networks that they could not have gained in any other way.”

The Fund offers three categories of Fellowship: Research, Leadership and Education. Research Fellowships offer experienced cardiothoracic surgeons a placement in cardiothoracic research, whilst Leadership Fellowships enable candidates to attend specialist courses and a placement in a clinic specialised in a specific area of cardiothoracic surgery. Education Fellowships offer candidates early in their surgical career foundation knowledge in a specific aspect of cardiothoracic surgery.

There are four Fellowship programmes that are now open for EACTS member to apply. Please note the application deadlines below, it is essential that you do not submit a late submission.

1. TSF/FFF International Travelling Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 15 Sep 2021

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons have collaborated to offer the TSF/FFF International Travelling Fellowship. This new Fellowship offers young faculty surgeons an exciting opportunity to travelto America and learn from surgeons dedicated to the highest standards of cardiothoracic care.

Click here for further information and to apply.

2. EACTS-MSTCVS Quality and Outcomes Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

This Fellowship provides an in-depth understanding of cardiothoracic surgical outcomes with one of the world’s leading quality improvement teams, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Click here for further information and to apply.

3. Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

Available to newly graduated cardiothoracic surgeons from around the world, this Fellowship offers an educational opportunity to enhance clinical understanding and acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the surgical management of patients with coronary artery disease.

Click here for further information and to apply

4. Advanced Intensive Postoperative Care 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

This Fellowships offers an opportunity to gain experience in the postoperative management in adult cardiovascular surgery, as well as a wide exposure to minimally invasive and other advanced techniques in cardiovascular surgery.

Click here for further information and to apply.

EACTS is saddened by the loss of Hans Huysmans on 25 August 2021.

Hans Huysmans (1933-2021) 

EACTS is saddened by the loss of Hans Huysmans on 25 August 2021. Professor Hans Huysmans was one of the founding fathers of our Association. 

Hans was born into a family of doctors and started his career in general surgery. As a general surgeon he performed thoracic and also some cardiac procedures. He was then appointed as a professor of cardiothoracic surgery in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This was in the early days of heart surgery and our specialty was struggling to become a discipline that was independent of general surgery. In 1979 Hans switched to Leiden University where he was appointed as Gerard Brom’s successor. Professor Huysmans remained head of the department of cardiothoracic surgery in Leiden until 1998. 

Hans Huysmans has contributed much of his energy to the development of cardiothoracic surgery as an independent specialty, not only in his home country but also at a European level. Apart from being one of the founding members he was EACTS president from 1989-1990. Hans worked particularly hard to create a robust training programme for EACTS. The European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (EBTCS) was founded in 1995 and is now a well-respected training programme with examinations in all different subspecialties of cardiothoracic surgery. 

Personally, I was accepted by him as a trainee in cardiothoracic surgery in Leiden, something that I have never regretted. Hans Huysmans was a technically gifted and universal surgeon with an endless patience for his residents. He supported his trainees as much as he could and was always friendly. Until the very end Hans continued to show a keen interest in our specialty. We will miss him and wish Anne-Marie and his family our sincere condolences and best wishes. 

Mark Hazekamp, President, EACTS 

Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease

31 August 2021

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease were published online in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery on Saturday 28th of August 2021.

EACTS is proud of this collaborative joint guideline, including all members of the Heart Team. A discussion within the Heart Team should be the basis of all treatment decisions. This recommendation should be discussed with the patient, who can then make an informed decision.

We recognise there is considerable interest in the use of age cut-offs to assist in the choice of intervention for aortic stenosis. The evidence favours SAVR in some patients, TAVI in others, and either mode of intervention can be used for those in between. The Heart Team discussion is central in the care of these patients, and the guideline (table 6) details the clinical, anatomical and procedural factors that influence the choice of treatment modality for an individual patient.

Randomised controlled trials comparing SAVR to TAVI have included patients based on estimated risk, not age, and there has been no evidence of interaction between age and outcomes. Life expectancy for an individual patient is difficult to estimate; it varies widely across the world and is dependent on absolute age, sex, frailty, and the presence of comorbidities. Age was chosen as surrogate, considering the interplay between estimated life expectancy and prosthetic heart valve durability.

Despite the lack of evidence for age in determining intervention modality, it has been used in several other recent recommendations. The 2017 ESC/EACTS valvular heart disease guidelines already proposed an age limit of 75 as cut-off (in table 7). The ACC/AHA 2020 guidelines recommend TAVR >80, SAVR <65 and a Heart Team discussion for patients in between. The German Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Associations’ consensus statement proposes SAVR for low-risk patients ≤70, TAVI for patients ≥75, and a Heart Team discussion for patients in between. The age cut-offs agreed-upon in the ESC/EACTS guidelines can be considered conservative in comparison and were the subject of intense and constructive discussions. As there are no new data regarding age since the 2017 ESC/EACTS guideline, the same age of 75 years was used as in the previous iteration.

The guidelines have advanced other areas. Increased experience and procedural safety have led to expanded indications toward earlier surgery in asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation and mitral regurgitation. Furthermore, these joint guidelines inaugurated the contribution of a methodology group. We are encouraged to expand the use of this group to all guidelines and putting into place an open process, with independent review of the evidence using validated tools such as the GRADE system, and avoiding conflicts of interest.

We look forward to a continuing fruitful collaboration on these joint guidelines with our colleagues from ESC, advancing a common European perspective on the evidence. These guidelines should be a living document, updated as new data is made available with longer follow-up, particularly in the low-risk trials.

A video summary of advances in these guidelines can be seen on ESC TV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb85wvcbWBs), as well as the live session at ESC Congress (for registered users: https://bit.ly/3DuIQCC). A session with Heart Team members of the Taskforce will provide insight during the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting in Barcelona on October 14th

Rafael Sádaba, EACTS Secretary General

Friedhelm Beyersdorf, Chair of the EACTS Task Force for the ESC/EACTS Guidelines on Heart Valve Disease

Highest ever Impact Factor for EACTS journals

13 July 2021

EACTS journals achieved their highest ever Impact Factors in 2020, according to new data published this July by global analytics firm Clarivate. 

The Impact Factor (IF) is a metric that represents the average number of citations in a particular year for articles published in the two previous years. It is an established indicator of the importance or rank of a journal.  

 Rafa Sadaba, EACTS’ Secretary General, said: “We are delighted that our journals have reached their highest ever Impact Factors. This achievement reflects the quality of their scientific content and our authors’ significant influence on advances in cardiothoracic surgery. 

“We hope these journals will have an even greater impact in the future. I encourage surgeons to submit their papers to our journals so that we can continue to advance our collective expertise and improve outcomes for patients.”  

EJCTS’ 2020 Impact Factor is 4.191, a substantial increase from 3.486 in 2019.  The 2020 Impact Factor for ICVTS is 1.905, up from 1.675 last year.  

  • European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery is a subscription journal.  As a member of EACTS you will automatically have full access to all content.
  • Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery is now Open Access and is free to read without a subscription.
  • More information on EACTS journals is here