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Mechanical Circulatory Support Council Year in Review

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Jeffrey Teuteberg, MD
Council Chair

Well, it is spring time in Pittsburgh (although you would never know it by the weather), but it means that it is time, once again, for the Annual Meeting. In many ways it is difficult to believe that the Prague meeting was a year ago. With the arrival of the 2013 meeting in Montreal, it is time to look back over the past year and highlight some of the accomplishments of the MCS Council.

The 2013 ISHLT MCS guidelines were obviously the major focus over the past year. While the guidelines, their progress and eventual publication have been well documented in the Links and elsewhere, I would like to once again thank Salpy Pamboukian and David Feldman for all of their time and emotional support throughout the process. Needless to say the guidelines were not possible without all of the energy, enthusiasm and effort of all the contributors, reviewers, the Standards and Guidelines committee as well as the Board. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the invaluable assistance of Susie Newton and Amanda Rowe, without whom the guidelines would not have been possible. We look forward to continued feedback from the entire ISHLT community and hope that this, along with ongoing MCS research will serve as the basis to add to and improve upon the guidelines.

The ISHLT also challenged the MCS Council to reprise the MCS Academy in Montreal and I would say that Danny Goldstein, Andreas Zuckermann and David Feldman once again rose to the occasion and produced another excellent agenda and a lineup of dynamic speakers. The Council also took an active role in symposia suggestions for this year's meeting and due to the success of a reimbursement session during last year's council meeting, we were able to have a longer and free-standing MCS Reimbursement session this year and hope to be able to offer this session as part of each year's meeting.

The MCS Council was also asked to present on behalf of the ISHLT for the MEDCAC meeting last fall and to submit a comment on behalf of the ISHLT for the opening of the national coverage decision for MCS. Evgenij Potapov, the council's Communications Liaison, also did another excellent job in overseeing the MCS Council's many contributions to the ISHLT Links. Sean Pinney, our I2C2 liaison, is spearheading an effort to work with national EMS organizations to standardize first responder's education and approach to patients with MCS.

In light of the key role of the VAD coordinators in the MCS community, we have partnered with the VAD coordinators and have planned a permanent VAD coordinator liaison on the MCS Council. We also plan to submit a joint MCS symposium with the VAD coordinators for each year's annual meeting. In addition, we have collaborated with the PH Council on their efforts to compile a position paper on PH in left heart disease. Lastly, our educational goal for the upcoming year is to establish an online topic review. Our vision for this is to have members of the Junior Faculty Council partner with senior members of the MCS Council to produce the topic reviews. The reviews themselves would be a bibliography of all of the recent developments in a particular subject, such as aortic insufficiency, with brief summaries of the salient findings of the articles and PubMed links to the articles. The goal of this effort is to provide members with a source of timely updates of the literature for review, presentations, a source of updates to future versions of the guidelines, and an opportunity for junior faculty to have exposure to the society in general and senior MCS council members in particular.

I would like to thank all the members of the MCS Council for all of their advice, guidance and time over the past year. These accomplishments are a testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of our council's members. We are fortunate to have Danny Goldstein take over as chair of the council for the upcoming year and I know that the council will thrive under his enthusiastic leadership.

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