“As the local host of EUROECHO & other Imaging Modalities 2012
, it’s my great pleasure to welcome all our international friends and colleagues to Athens. In the current economic situation it’s very important for the Greek medical community to be able to host such a high calibre scientific event. As I’ll tell everyone at the Opening Ceremony
later today (16:00-17:30, Room Trianti), Athens has a glorious history as the place where democracy was born. During the classical period its cultural achievements laid the foundations for Western Civilization.
Athens offers a truly fantastic location for a Congress. The Megaron Athens International Conference Centre is located right in the centre of the city, giving delegates an unprecedented opportunity to visit such historic sites as the Acropolis and Parthenon during session breaks.
But perhaps the most important reason for holding a congress here is Greece’s strong tradition of echocardiography
. At the EUROECHO 2011
meeting in Budapest it was noteworthy that more attendees were registered from Greece than any other country in the world, and that for abstract selection we ranked among the first five countries.
EUROECHO 2012 is in fact the second EUROECHO meeting to have taken place in Greece. The last meeting was held to great acclaim in 2004, the same year as Athens hosted the Olympics, with a particularly high number of abstract submissions and delegates.
Much of the enthusiasm for echocardiography teaching and research in Greece can be laid at the door of the Hellenic Working Group of Echocardiography
(affiliated to the Hellenic Cardiological Society
), currently chaired by Professor Loukianos Rallides, which has more than 400 active members.
On the first Monday of each month we host a meeting allowing clinical cases
to be presented and discussed. While the meeting is held in Athens, it’s transmitted via the internet
enabling doctors from all over Greece to participate. Other popular activities include annual seminars in Echocardiography in Thessaloniki
, which are based mainly on presentations performed by young cardiologists, and two day courses for trainees and young cardiologists. We also hold a regular exam that allows cardiologists to gain a licence to perform echocardiography
. With Greece’s current financial difficulties we’re really pleased that hosting the meeting here allows our members to attend without having to pay huge travel costs.
As local host, I’ve been involved in putting together today’s roundtable discussions ‘Echocardiographic approach of right ventricle evaluation
’ (9:00-10:30, Room Lambrakis). Here speakers from Greece, including Panos Margetis, Efthimios Anagnostou, Loukianos Rallides and Ioannis Paraskevaidis, will be exploring the echocardiographic ‘enigma’ of the right ventricle and tricuspid valve.”