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ESC General Assembly

ESC Congress News 2015 - London

Speaking at yesterday’s General Assembly, ESC President Fausto Pinto described this year’s Congress as ‘a great success.’

Fausto Pinto: President previews ESC strategic plan

Speaking at yesterday’s General Assembly, ESC President Fausto Pinto described this year’s Congress as ‘a great success.’ The ESC has acted as host to more than 32,000 participants, he said, including more than 26,000 active delegates and 5000 exhibitors. In other news, he told the Assembly that a strategic plan for 2015 to 2020 will be approved by the end of this year. This blueprint for the future direction of the ESC has already been discussed by the board and Heart House colleagues and focuses on five strategic areas - congress, education, membership, research and advocacy. Key achievements over the past 12 months in education, he said, have included eLearning as well as assessment and quality assurance, the ESC Education Conference and needs assessments. ‘Many courses have been introduced – not just for education but also for certification and accreditation, both in general cardiology and the sub-specialties,’ said Pinto. The ESC believes in ‘education as a process’ and work is continuing on a virtuous circle of objectives which include guidelines, gap analysis and needs assessment, educational programmes, and the EURObservational programme. These registry findings will in turn provide ‘welcome data to fit into the guidelines’, of which five were published in 2014 and five at this year’s Congress.

Plans to enhance the identity of the ESC

The ESC is working with a branding agency to communicate the essence of the organisation, SAID Stephan Achenbach, the ESC’s Vice President for Global Affairs and Communication, said. ‘We want to convey a message of unity with diversity and broadcast our mission to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.’ While the ESC represents a strong brand, he said it is important that all the organisation’s many different activities are fully recognised. ‘We don’t always come across as one big family,’ he said, ‘and there can be a tendency for the six Associations and registries to be thought of separately.’ The updated ESC website, launched in April this year, has been well received, with ‘overwhelming’ positive feedback. Users have increased from 1 million in 2013 to over 3 million in 2015, said Achenbach. The website now has a global reach with the highest number of users coming from the US (7.72%) followed by Italy (7.28%), UK (7.15%) and Germany (6.03%). ‘But our mission,’ he said, ‘goes beyond national boundaries, to, promote use of our guidelines and secure recognition for the ESC as a leading authority in cardiovascular care.’

Financial situation: ‘a true success’

There is a need for cost containment to continue the financial success of the ESC, to improve coordination of projects and to start projects when funding, volunteers and staff are in place, said ESC Secretary/Treasurer Francesco Cosentino. Presenting the key financial figures for 2015, Cosentino said that they showed an operating income of €57.735 million and operating expenses of €56.116 million, which resulted in an operating profit of €1.619 million. Adding in €0.937 million derived from the ESC’s investments this brought profit before tax to €2.557 million, which fell to €1.734 million after tax. ‘Given the economic environment this can be considered a true success,’ said Consentino. ‘We are in a good position in case of trouble. However we have to still work on operating expenses, which continue to grow.