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Latest news from the Council on Hypertension

Council on Hypertension Newsletter – February 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you have all had a productive start to the New Year. I have some important information for the membership of our Council.

At our last Council nucleus meeting in December 2016, we agreed that we should expand the number of members of the nucleus board of the Council. Michael Olsen has completed his term on the nucleus board and has stepped down, creating one vacancy. I would like to thank Michael, on behalf of the Council for his work as a member of the founding nucleus of our Council. We have also decided to create an additional nucleus position which means we have two new vacancies on the nucleus board of the Council, which are open for election by the membership. First we have to identify the candidates! We are conscious of the need to build the next generation of hypertension specialists and we have decided that one of these vacancies should be reserved for a new Council member aged under 50 at the time of application. Details of the application process to be considered for election as member of the nucleus committee of the ESC Council on hypertension are provided here. All applications are considered by a separate Nominations Committee and the approved final list of candidates will then go forward for election by the membership. Details of the election process will follow once the final list of candidates is available. This is your opportunity to contribute to, and shape the work of the Council.

Communication is an essential part of the work of the Council and we want to expand our web-based presence and output of information for our members. With this in mind, we have decided to create an additional ex-officio member of the nucleus committee with a special focus on leading the development of our communications, social media presence and newsletters. This ex-officio position is not elected by the Council membership and instead will be appointed directly by the nucleus following review of applications and the suitability of candidates to undertake this role. We recognise that this role might be especially suitable to younger members of our Council who are very comfortable with social media and will be an excellent opportunity for a younger Council member to develop their profile and gain experience working within the Council nucleus. We especially encourage younger members of our Council who are aged under 40 to apply for this position. Details of the application process are provided here.

We are now building the final stages of an exciting program for the ESC Congress in Barcelona later this year. In April, I will be attending the Heart House as Chairman of the Hypertension programme section to work with colleagues in developing the hypertension programme for the abstracts that have been selected for presentation. This is an important part of the programme because it showcases new science and studies and provides a global platform for the oral and poster presenters. An important aspect of this part of the programme is that many of the sessions requires 2 Chairs and a variety of invited speakers to provide state of the art and review lectures on topics relevant to the specific abstract sessions. I am keen to ensure that all of our members have input into this process and once again I encourage you to go make suggestions for potential session Chairs or keynote lecturers on topics you think should be covered. You are welcome to nominate yourself as a potential Chair or speaker and once again, I would encourage our younger membership to get involved. Of course, we cannot ensure that nominees will necessarily be selected this time, but I wanted to ensure that the process is as open and as democratic as possible and we have the opportunity to select Chairs and speakers from as big a pool as possible. We will also keep all nominations on file and build up a database for consideration for future meetings too. It is your congress, get involved!

I also want to update you on progress with the new 2018 ESC/ESH Guideline on Hypertension which I am Chairing along with my Co-Chair Professor Giuseppe Mancia. We held our first meeting of the guideline's Task Force in November 2016. There is a lot to consider and the Task Force are busy developing the first drafts of the guideline sections, in time for review at our next meeting planned for April. The plan is to have the joint guidelines ready for publication in the summer of 2018.

The Council is increasingly asked to participate in the development of position papers, consensus statement and joint guideline development, as well as to endorse and/or be represented at National and International congresses. These are key aspects of the Council’s work but we also need processes to ensure that these various requests and commitments are handled appropriately and are consistent with the policies of the ESC.  We are therefore developing standard operating procedures to handle these requests and we will be publishing details on our website in the near future. We will also be making available presentations made on behalf of the Council at such meetings.

Finally, the Council membership is growing fast but we want to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the Council on Hypertension and have an opportunity to participate in its work. I would be grateful if you could ask your local societies to promote the ESC Council on Hypertension locally and remind all of your colleagues that joining the Council is free.

With best wishes,

Professor Bryan Williams
Chairman of the ESC Council on Hypertension