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December Newsletter - Editorial by Stephan Windecker, EAPCI President

Welcome to the December edition of the EAPCI newsletter, which provides the opportunity to reflect upon some of the achievements of the Association during the year 2014 and to anticipate the major events to be expected in 2015.  The educational highlights of this year were the congress activities with the active involvement of EAPCI including in temporal sequence the Coronary Microcirculation and Heart Disease Summit in Madrid, the Resistant Hypertension Course in Berlin, EuroPCR in Paris, ESC in Barcelona and PCR London Valves in London, all of which proved to be very successful and well attended. EAPCI is currently very active to shape the content of these congresses for the year to come and you will read more about these meetings within these pages.  Stent-for-Life remains the important and growing program with 17 members and affiliate countries with the aim to drive facilitated and well organized access to primary PCI for STEMI patients. You will receive an update of ongoing and planned activities of SFL within these pages. SFL also serves as role model to start yet another initiative of our Association, namely Valve-for-Life which will promote knowledge about the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of valvular heart disease that becomes increasingly prevalent due to the ageing of the population and constitutes an unmet need which can be addressed at least in part by novel minimal-invasive treatment options particularly in elderly patients with frequent comorbidities.

An important new forum for education was the first Fellows Course in Interventional Cardiology held in July 2014 at the European Society of Cardiology covering all major aspects of our discipline. This course organized by the Young Interventional Committee of EAPCI was very well perceived by the attendees, and you will have the opportunity to read more about the 2nd edition of this course in the year 2015 in this newsletter. Another important feature of practical training is the annual call for training and research grants that enables those who are awarded with a grant to visit a renowned institution providing either clinical training or research experience in the field of Interventional Cardiology. In 2014, four highly talented individuals from India (1), Italy (2) and Egypt (1) had the opportunity to engage into training or research related to valvular heart disease and coronary interventions in institutions in Germany, Denmark and Spain. The call for the 2015 grant applications has started, and you will learn more about this program in this newsletter. Moreover, the Training & Education committee was able to award the first certificate of excellence in training in Interventional Cardiology that is linked to the ESCel eLearning platform during the inaugural ceremony of the 2014 ESC Congress to Marc Hartmann of The Netherlands for having successfully completed the training, and you will receive more information on the current status of ESCeL in this letter.

During the year 2014, EAPCI has been instrumental to publish and present important scientific documents in collaboration with other Associations and Working Groups in the field of coronary revascularization (ESC/EACTS myocardial revascularization guidelines), management of antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome and/or undergoing percutaneous coronary or valve intervention (ESC WG thrombosis, EHRA, ACCA and EAPCI),  the appropriate and justified use of medical radiation in cardiovascular imaging (EACVI, EAPCI and EHRA), consensus document of the radial approach in percutaneous cardiovascular interventions (EAPCI, ACCA and WG Thrombosis), invasive coronary treatment strategies for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (EAPCI and Stent for Life), consensus statement on catheter-based left atrial appendage occlusion (EAPCI and EHRA), and cardiac arrhythmias in acute coronary syndromes  (EHRA, ACCA and EAPCI). Finally, EAPCI has provided the ESC Task Force on Medical Devices with an official advisory document providing recommendations on the evaluation of coronary stents prior to market approval in Europe. Of note, EuroIntervention, the official journal of our Association under the editor Patrick Serruys has played an instrumental role to drive the successful publication of these documents. With the support of the newly initiated Scientific Documents Committee under the leadership of Marco Valgimigli and Robert Byrne, these publication activities will continue to expand in the years to come.

EAPCI remains priviliged to be supported by many talented individuals and volunteers. These members work at the level of the National Societies and Working Groups, but also internationally within the Association itself and through our various committees. I wish to thank them for their relentless efforts, commitment and dedication during the past year, that enabled the Association to promote new knowledge and education to further improve the quality of care for patients. I am closing with the warmest Season’s greetings to you and your family and my best wishes for a happy and successful New Year from the EAPCI Board Members.