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EAPCI: for a powerful group to defend and promote interventional cardiology in Europe

Interview with Carlo di Mario - EAPCI President 2009-2011

You are presently the President of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI). Can you tell us more about the EAPCI?

The EAPCI is a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology and was createdCarlo Di Mario EAPCI President 2009-2011 in September 2006 as a joint venture between the ESC Interventional Working Group and EuroPCR with the mission of reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe through Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions. There are over 3,100 members and 8 committees which deal with activities like training certification, registries, promotion of primary angioplasty, organization of the interventional program during the ESC Congress, delivery of training and research fellowships, etc.  EAPCI is a democratic association and has just renewed its officers via an electronic voting system from a group of candidates scrutinized and selected by a Nominating Committee, also elected by EAPCI members.

Why should one become a member of the EAPCI? What does the EAPCI offer?

Quality and impact of an association is dependent on the involvement and active participation of its members.

Carlo Di Mario EAPCI President

For instance, I believe that it is important to have a representation of the 15,000 + interventional cardiologists active in Europe within the European Society of Cardiology, ensuring that guidelines consider the importance of the life-saving interventions and the congress gives the necessary relevance to the 1,000 + abstracts sent on interventional cardiology and organizes an appropriate number of sessions allowing general cardiologists to discover the progress in our field.

I have personally worked in three different European countries and I think a homogeneous training programme in interventional cardiology, recognized by the various countries, helps to maintain quality and facilitates circulation of specialists across Europe. There are many activities in between interventional cardiology and other cardiology sub-specialties or disciplines outside cardiology, from TAVI to MSCT to peripheral interventions. A unified lobby acting to defend the rights of interventional cardiologists to be involved for their field of expertise, promoting appropriate training and defining training requirements is essential to avoid losing ownership in favour of other groups.

Stent for  Life to promote  the use of primary PCI in acute myocardial infarction

We also have a very successful programme to promote the use of primary PCI in acute myocardial infarction called “Stent for Life”. All the countries involved keep saying that having a European group able to focus the efforts and address the decision makers at a political level showing examples from countries where primary angioplasty has become the sole modality of treatment of STEMI is very beneficial.

There are many other developments we could potentially pursue, including conducting registries and strategy trials, but further growth requires more membership and more engagement of members in the EAPCI projects. Becoming a member is easy, just a few clicks on your computer...but this is only the first step.
Let us know your ideas and proposals. Let us know your specific strengths and knowledge of benefits for the association. Let us know whether you can spend time for us. If we can reach a critical mass of active participants, EAPCI can follow the examples of other ESC associations and become a powerful group to defend and promote interventional cardiology in Europe.