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Professor Stephan Windecker, new EAPCI President

Interview with Prof Stephan Windecker, EAPCI President May 2014- May 2016

Which will be your priorities for the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) for the next two years?

During the upcoming term 2014-2016, I will focus with the support of the Board on the following objectives:

  • Strengthen the scientific visibility of EAPCI
  • Make valvular heart disease interventions a key priority of the Association
  • Raise educational standards in interventional cardiovascular medicine
  • Address gender differences in access, care and outcome
  • Focus on the young interventional cardiovascular community

One of your objectives is to strengthen the scientific visibility of EAPCI, can you please expand further?

Interventional cardiovascular medicine is one the most vibrant and innovative disciplines within cardiology and has contributed immensely to improve patient outcome. The Association will build on previous efforts to further excel scientific knowledge and standards in several ways

  • Facilitate scientific consensus and position documents on relevant topics of interventional cardiovascular medicine
  • Assist to obtain European research funding support
  • Provide a networking platform for clinical research partnership

You mentioned that you intend to make valvular heart disease interventions a key priority of the Association: how do you plan to achieve this?

The advent of transcatheter valve interventions is one of the most important recent advances in our field and cardiology as a whole. The Association will continue to advance this subspecialty in numerous ways

  • Participate in educational platforms such as PCR London Valves
  • Cooperate with other Associations such as EHRA, EACVI, HFA and the Working Group on Valvular Heart Disease to provide the highest standard of care to affected patients
  • Facilitate adoption of this new technology across Europe

Regarding your objective to “raise educational standards in interventional cardiovascular medicine”, what do you envisage to implement?

The prolific development in several domains including coronary interventions, transcatheter heart valve interventions, structural heart disease interventions, neurohumoral denervation and interventional pharmacology pose an increasing responsibility to provide a common ground of knowledge and expertise. The Association will further raise educational standards by

  • Continued development of the ESC eLearning platform
  • Establishment of a regular European interventional cardiovascular fellow’s course
  • Provision of training grants for young interventional cardiology fellows
  • Involvement of nurses and technicians in the training process

You mentioned about “addressing gender differences in access, care and outcome”, can you please explain what is the need?

Inequalities in access to care particularly among female patients with acute coronary syndromes have been recognised.
Moreover, minimal invasive treatments such as transcatheter heart valve interventions are particularly beneficial among female elderly patients. The Association will help to address these and other issues via the dedicated EAPCI Women Committee.

Last but not least, which are your plans for the young interventional cardiovascular community?

Investment in the upcoming and future interventional cardiovascular community will be a top priority to attract the most talented individuals into our subspecialty. The Association has implemented the Young Committee which will continue to develop specific initiatives such as CathGO adapted to the needs of young interventional cardiologists in training.