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Council on Clinical Cardiology—Message from the Chair

Randal J. Thomas, MD, MS, FAHA, FACC, MAACVPR


The Council on Clinical Cardiology (CLCD) has a long history, starting with its origin in 1952.  Since that time, the purpose of the Council has been to help promote excellence in clinical cardiology, advance the science in a variety of clinical cardiology areas, and foster professional development and education. Through these activities, we help to achieve the mission of the American Heart Association: “Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.“

As one of 16 AHA Councils, CLCD is a large, diverse group of cardiovascular specialists who participate in a variety of Council activities, including:

  • 19 CLCD committees
  • Annual Scientific Sessions
  • Annual CLCD Dinner – held at Scientific Sessions
  • High School Outreach Program– held at Scientific Sessions
  • Writing groups for scientific statements and guidelines from AHA and CLCD
  • Advocacy on behalf of our patients to promote the science and practice of cardiology
  • Activities that mentor and strengthen fellows-in-training, early career professionals, and individuals from underserved/under-represented groups

Members of the CLCD committees have helped to produce a large number of important scientific statements and guidelines from the American Heart Association and partnering organizations, including the following recent examples:

  • Current Diagnostic and Treatment Strategies for Specific Dilated Cardiomyopathies
  • Contributory Risk and Management of Comorbidities of Hypertension, Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in Chronic Heart Failure
  • Recommendations for Management of Clinically Significant Drug-Drug Interactions With Statins and Select Agents Used in Patients With Cardiovascular Disease
  • Medical Training to Achieve Competency in Lifestyle Counseling: An Essential Foundation for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases and Other Chronic Medical Conditions
  • Drugs That May Cause or Exacerbate Heart Failure
  • Knowledge Gaps in Cardiovascular Care of the Older Adult Population
  • Wearable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Electrocardiographic Early Repolarization
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction in Women
  • Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support in Congenital Heart Disease
  • Chronic Heart Failure in Congenital Heart Disease

Each year members of the CLCD help to plan and carry out important activities at the Annual Sessions.  The CLCD Annual Dinner is held during Annual Sessions, during which time certain individuals are honored who are helping to move the field of clinical cardiology forward. Honorees range from new fellows-in-training who are honored for clinical and research work, to more senior cardiovascular professionals who are recognized for their long history of significant contributions to field.  A highlight of the CLCD Annual Dinner is the presentation of the Herrick Award and lecture.  This award, named after the quintessential clinical cardiologist, James B. Herrick, is presented to a physician whose scientific achievements have contributed profoundly to the advancement and practice of clinical cardiology.  A list of the winners in the early days of CLCD reads like a list of “Hall of Fame” cardiologists, including Eugene Stead, Paul Dudley White, and Helen Taussig, to name a few.  Winners in more recent years have likewise been important pioneers in the evolution of clinical cardiology.

The CLCD seeks to grow strategically in order to help continue the advancement of both the science and practice of clinical cardiology. This will be done by reaching out to involve more and more cardiovascular professionals—both “young” and “old”—in meaningful ways in the Council activities, by expanding the reach of CLCD membership, by helping to carry out important scientific statements, guidelines, and conferences, and by forming more and more strategic partnerships to help achieve the AHA strategic plans.

The CLCD has a long and rich legacy on which the current and rising generation of cardiovascular professionals can build.  As we work together, we will add our own efforts to that legacy, helping to advance the field of clinical cardiology to the benefit of our patients.

Randal J. Thomas, MD, MS, FAHA, FACC, MAACVPR
Chair, Council on Clinical Cardiology