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Athena Poppas MDAthena Poppas, MD, director of the echocardiography laboratory at Rhode Island Hospital and director of cardiovascular imaging at the Cardiovascular Institute, has been appointed chair of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Annual Scientific Session, effective 2015. The chair is charged, during a two-year term, with overseeing the Annual Scientific Session, the educational flagship event of the ACC.

“This is the biggest of the big for cardiologists,” said Samuel Dudley, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Institute of Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. “This appointment is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Poppas and her ongoing research and clinical contributions to cardiology. She is a leader in every sense of the word, and I have no doubt she will be an effective and engaging chair for the college’s flagship event.”

For more than 60 years, the Annual Scientific Session has brought together the best minds in cardiology, the latest groundbreaking clinical research and unprecedented educational opportunities. Each year, the session attracts more than 1,700 faculty from academic medical centers around the country, who deliver more than 3,200 presentations in nearly 500 sessions. Abstract submissions range from 4,000 to 5,000 requiring between 800 and 900 reviewers; and more than 1,800 posters are presented.

Both the chair and vice chair positions fall within a new governance policy for the leadership of the ACC Annual Scientific Session that was recently developed by a presidential task force.

“I personally can’t think of anyone better than Dr. Poppas to fill this new and vitally important role at the college," said ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC. "In order to continue to meet the needs of the entire cardiovascular community during a time of rapid and constant changes in health care delivery, digital technology and education, it's critical that the college have strong and consistent leadership to ensure the meeting is in line with the college’s overall strategic planning.”

In addition to her new role with the ACC, Poppas also serves as a member of the ACC board of trustees and chair of the ACC Sections Steering Committee. She is also an associate professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her clinical and research expertise is in echocardiography, valvular heart disease and heart disease in women.