#AHA20: Reflections from 2020 AHA Scientific Sessions

As an American Heart Association Early Career Professional, attending the #2020 AHA Scientific Sessions will be an unforgettable experience. The virtual modality of the conference provided an alternative to the social distancing challenges presented by COVID-19. There was creativity in the programming to allow opportunity to engage through the various forums and live chats for those interested in live participation; and this added to the unique experience of online networking and learning. Participants also had the opportunity to join the on-demand sessions, learning at their own pace, within the comfort of their home or work setting.

From the early morning health and wellness sessions to late-breaking science, technology application to support better patient outcomes in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, and COVID-19 topics, the conference programming was comprehensive, diverse, and appealing to the interest of the participants. It was also in tune with the current state of global health and social issues, addressing ongoing debates in cardiovascular disease management.

The wide range of topics presented at the sessions truly reminds us of the AHA’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Highlights of the #AHA 2020 Scientific Sessions included the following:

  1. Focus on Fitness and Health. Participants had the opportunity to join the morning fitness and dance breaks, as well as and on-demand exercise sessions. Attendees who could not join the early scheduled meetings had the opportunity to join the on-demand model.
  2. Discussion on racism in Medicine. The opening session featured a fireside chat with two legends in the education and treatment of cardiovascular disease, Dr. Eugene Braunwald and Dr. Nanette Wenger. This was followed by a robust discussion of racism as a public health crisis at various sessions delivered over the course of the five days. They also presented a call to support and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in the delivery of care to our growing racial and ethnically diverse population.
  3. Late-Breaking Science. Recent findings from clinical trials were presented during the sessions on precision or polypill with TIPS and TIPS+ASA, the STRENGTH and OMEMI trials, the GALACTIC-HF and VITAL Rhythm trial.
  4. Women Professional Development. Session topics ranged from discussions on leadership, self-care during COVID-19, and management of cardiovascular disease risk among women across the lifespan.
  5. Latest Insight on COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease. The session addressed a wide range of topics from diagnostics and treatment, to the management of complications as a result of COVID-19. Discussion on complications such as thrombosis and myocardial involvement was presented and provided a fresh view of the latest treatment guidelines and the need for monitoring for cardiovascular complications.

These sessions will be available on-demand until January 4th, 2020, and AHA Partners have FREE access to Scientific Sessions 2020 OnDemand Extended Access through 2021. Please check these out to learn about the latest evidence.

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