Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals (ACVP): EP Lab Digest Speaks with Peggy McElgunn, Esq., Executive Director, ACVP

Describe the role of the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals (ACVP). Approximately how many members are there currently? ACVP represents 3000+ individuals involved at all levels and in all specialties in the cardiovascular arena. We have over 40 years of continuous service representing cardiovascular professionals across the globe. Our members practice in all areas including echocardiography, invasive, electrophysiology, noninvasive and cardiopulmonary. In fact, the EP area is rapidly growing. We also represent all levels of practice: administrators, managers, supervisors, nurses, technologist and technicians. It is through this diversity that we can provide a rich source of networking and a strong voice in the field. ACVP has become a unique catalyst for multi-skilling and cross-training. What are some of the services provided to ACVP members? In addition, are there different types of membership (such as student membership)? There are several categories of membership: regular membership for individuals in managerial and/or administrative positions or credentialed/licensed professionals; associate membership for individuals associated with cardiovascular medicine; and student membership for individuals enrolled in a recognized cardiovascular program (these members are invited to participate complimentary if the school is a member). We also have several institutional membership categories, including school membership and corporate membership. There are a myriad of services provided to members including: professional recognition; representation; support for credentialing and accreditation; awards; newsletters; publications; study guides and monographs; standards and competencies; job and resume services; continuing education; and of course, networking. Your website lists some of the ways ACVP members can get involved, including participation in committees, councils, and member drives. Can you describe this further? ACVP is a completely democratic organization. As such, members are invited to participate and support ongoing activities as well as guide future direction through involvement in committees, strategic planning task forces and the board of directors. ACVP committees are charged with the responsibility of developing projects and programs geared towards the benefit of the entire membership and ultimately, the profession. In addition, ACVP has strategic planning task forces designed to help carry out the strategic plan which is updated bi-annually. Of course, members are also invited to be considered for nomination to the board of directors as well. These are all excellent ways of gaining leadership experience and taking charge of the direction of the profession. What sorts of continuing education opportunities do you provide? ACVP offers its members a wealth of continuing education opportunities throughout the year. As a leading provider of continuing education, we provide approvals for programs hosted by corporations, other organizations and associations offering continuing education to the cardiovascular community. We work with other provider bodies too, to ensure a "one-stop shopping" approach for organizations seeking recognition of programs through CEU identification. ACVP also hosts a number of courses directly throughout the year. We provide credentialing reviews upon demand. In addition, we host an annual Management Conference geared towards leaders in the cardiovascular management community. This year we hosted a three-hour session discussing the impact of EP in today s cardiovascular marketplace and how to best manage this growing area. ACVP also hosts teleconferences and is introducing web-based seminars later this year. ACVP just completed its Management Conference in March 2005. What other types of meetings will the ACVP be hosting in 2005? About how many conferences does the ACVP host each year? The ACVP Management Conference just concluded, and was the best received cardiovascular management event ever! With over 150 attendees evaluating the sessions as among the best in the field, we are pleased to report that the information and format (many discussion sessions), were well received. This meeting takes place annually immediately preceding ACC. Next year s event will be in Atlanta, Georgia. ACVP hosts this conference annually. We are exploring the possibility of adding an additional management event with a track for clinical/nursing support as well. What are some of the ways in which the ACVP helps improve communication between allied professionals in the cardiovascular fields? Through ACVP s broad network, members can profit from others experience as they make valuable career connections with people who understand the desire for personal and professional fulfillment. Through local events, national conferences, chapters and web-based communications, members meet friends, allied and insiders from hospitals, clinics, physician officers, supplier corporations, research institutions, educational programs, and consulting groups. Together, members can share data, job leads, insights on new technologies, how best to face regulations or accreditations, meeting challenges, etc. When practitioners and managers from all specialties reach across specialty lines, information and learning takes a leap forward. Describe the ACVP Connetwork Program. ACVP s CONNETWORK PROGRAM invites professionals to outline challenges and inquiries, who are then matched with other professionals, presumably administrators and managers, in specific areas of expertise and interest. The way the program works is if an individual has a challenge or a simple inquiry, the question or situation is entered into the Connetwork Databank. The inquiry will be sent to all of the members interested in serving as Connexperts to help provide answers and overcome challenges. This program has received much interest and the inquiries, to date, have all received answers that have helped members better achieve their goals and objectives. What are ACVP's goals for the future? Our mission is to meet the professional needs of all cardiovascular providers in order that they may better serve their clients and communities. We can accomplish this mission by providing information, education, materials and networking resources to professionals in the field. ACVP believes that together we are more effective at working through today s challenges and setting a strong course for the future in the cardiovascular healthcare arena. Why is it important that those who work in the field of electrophysiology get involved in the ACVP? ACVP offers individuals working in electrophysiology an avenue for information, support and networking in the cardiovascular arena the very home of EP. As a result of being involved with cardiovascular professionals at all levels and in all specialized areas, EP professionals can gain a view of how their work fits into the big picture as relative to healthcare and at the same time, can better position their niche and expertise. Is there anything else you'd like to add? ACVP welcomes the opportunity to work with individuals and organizations connected to the cardiovascular community. Of course, EP is a growing area in the cardiovascular arena and we welcome EP professionals to be members and access the information, materials, network and support offered through the Alliance. Building silos around areas of expertise only serve to put up barriers for success and advancement. It is only through working together that we will truly be able to better navigate the ever changing and complex environment in which we work. For more information about the ACVP, please visit their website: www.acp-online.org