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ISACB President’s Letter for June 2020

 

SPREAD LOVE, NOT COVID

I hope you are safe and well during these tough times around the world.  We were able to flatten the curve in many states and nations, and some have begun to reopen amid COVID-19. However, underserved communities continue to be impacted by high COVID-19 infection rates and many now also face increased violence across the United States.  As we emerge from the unprecedented difficulties wrought by COVID-19, we must find the strength to spread love and support each other. We strive to be an inclusive society that raises up all voices and broadens participation in cardiovascular biology and medicine. We must all do what we can to combat systemic issues that stand in the way of this goal.

Let me be unequivocal here. Black Lives Matter. ISACB is committed to making sure that this statement rings true in our own society, and we will take steps to evaluate our own actions to ensure that Black voices are represented in our leadership and at our scientific meetings.

Difficult times can reveal harsh realities about society but can also bring out the best in people.  On the front lines of the pandemic crisis, the individuals who exemplify the best of the best are the medical professionals.  Every day they risk their own health and lives to treat COVID-19 patients.  Lacking protective gear and burdened with new cases, doctors, nurses and volunteers are dealing with an unfamiliar enemy and saving patients’ lives.  Medical students are graduating early to help in the fight and retired medical personnel have returned to help their colleagues.  Their remarkable medical care and empathy makes them true heroes.  They all deserve our appreciation and gratitude.

To highlight achievements in our own society, you will notice some slight changes in how we communicate with you. This is the first issue of our reformatted eCirculator Newsletter. We will now send these communications on a monthly basis, and each edition will include a short feature that may spotlight an ISACB member or news within the society. We will also include a list of studies published by our members within the past month. Please also follow us on Twitter (@AppliedCVB) for regular announcements, and don’t forget to send us your good news!

As the pandemic continues, we all must find our own ways to carry on, help each other and give our best.  Like much of the world, we continue to work from home to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We should also continue following important but simple rules: 1) exercise social distancing; 2) continue working from home if possible; 3) engage with your colleagues and collaborators through virtual meetings and other social media; 4) spend more time outdoors; and 5) most importantly, wear a face mask – the simplest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Finally, the leadership of the ISACB and organizers of our biennial meeting in Tokyo 2020 would like to announce that due to COVID-19 the meeting will be postponed to March 12-14, 2021.  It will continue to be part of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Week, a joint conference with the Japanese Vascular Biology and Medicine Organization, the Japanese Society for Cardiovascular Endocrine and Metabolism, and the International Association for Heart Research - Japanese Section.  The venue will be Hamamatsucho Convention Hall in downtown Tokyo.  Tokyo in March is beautiful.  I look forward to seeing many of you there!  

Elena Aikawa, MD PhD

ISACB President

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