Exclusive: Post-TCT 2015 Q&A with CRF Center for Education Executive Director Joshua Hartman

October 27, 2015

Last week we highlighted the top tweets from the recent TCT Event and promised an interview with the event planning team. So we contacted the Cardiovascular Research Foundation to see if we could speak (virtually) to a planning team member and connected with Joshua Hartman (@JoshuaDHartman), the Executive Director, CRF Center for Education.

Interview with TCTMD's Joshua Hartman:

  1. Can you describe the level of effort, coordinating and organization that goes into planning and executing such an event?
    “Coordinating TCT is a massive undertaking which takes the better part of 9 months to plan. Our staff at CRF along with over 25 vendors work to bring TCT together into a seamless program for all of our attendees.”
  2. No live event goes off without a bump or two. Were there any snags?
    “We have received nothing but praise from attendees, faculty, industry partners and others about how smoothly TCT went. There were no snags to mention even in such a large operation as TCT.”
  3. What part(s) of the TCT Conference were most helpful to event goers? Please explain.
    “TCT has so much to offer that it’s difficult to say what is most helpful since different attendees have different needs. We know that many people come to see the live cases at TCT so if I had to choose one of the plethora of activities that is difficult to pull off that was most helpful for attendees I would say producing almost 30 live cases would be at or near the top of that list.”
  4. What part(s) of the TCT Conference (if any) could use improvements? Why?
    “There are always areas in which we can improve. I think that one of those areas is to increase our adoption and being at the forefront of technology. We went to a paperless meeting whereby attendees navigate and participate in TCT digitally. I believe there are ways we can further enhance their experience and engage with them using digital platforms in the future as well to further personalize the TCT experience.”
  5. What part(s) were noteworthy and why—case presentations, interviews, presentations, other?
    “The late breaking trials are always noteworthy as are the live case productions that I mentioned previously. We also had a video studio running all day, each day of the conference resulting in nearly 60 videos with key opinion leaders that is now posted and available on TCTMD (www.tctmd.com)”
  6. What additional topics/trainings, if any, will be covered next year?
    “It’s hard to say at this point what additional topics will be covered next year. The meeting focuses on cutting edge technologies in the interventional cardiovascular space so predicting next year’s content is not feasible at this point in time.”
  7. What were one or two positive event surprises you did not see coming?
    “The Arnold Schwarzenegger event was a real positive surprise. Whenever you bring in a celebrity you wonder how many people are going to be interested in attending. Once they are there you wonder how long they will stay. When the Governor spoke it was clear that attendees were clearly interested and engaged and the majority stayed throughout the event.”
  8. Do you have any additional thoughts on the TCT conference and when do you start planning for next year's event?
    “In essence we start planning for TCT years in advance. In order to secure a ‘city’ inclusive of a convention center and hotels we need to book TCT years in advance. Once the venue is booked we work on putting TCT together beginning in January but more in earnest starting in March.”
  9. What do you see as being the most important or the most relevant trends in interventional cardiology? Are these trends represented adequately at TCT?
    “The endless evolution of the subspecialty of interventional cardiovascular medicine is amazing. It is rare to find an area in medicine with so many advances going on in such succession. This year there was much talk about bioabsorbable scaffolds and drug coated balloons as well as aortic and mitral valve trancatheter therapies, just to name a few relevant trends and topics.”
  10. At future conferences, what do you think will be the best way TCT can provide value to interventional cardiologists?
    “CRF wants to partner with interventional cardiologist and others throughout the year to provide the education needed to improve patient care. TCT is a meeting that occurs over a few days, but the learning experience must continue thereafter. We would like to engage the interventional cardiologist whether that be at other ‘topical’ meeting during the year and/or through online education.”

Next Steps

To learn more about the Impella® platform of heart pumps, including important risk and safety information associated with the use of the devices, please visit: abiomed.com/important-safety-information