SOLACI Sessions Changes Authorities

Dr. Gustavo Vignolo (Uruguay) has taken office as SOLACI Sessions Director after the successful administration of Doctor Mario Araya (Chile) in charge from 2017 to 2020.

Doctor Vignolo is specialized in intensive care and cardiology. He was trained in interventional cardiology at the Clinical Hospital and the American Cardiological Center of Montevideo, Uruguay. At present, he is Aggregate Professor of Cardiology at República University (Montevideo, Uruguay) and works as interventional cardiologist at the Hemodynamics Service of the American Cardiological Center in Montevideo.  

SOLACI sessions was created in 2006 to foster interventional cardiology across Latin America and promote regional integration between our professionals. This is why, for this challenge, Dr. Vignolo will be accompanied by Dr. Marcio Montenegro (Brazil) as Vice-President and Dr. Ricardo Coloma Araniya (Perú) as Scientific Secretary. interviewed him to find out about the ideas and projects he intends to carry out during his administration, which will last until December 2023. 

What is your take on the work SOLACI Sessions has been doing?

Throughout its existence, SOLACI Sessions has been driven by its mission which, in short, is to expand and promote interventional cardiology in Latin America, encourage academic development and foster the regional integration of interventional cardiologists. 

After nearly 15 years of hard work and 41 Sessions, we are proud to say we have fulfilled our initial vision, to become a reference for the development of interventional cardiology in Latin America. Our previous administrations have gone great lengths to forge the best relationships with nurses, technicians and cardiologists in the different regional sites, by adapting our programs to their preferences and needs. It is worth to mention the professionalism and efficiency of their department heads, who have really made a difference to our Sessions’ success. 

The idea of taking the scientific activities to places out of our annual meetings’ reach because of logistic reasons, has added value to the integration of our professionals. 

What projects and objectives will guide your administration?

The first objective will be to set up an annual calendar to maintain our session standards. This is an important challenge given the adverse circumstances we are all familiar with which, among other things, prevent us from meeting face to face. 

This is why we have had to adapt our activity to the new reality. For example, by carrying out virtual sessions as webinars, starting with the event our Venezuelan colleagues are organizing, (26-28/5/2021). This circumstance will allow us to grow our audience even further while keeping the regional spirit and the integration activity. 

Together with Drs. Montenegro and Coloma we have decided to maintain the already traditional activities such as “One case, one lesson” or the “Young Cardiologists Contest”, but also to incorporate new activities of interest to our community of interventional cardiologists

One of our main objectives is to incorporate experiences that will contribute to our growth; this is why we have created a Consulting Committee comprised of our former Directors: Drs. Daniel Berrocal, Ariel Duran, Pedro Hidalgo, Jorge Mayol and Mario Araya.

We prioritize the integration of SOLACI Sessions with all SOLACI endeavors, like ProEducar, Congress and SolSOLACI, looking to contributing from all sides. 

Who will be by your side?

First of all, I’m honored to share SOLACI Sessions administration with Dr. Marcio Montenegro as Vice President and Dr. Ricardo Coloma as Scientific Director. 

Dr. Montenegro is the former Scientific Director or our Sessions, and at present is the General Director of the Cardiology State Institute Aloysio de Castro, in Rio de Janeiro.

Dr. Coloma is an important collaborator of SOLACI Sessions and, at present, also the head of the Hemodynamics Unit at Peru’s Air Force Hospital, and clinical and interventional cardiologist at Delgado and SANNA San Borja Hospitals. 

In the administration of technicians, nurses and medical technicians, is Margarita García who joins us from San José de Costa Rica (SIMA and Bíblica Hospitals), well known for her the technical and organizational capacity.

All of the above mentioned have shown a strong commitment to SOLACI Sessions and will be working hands on for the interventional community in Latin America through this endeavor. Of course, SOLACI’s administration has also given us their unconditional support. 

Our team will never be complete with the excellent work done by Ms. Laura Stura, Sessions Secretary, who has become a pillar to our work, as well as Ms. Flavia de Luca, SOLACI’s Secretary, and Mr. Juan Ventura, responsible for our excellent web page.

Why is it important that an area like SOLACI Jornadas continue to exist in Latin America?

The need for SOLACI Sessions is a direct consequence of its mission, as stated above. To achieve the best possible integration, we need our colleagues across the region to participate and therefore we need to respect their preferences. 

We should note that prior lockdown, annual partake in SOLACI Sessions had risen to 1500 participants, approximately, which validates our claim and the need to keep on going, now more than ever.  

The internet has enabled the academic activity despite pandemic restrictions; however, our sessions also have social value. 

In this regard, it facilitates personal relationships between colleagues from different countries and regions, allows us to learn from them and their realities, promotes friendship and collaboration opportunities, and mainly, it consolidates our end goal: to improve patient care in the field of interventional cardiology. 

There is no doubt it will be challenging to look for new ways to interact and bridge the gap this pandemic has created. 

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