From NLA President Alan S. Brown, MD, FNLA: State of the National Lipid Association
Alan Brown, MD, FNLA
It has been an honor to serve as the President of the National Lipid Association (NLA) for the 2018-19 organizational year, and I look forward to the rest of my term through the 2019 Scientific Sessions. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I am excited for what 2019 has in store.
The NLA, its councils, committees, work groups and task forces have been diligently advancing our organization forward by making progress toward established goals and impromptu tasks. I am excited to share the status of many of these objectives.
2019 Strategic Planning
Just last week, the NLA Executive Committee and leadership from the American Board of Clinical Lipidology (ABCL) and Accreditation Council for Clinical Lipidology (ACCL) met in Orlando for the NLA’s annual strategic planning meeting. I am excited to report that the meeting focused on recognition of lipidology in the taxonomy of medicine, consistently defining lipidology and lipid specialist and bringing greater awareness of lipidology and the NLA in the medical community.
The recommendations from the strategic planning meeting will be presented to the NLA, ABCL and ACCL boards of directors for approval at each organization’s annual board meeting. Through many of the proposed strategic initiatives, we aim to further expand awareness of the NLA and lipidology within the medical community, training programs, US government, media and lay public.
Guideline Dissemination Task Force
As you may know, the NLA served as an organizational partner in the development of the 2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol. In order to properly disseminate the 2018 cholesterol guideline, the NLA created the Guideline Dissemination Task Force. The Guideline Dissemination Task Force has been busy since the summer planning the NLA outreach, educational initiatives, social media and publications. I am very excited to see the NLA participation in the 2018 cholesterol guidelines and the resulting efforts raise the awareness of the NLA while simultaneously providing our membership and the practitioner community with clinically relevant content.
To date, the NLA has established a Strategic Communications Committee, published a press release from the 2018 American Heart Association annual meeting, recorded an onsite video featuring Carl Orringer, MD, FNLA and Peter Jones, MD, FNLA, updated the Foundations in Lipidology and Masters in Lipidology curriculum, mounted a social media campaign with infographics, and planned educational sessions for the 2019 meeting series. You can also find a summary tear sheet of the key takeaway points from the 2018 cholesterol guideline on the NLA website.
The NLA membership will continue to receive clinically relevant education on the 2018 cholesterol guideline throughout 2019. We have exciting presentations at both the Spring Clinical Lipid Update and the 2019 Scientific Sessions. Finally, the Guideline Dissemination Task Force is currently developing the NLA slide deck for membership education and dissemination. Thank you to Linda Hemphill, MD, FNLA and Nataliya Pyslar, MD for leading this educational effort.
The 2018 cholesterol guideline also left the NLA with various opportunities to educate beyond the guideline. Stay tuned for great programming in 2019. You will soon see collaborative programming online and at major meetings, including primary care audiences. The NLA will discuss the 2018 cholesterol guidelines at Pri-Med South in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Feb. 7. Dan Soffer, MD, FNLA and Margo Minissian, ACNP, CLS will present “Practice Cholesterol Guidelines Education for the Primary Care Provider.” If you are not in attendance, the recording will be hosted online with Medscape for 12 months. The NLA will also host an online Expert Spotlight with Medscape, titled “New Dyslipidemia Guidelines: Expert Evaluation and Implications for Clinical Care,” following the Spring Clinical Lipid Update. Stay tuned for more cholesterol guideline education and updates from the NLA!
South Asian Work Group
The South Asian Work Group is a newer NLA work group but has been very active in a short period of time. Led by Kris Vijay, MD, FNLA and Geeta Sikand, RD, MA, CLS, FNLA, the work group has launched a survey to poll the NLA membership in their expertise, knowledge, limitations and experience in managing South Asian patients. The goal of the survey was to assess educational need in our organization to develop educational opportunities. The work group is also developing a manuscript on lipid management in South Asian patients. Thank you to Dinesh Kalra, MD for leading this charge.
Scientific Statements Committee
Finally, the NLA continues to try to stay on top of the relevant lipid science. The Scientific Statements Committee and NLA Board of Directors has prioritized three scientific positions statements for 2019. These statements will discuss the (1) clinical utilization of lipoprotein(a), (2) clinical utility of laboratory testing and (3) clinical utility of genetic testing. Each publication is expected to be completed in 2019. Thank you to the leaders of each manuscript.
For More Information
There has been a tremendous amount of work done within our organization, particularly through the NLA councils, committees, and work groups.
If you are interested in joining any of these committees, please click here.
The Publications Committee oversees the LipidSpin publication and publication process. Congratulations to the LipidSpin co-editors for the continued growth of the publication and for the implantation of a more rigorous and organized publication process. The Publications Committee continues to meet goals of process improvement and engagement of authors while providing material of the highest quality.
Social Media Committee
The NLA has seen a much larger social media presence in 2018 with the leadership of the Social Media Committee. The Social Media Committee is seeking to provide timely, relevant information to drive membership, grow the NLA brand and feed the growing online discussion around lipidology and lipid science. Be sure to follow the NLA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for organizational updates, meeting information, and excellent scientific discussion.
After an excellent overhaul of the NLA website, the Website Committee continues to improve on its look, feel and utility. Look for opportunities to learn how to best use the NLA website and find pertinent NLA information on a leading resource for NLA members, future members and the public.
Core Curriculum Committee
The Core Curriculum Committee reviews and updates the NLA Core Curriculum on an annual basis. The committee will be updating the NLA Core Curriculum based on the 2018 cholesterol guideline and the hard work of the Guidelines Dissemination Task Force. This facilitates the annual educational agenda and programs for the entire organization.
Graduate Medical Education Committee
The Graduate Medical Education Committee has focused its recent efforts on the development of the Lipid Scholarship Program. The Lipid Scholarship Program was developed to foster interest and expertise in clinical lipidology across a broad segment of trainees. Each year, the NLA will select five trainees from a variety of specialties to receive this multi-year scholarship. The selected trainees will start the program at the same time, allowing each “class” to be at the same level of participation/knowledge across the span of the scholarship. The chapters will be expected to help the selection and student sponsorship process. The web resources for the program are currently under development.
Interprofessional Continuing Education Committee
The Interprofessional Continuing Education Committee goals for 2018-2019 focused on process improvement. The committee reviewed audience response questions for accuracy of content and measurement of learning objectives, and the new process in 2018 has improved the quality and measurement for future meetings. The committee will soon be preparing to support staff in the reaccreditation process, which is always a difficult undertaking.
Scientific Meetings Committee
The Scientific Meetings Committee is hard at work to make sure the NLA conference experiences continue to be excellent. You will continue to see high quality content with various new educational activity types in 2019, including short clinical pearls, complex case presentations and fireside chats aimed at meeting the educational needs of the larger audience. The committee has also made a concerted effort to improve development and review of audience response questions and meeting marketing. Registration for the 2019 Spring Clinical Lipid Update and Scientific Sessions is open and we hope to have you join us for at least one conference in 2019.
Membership Services Council
Early Career Development Committee
The Early Career Development Committee is working towards its primary 2018-2019 goal of increasing membership of trainees and converting existing trainees from complimentary membership to paid membership. The committee will be contacting all trainee members in transition to paid membership with a directed campaign and needs your help ensuring that members in training have a home in the NLA.
Member Services Committee
In 2018, the Member Services Committee oversaw the addition of new member benefits, including Tickets at Work and AARP. Make sure you take advantage of these member benefit programs. You will continue to see additional added benefits in the coming months.
Recruitment & Retention Committee
The Recruitment & Retention Committee is supporting efforts to hire an outside consultant to review NLA recruitment and retention efforts. While the NLA is seeing positive membership growth, it has been nearly a decade since we have had an outside perspective review our practices.
Regional Affairs Council
The Regional Affairs Council represents that chapters on the national level. The main goal for the Regional Affairs Council in 2018 and 2019 is increasing member engagement, recruitment, and retention on a local level.
I have charged each chapter with the development of a regional email newsletter providing updates on chapter efforts on a regional level. I am excited to see the chapter leadership providing regular updates to their membership discussing the great things happening on a local level.
The chapters of the NLA are the local strength of our organization. I am very excited to share the Midwest Lipid Association’s leadership in mentor recruitment, the Northeast Lipid Association’s commitment to supporting trainees in lipid education through sponsorship, the Pacific Lipid Association’s collaboration with the American Heart Association in the AHA’s Check. Change. Control. Cholesterol. initiative, the Southeast Lipid Association’s publication of the Heart Healthy Eating – South Style and the Southwest Lipid Association’s translation of tear sheets into Spanish for our Spanish speaking patients.
Practice Management Council
Lipid Clinic Operations Committee
The Lipid Clinical Operations Committee is finalizing a member survey seeking to explore the member experience in starting and maintaining a functioning lipid clinic. The survey will review the financial aspects, structure, staffing and scope of a lipid clinic to help determine what makes a lipid clinic successful. The survey is expected to be launched at the end of January 2019. Look for the results at the 2019 Scientific Sessions in South Florida.
Nutrition & Lifestyle Work Group
The Nutrition & Lifestyle Work Group has focused its recent efforts on the core competencies for RD/RDN for the NLA Core Competencies project while also maintaining the Clinician’s Lifestyle Modification Toolbox tear sheets.
Practice Tools & Clinical Care Committee
The Practice Tools & Clinical Care Committee works to develop tear sheets and practice resources to help members manage their patients and practice. Since May, the committee has developed multiple tear sheets, now available on the NLA website:
The Therapeutics Committee, new in 2018, is charged with providing the membership with guidance on use of therapies and discussing barriers to access to the same. The Therapeutics Committee completed its first deliverable in 2018, A National Lipid Association Best Practices Guide: PCSK9 Inhibitors, which is published in the LipidSpin for all members. The Therapeutics Committee recently met to discuss the next manuscript, which is expected in the coming months.
Women’s Health Work Group
The Women’s Heath Work Group is committed to providing education regarding women’s heath and lipidology. The work group lead the Lipid Treatment in Conception, Pregnancy, and Lactation tear sheet and continues to submit proposed sessions for the NLA Scientific Sessions and Clinical Lipid Updates.
Science & Policy Council
Currently, the NLA Advocacy Committee and advocacy efforts focus on supporting patients and providers in appropriate access to therapy. In 2018, the NLA wrote numerous payers successfully urging coverage for PCSK9 inhibitors for the appropriate patient. The NLA, along with the Foundation of the NLA, also wrote the Familial Chylomicronemia Syndrome Foundation commending their efforts to urge the United States Food & Drug Administration and Akcea Therapeutics to find a way forward for approval of volanesorson.
Health Quality & Research Committee
The Health Quality & Research Committee needs to be commended for its endurance in the establishment and execution of a patient experience survey on statin intolerance. The survey has been under development for over three years and now has 1,500 survey completions. The committee will be reviewing the raw data in the coming months for analysis and publication in conjunction with Amgen, Inc.
Women in Lipidology
The newly formed Women in Lipidology group continues to bring value to our organization. On the heels of its initial program at the 2018 Scientific Sessions, the group is working to increase the number of female speakers on NLA programs, hold an event at all 2019 meetings and boost the presence of women on NLA committees.
Again, it has been an honor to work with everyone. None of this would be possible without the support of the excellent NLA staff, so please join me in thanking the NLA staff for their hard work.
I am excited for the last five months of my term and President and look forward to maintaining the forward momentum of the organization. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Happy holidays and New Year to you and your families from our NLA family.