Westmead leads plans for Australia and New Zealand cardiac society

Westmead Hospital cardiologist Professor Clara Chow is the first female president of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Westmead Hospital’s Cardiology Department has set a significant and unprecedented milestone in having five representatives on the 25-member governing board of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ).

Led by newly inaugurated president Professor Clara Chow, this is the biggest representation of a single hospital in Australia and New Zealand.

The Westmead Hospital cardiologist was named president-elect in 2019 and officially started her two-year term as the first female president of CSANZ on August 13 this year.

Prof Chow said she was extremely proud of Westmead’s cardiology department for being the most represented on the board of this prestigious body.

“All of us are very passionate about what we do, and I’m honoured to be working with such brilliant people. CSANZ is a peak body for cardiac professionals. I’m looking forward to leading it for the next two years,” she said.

“This year the cardiac society has been working hard to raise awareness and provide guidance to cardiologists caring for their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. My colleagues from Westmead will continue to advance these pieces of important work.”

Westmead Hospital cardiologist Professor Liza Thomas is the NSW board member of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Prof Chow said those with heart complications were more likely to have severe conditions of COVID-19. CSANZ has issued a living document with practical recommendations regularly updated as new evidence and knowledge is gained.

When asked about her plans on the presidential term, Prof Chow said she was keen to see more engagement with younger professionals.

“It’s also exciting for me to welcome another female member to the board, my colleague Professor Liza Thomas,” Prof Chow said.

Prof Thomas said she was humbled to be elected and excited for her new role as an elected board member for NSW.

As part of her plans Prof Thomas will focus on increasing engagement of all NSW members with the CSANZ whilst exploring new directions of engagement with patients and the community.

“Activities we engage in within the society should translate into improved care for our patients – this is the number one priority,” Prof Thomas said.

“Being a part of such a reputable organisation gives you a better opportunity to contribute to patients on a larger scale. I have a very strong commitment to improving cardiovascular service delivery to the community and society at large, through providing better access to education, research and training.”

CSANZ was established in 1951. The chief advocacy group for the profession, the society aims to facilitate training, professional development and improve medical practice to enhance the quality of care for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Current Westmead representatives in CSANZ:

Prof Clara Chow – President of CSANZ

Prof Robert Denniss – Editor-in-Chief of ‘Heart, Lung and Circulation’ (journal for Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery)

Prof Liza Thomas – Elected Board Member for NSW

A/Prof Saurabh Kumar – Chair, Heart Rhythm Council

Dr Aravinda Thiagalingam – Chair, Professional and Ethical Standards Committee

The Westmead Health Precinct is one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia and a key provider of jobs for the greater Parramatta and Western Sydney region.  It includes four major hospitals, three world-leading medical research institutes and the state’s largest research-intensive pathology service.