CSANZ Conference 2018

CSANZ Conference 2018

(by Dr Linda Worrall Carter)

It’s been a while since I last wrote and I have to say I am always delighted by how many people read my blog and find it interesting, and send me follow up emails (which I love!). So, I thought that I would make time to give some reflections from last month, when I was fortunate enough to be one of the Keynote Speakers at the New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ), held in Christchurch (14th-16th June 2018).

It was the first time the Cardiac Society had held the conference in Christchurch since the earthquakes in February 2011, when tragically 185 people lost their lives. While this was several years ago, Christchurch is still very much recovering from the disaster and it was evident that hosting an International conference with speakers from Australia, US and other places gave the city an air of excitement.

It was an outstanding conference, with a diverse group of speakers from all different levels. While there were the traditional keynotes, speaking opportunities were also given to junior medical, nursing and allied health researchers/ clinicians. Another highlight was seeing gender equity in the line up and also on the panels.

I felt privileged to speak on a number of topics across the different programs. The 3 days commenced with me giving the keynote at the Nursing Symposium around my career trajectory and how during a long career I found myself nursing, teaching, researching and now heading up a NFP. I then spoke in the afternoon with the Rehabilitation group and posed a question around whether or not our Cardiac rehab programs were meeting the needs of women. This generated discussion and it was particularly interesting to hear that in New Zealand they have over 80% attendance in their cardiac rehab programs (ours are around 24%) and this is despite some people having to travel up to 2 hours for their appointments!

During the course of the conference, I was also asked to speak about gender differences in both diagnosis and treatments for women and how we are working at Her Heart to tackle some of these problems, in particular to create a global community of women to address this lack of awareness. Another highlight was to give the opening presentation at the Nursing, Allied Health & technology Prize session where I talked about Clinical research careers that can make a difference. Interestingly this presentation was attended by a mixture of disciplines and I was approached many times during the conference with some great feedback.

The prize sessions are always exciting and what was particularly special was the announcement of all the winners that was held that evening at the Christchurch Art Gallery (*A note hear to conference organisers, a strategic move was to have the conference dinner included in the registration cost, so everyone was able to enjoy a great evening of networking and celebrations). The preliminary tour of the Art Gallery was really interesting and of course the Kiwis know how to party … ending with a great band and many danced late into the evening.

Of course there were a number of really interesting papers presented at the conference and I have been thinking about how I might write up some of those that I attended. It can be difficult to select highlights of speakers/ papers with not being able to attend certain streams due to conflicting speaking times. In my next Blog I will highlight a couple of the main papers that addressed those conditions that affect women more than anything else.

Finally, I would really like to thank a few people for the opportunity to speak, the NZ CSANZ conference organising committee, in particular Conference Chair Dr Dougal McClean, Dr Sally Aldous, and Murray Hart. Please find below some pictures from the event, and my week in New Zealand!