An Historic Election for ABC Life Member
Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, 64th President of the American College of Cardiology
Dr. Kim Williams is the first African American to serve as President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) since its founding in 1949. He assumed office March 16 during the ACC's 64th Annual Convocation Ceremony in San Diego.
Dr. Williams is a Life Member of ABC, past Chairman of the Board and former Editor of the ABC Digest of Cardiology
. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago, followed by medical school at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Emory University, and overlapping fellowships in cardiology, clinical pharmacology, and nuclear medicine at the University of Chicago. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular computed tomography. Williams joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1986. He served as professor of medicine and radiology and director of nuclear cardiology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine until 2010, when he became the Dorothy Susan Timmis Endowed Professor and chair of the division of cardiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. In 2013, Williams assumed the position of James B. Herrick Professor and chief of the division of cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.
ABC's CEO Cassandra McCullough recently posed the following questions to Dr. Williams, asking him to comment on his new role:
Q. What would you like to accomplish during your tenure as President of the American College of Cardiology?
A. Our major focus will be improving population health, continued advocacy for patient access and preparing the cardiovascular community for the transformation of care from volume to value-based systems.
Q. Given our shared efforts to achieve health equity for all and eliminate cardiovascular disease disparities, what are concrete areas of collaboration between the American College of Cardiology and Association of Black Cardiologists?
A. I envision more collaboration around population health, particularly with continued community screening programs and education around healthcare disparities. ABC has been a great partner to ACC, and vice versa. For this reason we have put several ABC leaders on the ACC population health committee.
Q. You are a positive role model to many. What advice would you give to young and aspiring cardiologists?
A. My best advice would be to go ahead and learn the "tradecraft" of cardiology and set up a culture of lifelong learning. But while doing so, also focus on prevention. Learn and personally practice evidence-based exercise, diet and medications when necessary to lower risk factors for heart disease. Together we can make a big difference, and stop cardiovascular disease from being the number one killer of Americans, and having African-Americans leading this epidemic.
Q. Your appointment as President is first and foremost historic—the first ABC member and person of color to become president since the College’s founding in 1946. What does this appointment represent or what are your thoughts on this?
A. I get a fair amount of ribbing about being the first pro tennis player, the first African-American, the first vegan and the first nuclear cardiologist to become president of the ACC. But the last part isn't true. Dr. George Beller, a giant in the field of nuclear cardiology, was president of ACC in 2001. But seriously, it has truly been an honor to be in the leadership of both ABC and ACC. These organizations represent all that is good in medicine, because they both focus on what's best for the patient. This "patient/centric" attitude pervades all policymaking and advocacy, and as a value that's held by staff and volunteer leadership in both organizations.