Heart University Responds to COVID-19 with Global Webinar Series
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) dramatically affecting healthcare in 2020, medical conferences fell victim too. As large, in-person gatherings were canceled one by one because of the pandemic, the medical community had to re-think how to share the latest developments in the field.
In response, Heart University launched a webinar series in May of 2020 titled “Contemporary Questions in Congenital Heart Disease.” Nearly 1,400 attendees from over 100 countries joined the first webinar, showing they were eager to continue to learn despite travel limitations.
Learning From Afar
“Virtual learning is changing the landscape for sharing information with others,” says Justin Tretter, MD, a Heart Institute cardiologist and editor-in-chief of Heart University and its Pediatric Cardiac Learning Center. “Heart University’s solid platform made it possible for us to meet this virtual learning need when COVID hit. The webinars are another addition that can help us all continue to learn from one another from afar.”
Heart University is a free web-based global education resource and training tool focused on congenital and pediatric acquired heart disease. While spearheaded by Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute, it is led by international editorial boards of subspecialists with endorsement from major international organizations for both of its component sites, the revamped Adult Congenital Heart Disease Learning Center and the Pediatric Cardiac Learning Center. The platform has established itself as “the go-to online resource” for e-learning for both trainees and practicing congenital heart disease providers. With more than 6,000 registrants, Heart University is the largest online educational resource available for these specialists.
Years in the Making
Heart University is the result of a substantial effort that has been evolving for the past eight years. The team behind the scenes is made up of hosts of contributors who have all lent their expertise to build a platform that can meet the many demands of a large site that serves a global audience.
The time involved to create a solid product with credible content has paid off. Some of Heart University’s curriculums are now used for fellowship trainees around the world. The site’s content is updated routinely and currently features nearly 1,500 different offerings between training modules and recorded conference materials. It also now houses a collection of COVID-19 materials for the congenital heart disease provider. All webinars held to date can be viewed from the site.
The webinar series has continued regularly since May, and continues to draw large audiences. “The efforts to build a solid platform for Heart University have made it possible for this webinar series to be successful,” says Tretter. “The webinars are another addition to the site that can help us all continue to improve cardiac care worldwide.”