Leadership Message


“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” 

— John Maxwell

Winter has come and a new calendar year is upon us having just come off an amazingly successful in-person meeting in Miami!  It was wonderful for us to be able to gather and discuss important topics related to both the art and science of the care of our patients.  We also celebrated the backbone of our pediatric cardiac critical care team, the bedside nurse, with the inaugural PCICS bedside nursing excellence award given to 6 inspiring bedside nurses who have made an enormous impact on their patients, the clinicians they work beside and units they work in.  This also marked the transition in PCICS executive leadership with John Costello and Darren Klugman “retiring” from leadership (their watch is now done) and Melissa Jones becoming immediate past president.  Melissa exemplified leadership with her thoughtful and collaborative approach that resulted in many impactful accomplishments.  As I assume the presidency, I’m appreciative that Lindsey Justice assumes the role of Vice President of our Society.  The five of us have been colleagues who became friends who have become family.  Likewise, I’m super excited to welcome Jill Zender (Secretary) and David Werho (Treasurer) to the executive team family and look forward to the work that awaits us.  However, it will be a bit odd not to have a red head on the executive committee so hopeful David is willing to dye his hair red (and occasionally wear a Cowboys jersey).

The African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” is characteristic of how our Society functions.  While we have come far, we still have much to accomplish.  To better engage our membership, tap into our diversity and open opportunities for leadership we have now transitioned to 1-year terms for the members of the executive committee.  Accordingly, it is even more important that we have a unified set of goals as they will need to be executed on as a team, including a focus on our mission to engage a more global community of clinicians.  Our culture of collaboration will ensure the identification and mentorship of future leaders and seamless transitions.

As a Society, growth only happens when the members are committed to the ongoing emotional and intellectual growth that a mature society requires.  Growth occurs when members can see obstacles and difficult times simply as occasions and opportunities for growth and for learning new individual and team skills.  What does a committed CICU practitioner do when they come up against a problem they don’t understand or can’t solve? They work harder to figure it out, and in the process, they grow in their skill and knowledge. The same is true when a society is willing to treat problems/threats as opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills and explore new prospects.  We will continue to rely heavily on the engaged members of the Society (participating in our committees and Special Interest Groups) to see opportunities for growth, and help us execute strategic projects to meet the needs of our members and the patients/families we serve.

Change is inevitable. We don’t have to make a decision for change to happen. It happens with or without our consent. Growth is what is optional; it only happens with our consent and when we make the decision to grow. We are a growth-minded Society and I’m excited about our continued growth and the new opportunities that will present themselves.

“This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


David S. Cooper MD, MPH

PCICS President

Medical Director of The Heart Institute, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and Cardiac Anesthesia Recovery Unit at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine