Revisiting the 2022 PCICS Annual Meeting: Joy and Discovery


I have been attending the PCICS annual conference for the past three years, and this year was a one-of-a kind gathering. I was filled with gratitude to be part of a medical community that prioritizes continuing innovation, collaboration, and exceptional care for the pediatric patients with congenital and acquired heart disease. Presenters and attendees reminded me how incredibly lucky I am to be surrounded by wonderful people and a unique combination of talents to learn from!

Speakers representing over 50 cardiac centers, including 9 international sites were attending the conference. The sessions were ranging from basic and translational science to health outcomes research, quality improvement and cutting-edge clinical practice. Groundbreaking discussions took place about some of the most crucial problems that our field is facing such as building, training and retaining teams after the COVID pandemic, nursing retention, maintaining mental wellness in the CICU and optimizing complex decision making.

There was one session that stood out for me. Listening to the Saturday’s morning session on “The recent Advances in the Field and the Scientific Work from the PCICS CoRe group” was awe-inspiring! Is there really a better way to “advance the art and science of healing rather than through education, collaboration and inquiry”1? PCICS was created to support, encourage, and promote excellence in patient care and research. It was built to empower a diverse global community and to foster creative diverse environments where physicians, advance practice providers and nurses could share ideas, question assumptions, and pursue new discoveries. Through collaboration, open communication, and the exchange of experiences between Cardiac Intensive Care Units this is finally becoming true. With a culture supporting partnership, unity and mutual respect aiming to share experience, learn from each other and advance patient care I am more than excited to see where the field is heading. Can we share what we know? Can we adopt different clinical practices that will improve our patient outcomes? Can we collaborate for new innovations and therapies that might benefit our patient population? Can we improve communication and consultation with the families of our patients through collaboration? Curiosity, imagination, and passion for patient care are the jet engines that move forward all of us. This session was all about pursuing additional avenues that will advance care, keeping in mind the end recipient for whom we all care: the patient.

There is one very important thing, the pure joy of meeting in person. I greatly missed meeting friends and mentors as well as the joy of building new relationships during the virtual conferences the past two years. We all crave a feeling of connectedness, belonging, mission, and meaning, particularly when performing our work. The conference had a wealth of opportunities and events scheduled for networking. Early career members, such as I, were able to meet and enjoy conversations with experts in the field, colleagues who are willing to offer time, advice, guidance, and opportunities to everyone who is interested in joining cardiac critical care. Our powerful community is not just alive and well, it is thriving! It is an international network of minds and talent working towards a shared mission, and this is the best time to be part of it.

I look forward with great enthusiasm to attend the meeting in 2023, to be with the heart of pediatric cardiac critical care, to learn from the drive, passion, and skills of our community and to enjoy seeing old and new members of PCICS!




Maria Batsis

PCCM Fellow
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles