The Hellenic Society of Cardiology, was established in 1948 and registered with the Athens Civil Courts in 1950. Initially the founding members were 28, while today the number has risen to approximately 2,200 registered Cardiologists.
The objective of the Society is to promote Cardiology and related fields, as well as to strive for the achievement of optimum scientific and professional working conditions for its members. HCS is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of 9 members, which is renewed every two years, following a secret ballot of its members. The Board deals with scientific and administrative issues, as well as with scientific congresses and lectures.
The Hellenic Society of Cardiology is located in Athens in a private 5-storey building, at 6 Potamianou street. The building has full technical equipment for carrying out the activities of the Society. On the third floor of the building the e- Library, which serves members of the Society with the most important Cardiology journals worldwide and with excellent technological equipment, provides access to Greek and foreign literature 24 hours a day from all over Greece via Computers and modems. In the auditorium of the Society advanced courses, webinars, CPR seminars and monthly meetings of the Working Groups are conducted. Spaces of the building are configurated to serve as test rooms for free cardiac evaluation of sensitive social groups. The examinations include echocardiography and exercise testing in addition to the standard cardiac exam.
Members of the Society have set up, under the Statute (Article 40), 14 Working Groups:
1. WG of Hemodynamic and Interventional Cardiology (WG of Hemodynamic and Interventional Cardiology and WG of Acute Coronary Syndromes)
2. WG of Echocardiography
3. WG of Imaging Techniques (WG of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, WG of Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT)
4. WG of Electrophysiology and Pacing
5. WG of Arterial Hypertension
6. WG of Prevention and Rehabilitation (WG of Epidemiology, Prevention and Metabolic Syndrome, WG of Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Drugs, WG of Exercise Testing, WG of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, WG of Quality of Life and Psychosocial Cardiology)
7. WG of Valvular Heart Disease, Adult Congenital Heart Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension (WG of Valvular Heart Disease, WG of Adult Congenital Heart Disease, WG of Pulmonary Hypertension)
8. WG of Heart Failure
9. WG of Cardiomyopathies, Basic Research and Inherited Heart Diseases (WG of Cardiomyopathies and Pericardium Diseases, WG of Basic Translation Research and Inherited Heart Diseases)
10. WG of Aorta and Peripheral Vessels
11. WG of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Intensive Care
12. WG of Cardiac Surgery
13. WG of Cardiac Nursing
14. Consultation on Professional Issues to the Members of the Board
The Working Groups function along the lines of the respective groups of the European Society of Cardiology. The purpose of these groups is to promote knowledge of the subject they are dealing with. This purpose is achieved with the Working Groups Seminars, held every year for three days.
The Hellenic Society of Cardiology publishes a bimonthly magazine entitled “Hellenic Journal of Cardiology” about 150 pages per issue, which is distributed to all members of the Society, Cardiology trainees, hospitals, libraries, etc., as well as the International Journal HELLENIC JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY (International Edition, ISSN 1109-9666) which is included in MEDLINE medical publications databases (impact factor 1,227). The Panhellenic Congress of Cardiology is organized every year in October with the participation of about 3,500 people (Cardiologists, Cardiology trainees and Nurses). Every February, in the Seminars of the Working Groups the minimum number of participants is 1,500 people. At the same time, we train doctors in different regions of Greece through the regional congresses organized every year.
In 2017 the Hellenic Society of Cardiology (HCS) celebrates 70 years since its establishment.
The history of HCS parallels the history of Cardiology in Greece.
Revisiting the history of HCS one also observes the advancements in Greek Cardiology, since HCS has offered chances of communication between Greek Cardiologists from the introduction of Cardiology as an independent specialty in the middle of the 20th century.
HCS constitutes a connecting link between Cardiologists and has encouraged educational efforts towards the training of doctors and research activities.
Today, in collaboration with the European Society of Cardiology, HCS takes action towards the homogenization of education of Cardiology trainees in order to acquire the Diploma of European Cardiologist and offers programs of continuing education and lifelong learning for the specialized Cardiologists of the country.
The highlights of HCS during its 70 years of existence are presented below.
Social activities of the Society
•Training of doctors in different regions of Greece
• Education of Cardiology trainees through European programs
• Providing scholarships to young Cardiologists in Greece and abroad
• Promotion of scientific research through funding university Cardiology clinics and NHS Cardiology clinics
• Raising awareness on issues of Cardiology (radio and television spots, print materials)
• Free examination of preschool children in border areas, in areas with high unemployment
• Free examination of school children that come from uninsured families in order to enable them to participate in gym class
• Free community clinic for the uninsured who suffer from heart problems
• Training of doctors and the public in first aid in case of cardiac arrest through Basic and Advanced Cardiopulmonary resuscitation seminars (CPR)
• Donation of defibrillator devices in border areas
The first steps
The first specialized Greek Cardiologists appeared in Greece after 1930 mainly from Germany and France. These are the first Cardiologists that staffed the major hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki where Cardiology was not yet acclaimed as an independent specialty. Most departments of Cardiology were headed by general practitioners and cardiovascular disease was treated by Cardiologists from abroad or general practitioners with a special interest in Cardiology.
The idea of Cardiology as an independent specialty in the medical community matured after the 2nd World War. In 1954 Cardiology became an official specialty and the title of Cardiology Specialist was introduced.
More Cardiologists were already beginning to arrive, among them Professor P. White who arrived with a group of American doctors bringing with him the first direct-writing electrocardiograph.
The next step was the founding of the HCS. On the 7th of December 1948, the Cardiologist Dr. Demosthenes Papapanagiotou invited all the Cardiologists who were practising in Athens to his house, at 4 Acadimias Street, for an “all-purpose meeting to exchange opinions and friendly greetings”. Twenty-nine Cardiologists in all attended the meeting.
Mr. Papanagiotou stressed that he tried not to forget any Cardiologist from the Athens area and so he spoke: "Ladies and gentlemen, after many discussions with most of you, we thought that it would be time for us to take on the formation of the Society of Cardiology, in order to be able to exchange our opinions, helping to advance our specialty."
The first statute described the logo and goals of the Society. The first president of HCS was Alexandros Portokalis, whose term of office lasted 1 year. The first hemodynamic laboratory was founded in 1951 at Nea Ionia Hospital, followed by all the major hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki. In 1954 under the presidency of Dr. George Michailidis, Legislative Decree 3008 recognized Cardiology as an independent specialty. In 1960 under the Presidency of Dr. Anastasios Samaras the HCS inaugurated its offices at 17 Sisini st. The year 1958 marked the most significant milestone as the University of Athens established the first Department of Cardiology and in 1961 Dr. Georgios Michailidis took office as the first Professor of Cardiology in Greece. He also served as President of the 5th European Congress of Cardiology.
The Cardiologists who were Presidents of the Hellenic Society of Cardiology are the following:
Constantinos Maroulis (1950-1951)
Panagiotis Vatsineas (1952)
Nikolaos Tsouchlos (1953)
Dimitrios Papapanagiotou (1955-1956)
Gerasimos Danilatos (1959)
Anastasios Samaras (1960 and 1965-1966)
George Michailidis (1961-1962 and 1967-1968)
Christos Aravanis (1969-1970)
Frixos Kosteas (1971-1972)
Eftichios Voridis (1973-1974)
Spiridon Moulopoulos (1975-1976)
Meletios Pappas (1977-1978)
Dimitrios Athanasiadis (1979-1981)
George Pipilis (1982-1983)
Dimitrios Avgoustakis (1984-1985)
Pavlos Toutouzas (1986-1987)
Lambros Anthopoulos (1988-1989)
Dionysios Kokkinos (1990-1991)
Ioannis Gialafos (1992-1993)
Apostolos Zacharoulis (1994-1995)
Evaggelos Papasteriadis (1996-1997)
Christodoulos Stefanadis (1998-1999)
Panagiotis Vardas (2000-2001)
Dimitris Sideris (2002-2003)
Ioannis Lekakis (2004-2005)
Harilaos Boudoulas (2006 to 1997)
Dimitrios Kremastinos (2007-2008)
Vlassios Pyrgakis (2009-2010)
George Parharidis (2011-2012)
Ioannis Kallikazaros (2013-2014)
Stefanos Foussas (2015-2016)
Konstantinos Tsioufis (2017-2018)