Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

  • Volunteers on behalf of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) have a fiduciary duty to ASE, including the duties of loyalty, diligence and confidentiality. Despite the self-interests that members inevitably have, those in positions of responsibility, in their fiduciary capacity, must act in utmost good faith on behalf of ASE. In accepting their positions, they undertake to give the association the benefit of their care and best judgment and to act solely in the interest of the association and not for their own personal interest.

    Conflicts of interest arise when participants in positions of responsibility have personal or outside financial, business or professional interests or responsibilities that conflict with their duties to ASE. The immediacy and seriousness of various conflicts of interest situations can differ. Of significant importance is the degree to which an actual or potential conflict would tend one toward bias in educational matters, pre-disposition on any issue affecting the Society or its members or otherwise compromise the interests of the Society in any way.

    A conditional, qualified or potential conflict of interest can arise when the outside interest does not relate to any contemplated action of ASE. For example, a person might hold a minor financial stake in a non-commercial company wishing to do business with the Society. Disclosure is ordinarily sufficient to deal with this type of conflict, provided that there is no reasonable belief that one’s decisions could be biased or one’s duty of loyalty to ASE affected.

    A direct conflict of interest arises when an individual holds a position of responsibility with the ASE and also holds a material interest in the issues charged to the volunteer or elected position at hand. Direct conflicts of interest arise when an individual engages in a personal transaction with the Society, holds a material interest or position of responsibility in an organization involved in a specific transaction with the ASE, or whose loyalties lie in equal measure with a commercial entity. Such situations place the person in the impossible position of attempting to represent both the ASE and one’s personal interests or those of the other organization. The mandatory course of action in such cases is to disclose the conflict and remove oneself from the deliberations and the vote on the issue. Should the ASE feel that one’s conflicts of interest cannot be resolved to maintain the goals or integrity of the position, ASE will revoke invitation to participate or reassign such individuals to an alternate position where the identified conflicts will have no bearing on any voting matters.

    In rare circumstances, an individual currently seated in a voluntary or elected position may have such a serious, ongoing and irreconcilable conflict, where the relationship to an outside organization so seriously impedes one’s ability to carry out the fiduciary responsibility to the ASE, that resignation from the position with ASE or the conflicting entity is mandatory.

    Dealing effectively with actual or potential conflicts of interest is a shared responsibility of the individual (disclosure) and the organization (resolution). Accordingly, ASE requires the completion of a ‘Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement’ by members of each Committee, Task Force and Council. The Society reviews each Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement individually. ASE officers and members of the Board, Committees and Task Forces must file annual signed statements with the executive office of the Society. Statements are also required at the time of appointment to a Board, Committee or Task Force. This information will be retained in the files of the ASE office and may be shared with members of ASE’s leadership, staff and other individuals as necessary.
    Modified/Appproved March 2012
  • *Those individuals seeking assignment to the Board of Directors or education-based committee or task force (e.g., Scientific Sessions Program Committee, Education Committee, Products Task Force, etc), are prohibited from having been an employee of a commercial interest within the last 12 months. An employee is defined as one who has a regular work schedule and receives a regular paycheck. Self-employed individuals who contract with a commercial firm are not considered employees; however, these types of relationships must be reviewed in detail by ASE and participation on any committee as named above will be at the discretion of appropriate ASE leadership.
  • The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requires the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals responsible for the development, management, presentation and/or evaluation of a CME/CE activity. In order to fulfill this requirement, ASE can only approve a CME/CE activity when all individuals involved in the educational process have completed the following content control agreement:
  • I have read ASE’s policy on Conflict of Interest and Disclosures and support its intent. I agree to:
    a. Acknowledge my responsibility to the ASE and agree to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest;
    b. Acknowledge that at times I may have access to confidential information and agree to protect the confidentiality of that information;
    c. Disqualify myself and absent myself from participating in any association matters which are a conflict of interest; and
    d. Update this form as needed to keep it current and accurate.