ACC: Shaping the Future of Global Health
While significant strides have been made in treating cardiovascular diseases and reducing morbidity and mortality, they still remain the number one cause of death globally. Over the last several years, the international community has come together to reverse this trend, with the World Health Organization setting a global goal of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, by 25 percent by 2025.
“We are living in a new world and global health becomes central in a sustainable development paradigm,” says Daniel José Piñeiro, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Assembly of International Governors.
The ACC is actively responding to this “new world” in a number of ways, particularly around education and population health. On the education front, College faculty participated in more than 60 congresses in more than 35 countries in 2015. At ACC.16 alone, more than 18 sessions with representatives from 36 countries offered insights into the latest research, as well as best practices and challenges associated with treating cardiovascular patients around the world.
Looking ahead, the ACC will be hosting two novel international conferences in October aimed at reaching a targeted group of cardiovascular professionals from multiple countries around Latin America and the Middle East. The ACC Latin America Conference and the ACC Middle East Conference will be the first-ever regional conferences in partnership with ACC International Chapters and will feature locally relevant, interactive education designed to best meet the needs of practicing cardiologists in the region.
Population health is another area of strategic focus. The ACC has been recognized for its partnership in helping to catalyze efforts in global health by leveraging its vast global membership to drive efforts on the ground and close the gaps in health care across populations. In particular, the College’s hospital and outpatient NCDR registries are increasingly being used internationally to help identify gaps in care and track quality improvement efforts. Pilot programs in countries like China, Brazil and India are also underway to help cardiovascular professionals stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based guidelines, as well as offer tips on cardiovascular disease prevention.
“If we can work together to increase international participation in educational activities, encourage global use and exchange of data, and raise public awareness about cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, progress is well within our grasp,” says ACC Immediate Past President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, MACC. During his presidential address at ACC.16, Williams noted that success will depend on the ability of the health care community to make the most out of the opportunities afforded by the rapid advances in technologies and treatments over the last several decades. He urged an expanded focus on primary prevention and health promotion and noted that the ACC is uniquely poised to lead in this.
“We must own our actions and we must be visible to the public and our patients in positive ways that affect their lives,” he said. “We must turn off the faucet instead of just mopping the floor.”
Learn more about the International Section at ACC.org/International.
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