Health Organizations Host Forum on Innovation and the Health Care Workforce

In conjunction with the UN General Assembly, the American College of Cardiology, NCD Alliance and World Heart Federation, with support from Viatris, bring together leading experts on using innovation and technology to support the health workforce in managing noncommunicable and chronic diseases

Contact: Nicole Napoli,,

NEW YORK (Sep 20, 2023) -

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), NCD Alliance and World Heart Federation (WHF), with support from Viatris, brought together leaders in global health and technology for a “Enhancing the Health Workforce Through Innovation,” forum yesterday in New York. The event was held in advance of the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly discussion on the need for universal health coverage to improve global access to care and reduce the out-of-pocket burden of rising health care costs.

“ACC has been committed to improving health care for all globally by engaging in global health advocacy and supporting clinicians and health care professionals to better manage noncommunicable diseases,” said ACC President Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC.

According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death globally, with cardiovascular diseases accounting for 32% of all global deaths in 2019. Over 75% of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where people often struggle with significant out of pocket health care costs. A large portion of health development expenditures globally has focused on communicable disease, but the burden of disease cost from NCDs is significant and growing as the world’s population ages.

ACC, NCD Alliance, WHF and Viatris, organized the event to illustrate that health coverage alone does not guarantee access to care and highlight the need for attention to the health workforce; share examples of how technology is supporting global health workforce training; highlight case studies of how successful implementation of technology at the front lines of care delivery can support better management of NCDs in communities; and provide policymakers with concrete ideas of how workforce issues can be addressed through task shifting, training and supportive technology.

“Advances in technology have democratized banking, transportation, education and commercial shopping throughout the world allowing people to solve many of their problems outside of the traditional brick and mortar system,” said Tom A. Gaziano, Chair of WHF’s Science Committee. “Health care is the one sector that has not adequately adopted the technology to increase access to care and allow patient empowerment often from within their own homes. However, the tools are there for the taking, we just need to mobilize to adopt the technology and free ourselves from the model that solely revolves around the clinic and the hospital.”

The event was moderated by ACC Chief Innovation Officer Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC, and featured keynote speakers Rebecca Bunnell, PhD, MEd, Acting Principal Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for PEPFAR, and Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, CEO, Resolve to Save Lives, who discussed how digital health can support a more robust health care system.

“Team-based care—with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social worker, and community health workers collaborating to support patients—is the most effective way to improve care and save lives,” Frieden said. “Digital tools that are created to support health care workers through user-centered design can accelerate progress.”

Other speakers included perspectives from people living with NCDs and panelists from across health care and the tech sector envisioning the future of a global health workforce that is built to enact universal health coverage, and an opportunity for Q&A.

“At Viatris, access is fundamental to our mission of empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. And crucial to advancing access is a stable healthcare workforce; without it, countries will not be able to meet the individual needs of their populations and communities,” said Lobna Salem, MD, Viatris Regional Chief Medical Officer, Developed Markets North America and Europe, in a discussion on how global organizations, countries and localities can stand up integrated, digitally enabled programs. “We believe education and outreach through programs like the NCD Academy are a critical mechanism to help healthcare professionals prevent, diagnosis and treat cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other important chronic conditions.”

Learn more about “Enhancing the Health Workforce Through Innovation,” view the compete agenda and access speaker bios.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is the global leader in transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health for all. As the preeminent source of professional medical education for the entire cardiovascular care team since 1949, ACC credentials cardiovascular professionals in over 140 countries who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelinesThrough its world-renowned family of JACC Journals, NCDR registries, ACC Accreditation Services, global network of Member Sections, CardioSmart patient resources and more, the College is committed to ensuring aworld where science, knowledge and innovation optimize patient care and outcomes. Learn more at or follow @ACCinTouch.


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