Editor's Corner | Collaboration Key to Transforming Global Cardiovascular Health

If You Want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone.
If You Want to Walk Far, Walk Together. 
— African Proverb
Cardiology Magazine Image

Cardiovascular illness and disability are socially patterned and not bound by borders. They are best addressed by cooperative action and collaborative innovation with relevant stakeholders focused on a global approach.

Never has the need for cooperative action and collaboration been greater. The numbers tell a stark story. Cardiovascular diseases, which include heart disease, stroke, heart failure and peripheral arterial disease, remain the #1 cause of death worldwide, causing an estimated 17.8 million deaths in 2017 alone.

By 2030 this number is only expected to grow should trends for hypertension, smoking, diabetes and obesity continue.

Over the course of its 70-year history the ACC has continuously expanded its work around the globe, building partnerships with other societies, federal agencies, international health groups and patient organizations – with the goal of reversing these trends.

Cardiology Magazine ImageFranz Groedel, MD, PhD, MACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageEliot Corday, MD, MACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageAlfred A. Bove, MD, PhD, MACC

We've built on the legacies of early ACC leaders like Franz Groedel, MD, PhD, MACC; Eliot Corday, MD, MACC; and more recently Alfred A. Bove, MD, PhD, MACC, who fostered College efforts to bring on-the-ground education and training programs directly to cardiovascular professionals in the countries where they live and work and encouraged global partnerships to advocate for real change in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

Indeed, the ACC is out in front when it comes to global health and ensuring its 54,000 members around the world have access to the best education, research and tools needed to optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes.

As you'll read in this month's issue, College efforts – as well as inspiring efforts by individual members – are translating to measurable action.

Within these pages, you'll learn more about the ways ACC's International Conferences are advancing regionalized education, improving on-the-ground knowledge sharing, and allowing for important leadership development and networking opportunities.

You'll also get a snapshot of ACC leaders in action – sharing best practices and the latest science with cardiovascular clinicians on nearly every continent.

You'll also learn how innovative initiatives like the Global Heart Attack Treatment Initiative are helping hospitals and institutions use data to identify gaps in care and improve quality of care to patients.

Also in this issue, don't miss an in-depth look at training, knowledge sharing and capacity building efforts at the heart of an international education program for heart failure nurses. Nearly 900 nurses in nine countries have been empowered to better provide care, and extend the reach of physicians, to help address the global pandemic of heart failure.

Be inspired by stories of ACC members who are volunteering through medical missions to help build local health care capacity and quality of care through evidence-based quality improvement initiatives.

We also learn about Women as One, an initiative to bring gender equity among cardiovascular professionals, which ultimately will help to ensure full participation of this talent pool in the global efforts to address the burden of cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiology Magazine ImageKaren Sliwa, MD, PhD, FACC

We are also honored to have Karen Sliwa, MD, PhD, FACC, president of the World Heart Federation (WHF), share her thoughts about the importance of global partnerships in the ongoing fight against cardiovascular diseases.

She talks about the importance of investing in science and research and partnering for care transformation. The College is excited to partner with WHF on ACC.20 Together With the World Congress of Cardiology this coming March in Chicago.

Following the lead of scientist and writer René Dubos who stated we need to "think globally, act locally," the College is committed to reaching members of the cardiac care team where they live and practice all around the world.

It is a strategic priority to accelerate the ACC's involvement in on-the-ground efforts to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health worldwide.

Cardiology Magazine ImageMargaret Chan, MD

To do this well, we cannot go alone. As former World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan, MD, observed: "A world that is greatly out of balance in matters of health is neither stable nor secure."

The ACC is committed to being out in front – leading, engaging and convening – to successfully address the challenge of improving global cardiovascular health in the 21st century.

I'm excited to be on this journey with all of you.

Looking to be inspired?

Cardiology Magazine ImageWilliam Zoghbi, MD, MACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageAnthony DeMaria, MD, MACC

Thirty emerging leaders gathered for the ACC's annual International Leadership Academy at the College's Heart House headquarters in Washington, DC, last month.

The Academy provides a unique forum for participants to share some of the challenges and opportunities associated with leading cardiovascular transformation in different parts of the world.

Hundreds of new leaders have been trained by ACC Past Presidents William Zoghbi, MD, MACC, and Anthony DeMaria, MD, MACC. These men and women are our future.

Cardiology Magazine Image
Cardiology Magazine Image

John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, is professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute, and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and a past president of the ACC. He is founding chair of the World Heart Federation (WHF) Partner's Council and emeritus board member of the WHF.

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Global Health, Medical Missions, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Cardiovascular Diseases, Capacity Building, Leadership, Quality Improvement, Pandemics, Cause of Death, Goals, Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, Stroke, Diabetes Mellitus, World Health Organization, Hypertension, Obesity, Smoking

< Back to Listings