Guest Editorial | The WHF and ACC: Global Advocates For Heart Healthy Lives For Everyone
Cardiovascular disease continues to be the #1 killer worldwide, responsible for one in three deaths, and claiming the lives of nearly 19 million people every year. Such stark numbers underscore the vital importance of interorganizational collaboration in advancing global solutions for improving heart health.
The work of the World Heart Federation and the ACC is a prime example of global collaboration in action, with each group leveraging their collective strengths and their global network of members to champion improvements in patient care and outcomes.
Programs through both organizations are driving real, tangible change at the local, regional and global levels and fostering greater universal awareness of cardiovascular disease and its impacts, along with related issues like access to care and social determinants of health.
As the principal representative body of the global cardiovascular community, WHF brings together a diverse network of multisectoral stakeholders spanning 200 heart foundations, scientific societies and patient organizations in more than 100 countries to share knowledge, guide policy and provide clinicians with resources and tools to help patients live longer, healthier lives.
In addition, a close partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) enables the WHF to share and align knowledge and goals primarily around key areas such as tobacco and air pollution, as well as neglected conditions such as rheumatic heart disease and Chagas disease, with several projects underway in different parts of the world.
Larger-scale events like the WHF's recent 7th World Heart Summit and its annual World Congress of Cardiology offer unique global opportunities to reach every corner of the world and bring together delegates, policymakers, diplomats, researchers, private sector partners and health advocates for networking and education. These meetings are also critical in helping to strengthen the global response to cardiovascular disease. World Heart Day held every September also brings together hundreds of millions of people in localized community engagement programs to build heart healthy lives.
New this year, WHF launched its World Heart Observatory to serve as a collaborative platform that collates high-quality data from various sources to provide reliable information related to cardiovascular conditions, risk factors and intervention. Accurate information helps policymakers, researchers and program implementers assess the true burden of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors and understand why certain populations are affected differently by the same disease. The observatory will help to identify missed opportunities for the detection and management of cardiovascular risk at population and health system levels and obtain insight into best interventions, plan resources and monitor progress.
On the collaborative front, the ACC and WHF are partnering on a number of global programs, including the NCD Academy, an innovative online program that equips health care providers with free, high quality continuing education on topics like stroke prevention, cancer, mental health, diabetes and health. The College is also working with WHF and others to meet the global goal of reducing mortality from noncommunicable diseases between now and 2030.
The ACC and WHF are also excited to collaborate on ACC.23 Together With the World Congress in Cardiology in New Orleans in March 2023. Planning for the three-day meeting is well underway, with registration opening this fall.
The global cardiovascular community has never been more united. The unprecedented solidarity and connectivity that has been demonstrated throughout the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us together in new and innovative ways. The ACC and WHF are excited by the opportunities – now and in the future – to work together to ensure that people and communities around the world have access to the care and treatment they need.
Fausto J. Pinto, MD, PhD, FACC, FESC
President, World Heart Federation
John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC
Past President, American College of Cardiology
Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Goals, Noncommunicable Diseases, Tobacco, Rheumatic Heart Disease, COVID-19, Government Employees, Mental Health, Pandemics, Private Sector, Social Determinants of Health, Societies, Scientific, Risk Factors, World Health Organization, Health Services Accessibility, Neoplasms, Health Personnel, Heart Disease Risk Factors, Education, Continuing, Chagas Disease, Air Pollution, Patient Care, Diabetes Mellitus, Stroke, Policy
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