Past ACC President Selected to Chair World Heart Federation Partners Council

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, past-president of the ACC.

I am honored to have been chosen as the chair of the World Heart Federation (WHF) Partners Council for 2016 on behalf of the ACC. In this new capacity representing the College, I led the first meeting of the WHF’s Partners Council in March 11 in London, England.

WHF President Salim Yusuf, MBBS, FACC, opened the meeting noting that the vision of the WHF is to work with members and the cardiovascular health community to hasten the day when cardiovascular health is no longer a privilege – but a right, and when cardiovascular disease is transformed from a life-threatening disease to one that can be prevented and managed in all populations. He added that the role of the WHF is to serve as the global facilitator, convener, trusted adviser and representative of cardiovascular disease stakeholders, driving the global cardiovascular health agenda by converting policy into action, through its members and a broader network of partners. Continue reading

International Perspectives at ACC.16

Jose PineiroThis post was authored by Daniel José Piñeiro, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Assembly of International Governors.

Cardiovascular disease is a global health issue that affects countries and communities around the world in myriad ways. As such, international viewpoints and experience are critical to the advancement of cardiovascular medicine everywhere. To this end, the College is continually working to expand its international reach. ACC’s 52,000-strong membership includes nearly 15,000 international members whose innovation and ingenuity make invaluable contributions to the College’s mission.

Nowhere is the importance of ACC’s international presence more evident than at the Annual Scientific Session. Last year during ACC.15, 40 percent of the attendees were international participants and we are continuing this trend this year as well. The International Perspectives Program at ACC.16 will provide a wide range of opportunities to learn more about cardiovascular disease concerns in other parts of the world and how cardiovascular professionals in those regions cope with those concerns. More than 18 sessions with representatives from 36 countries will offer insights into the latest research, as well as best practices and challenges associated with treating cardiovascular patients around the world. The International Perspectives Program will touch on each of ACC.16’s learning pathways.   Continue reading

First-Ever Global NCD Alliance Forum Catalyzes Worldwide Alliances to Achieve 25 by 25

ACC Past President William Zoghbi, MD, MACC, ACC Population Health Policy and Health Promotion Committee Chair Gerard Martin, MD, FACC, and International Affairs Director Neal Kovach, represented ACC at the first-ever Global NCD Alliance Forum this past week in Sharjah, UAE. The event, coordinated by the NCD Alliance, a global coalition of thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), brought together a burgeoning group of regional and national NCD alliances that have sprung up all around the world to improve prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).  Included in these is the NCD Roundtable, a U.S.-based coalition that advocates to the U.S. government about global health policy, in which the College is an active member.

Sharjah

Pictured: Gerard Martin, MD, FACC, William Zoghbi, MD, MACC, and Neal Kovach, at the first-ever Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, UAE.

The event in Sharjah brought together a unique group of global health stakeholders including NGO representatives, infectious disease experts, World Health Organization (WHO) representatives and, most importantly, the front-line doctors and volunteers trying to build capacity across the world to better coordinate efforts around NCDs to achieve the WHO goal of a 25 percent reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025 (25×25), which the ACC has formally endorsed. (Read the Sharjah Declaration on NCDs here). Continue reading

The Future Is Bright: ACC’s International Initiatives and Goals

Jose PineiroThis post was authored by Daniel José Piñeiro, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Assembly of International Governors.

Since its foundation in 1949, the ACC has worked to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health around the world through education, research, quality cardiovascular care and health policy. Despite its name (American College of Cardiology), the ACC has grown to be an inclusive and global organization with nearly 50,000 members including nearly 14,000 international representatives from more than 130 countries.

Over the last several years, the international community has increasingly become an integral part of the College. One of the most successful international initiatives to date has been the creation of International Chapters, which now number 34. These Chapters have played a crucial role in bringing members together in their home countries and also facilitating relationships between the ACC, its International Fellows, and colleagues from other national cardiovascular societies and associations. Continue reading

In Memoriam: ACC Past President Borys Surawicz, MD, MACC

ACC Past President Borys Surawicz, MD, MACC, a pioneer in electrocardiography and a significant contributor to the cardiovascular academic community, has passed away.

Originally a native of Moscow, Russia, Surawicz trained in Europe from 1939 – 1949 before serving as a medical officer of public health in Holmestrand, Norway (1949 – 1950). One year later, he was named chief of medicine for the Bogenhausen Hospital in Munich, Germany. Continue reading

PINNACLE Registry QI Program in India: A Model For Other Resource-Limited Countries?

This post was authored by Nathan Glusenkamp, MA, director of the PINNACLE Program and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of the ACC’s Publication, Education, Science & Quality.

Today marks a seminal event in the evolution of the PINNACLE Registry with the publication of an article in the Journal of the American Heart Association. “Cardiovascular Disease Performance Measures in the Outpatient Setting in India: Insights from the American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE India Quality Improvement Program (PIQIP)” is the first published report from PIQIP, an international project within the PINNACLE Registry program that has been ongoing for the past three years. Continue reading

World Health Assembly: A Time For Renewed Commitment to Reducing NCDs

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, former ACC President.

This week, I have the privilege to be part of the delegation representing the ACC in Geneva, Switzerland, at the 68th session of the World Health Assembly where officials from 194 Member States are reviewing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) activities over the past year and setting new priorities for the future.

The main functions of the World Health Assembly under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are to determine the policies of the WHO and focus on critical topics in global health. (In fact, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who now presides over the G-7, kicked off today’s plenary session speaking to the challenges of this very subject.) The assembly will focus on ongoing efforts to lower the number of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease. NCDs cause 63 percent of global death, with cardiovascular disease making up the highest proportion, yet receive disproportionately small funding from global aid networks – less than 1.3 percent by most recent estimates.  Worldwide, 80 percent of death from NCDs are in low and middle-income countries. Left unchecked, it is estimated that NCDs will be responsible for 73 percent of all deaths by 2020. Yet, so many of these deaths are preventable through education and a focus on closing gaps in care across populations.  (For more on this topic, see the ACC in Touch Blog from the landmark 2011 UN Summit on NCDs.) Continue reading

Tackling CVD Around the Globe Through Heart-Healthy Environments

This post was authored by William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC and co-chair of the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce.

Today we celebrate World Heart Day, a global initiative created by the World Heart Federation to better educate citizens about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

As next year will see the selection of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals – the successor to the organization’s Millennium Development Goals that will set the global health and development strategy for the next 15 years – it is vital that the College and the cardiovascular community do all they can to ensure that cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are included and prioritized on this agenda. Continue reading

Continued Efforts Towards a 25 by 25 NCD Goal

Over the last few months, the ACC has participated in United Nations’ (UN) hearings on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The first hearing – which John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC attended – addressed a ’Zero Draft’ Outcomes Document that the World Health Organization (WHO) released.  The report provided a benchmark of the progress to date since the UN Summit on NCDs in 2011. It noted that the progress of reaching a 25 percent global reduction of premature deaths from NCDs by the year 2025 (25 by 25), “has been insufficient and highly uneven, [and] continued efforts are essential for achieving a world free of the avoidable burden of NCDs.” Continue reading

Lessons From Geneva: Working Together to Achieve a Better Future

This post is authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC, and William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC.

“A world that is greatly out of balance in matters of health is neither stable nor secure.” – Margaret Chan, MD, director-general of the World Health Organization.

This week marked a seminal, if under-recognized moment in the global fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and mental illness. Health leaders from 194 nations gathered in Geneva for the 67th Annual World Health Assembly (WHA) – the largest and most important World Health Organization (WHO) meeting each year. As ACC past presidents, we represented the ACC at the event and engaged in numerous forums relating to cardiovascular disease. During the meeting, deliberations included NCDs, which were a focus of the landmark United Nations’ (UN) Summit on NCDs in 2011. This summit, only the second UN Summit ever to focus on health after the HIV/AIDS Summit of 2001, marked the global recognition of the fact that NCDs cause 63 percent of global death, with cardiovascular disease making up the highest proportion, yet receive disproportionately small funding from global aid networks – less than 1.3 percent by most recent estimates.  Worldwide, 80 percent of death from NCDs are in low and middle-income countries. Left unchecked, it is estimated that NCDs will be responsible for 73 percent of all deaths by 2020. Continue reading