Helping Congress Transform Cardiovascular Care

This post was authored by Michelle Hadley, DO, a fellow in training at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, MA.

I have always wanted to be impactful. In October, I attended ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. We met with our representatives on the House side, as well as with our senators. Unfortunately at that time, my district congressman was not in DC. Therefore, I took it upon myself to schedule a meeting in Worcester, MA, to meet with him.

Rep. Jim McGovern’s (D-MA) office was a big, open floor plan. All the side doors were open and every turn seemed to be greeted with a smiling face. Before I had time to completely take off my coat, the congressman walked out to introduce himself and extended his hand with a pleasant smile.  Continue reading

The Path Forward to Health Equity

Williams HeadshotThis post was authored by Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC.

Throughout my ACC presidency, I focused on bringing attention to health disparities and finding solutions to ensure all patients receive the cardiovascular care they deserve. While my presidential term has come to a close, I am determined to continue advocating for the underserved.

As part of National Minority Health Month, I joined colleagues and lawmakers in Washington, DC, last week at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for the Democratic Forum on Achieving Health Equity: The Path Forward. I was honored to be invited by the House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (collectively known as the Congressional Tri-Caucus) to speak on a panel titled, “Examining Disparities Across the Continuum of Care through the Lens of Heart Disease.” Continue reading

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

American Heart Month: Making Informed Care Decisions

Williams HeadshotThis post was authored by Kim Allan Williams Sr. MD, FACC, president of the ACC.

At the beginning of each new year, we make resolutions to create healthier habits, typically we try new activities and engage more with friends and family. February is American Heart Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness of cardiovascular disease and the benefits of heart health – and is a great time to renew or continue these resolutions – especially those related to health – so they become lifelong habits.

This year the ACC is taking part in several activities to raise awareness for Heart Month, with a particular focus on patient engagement and making informed care decisions. The month will also focus on initiatives within the College and ACC’s CardioSmart, including calling attention to special awareness weeks for congenital heart disease (Feb. 7 – 13), cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) (Feb. 14 – 21) and heart failure (Feb. 14 – 21). Continue reading

Fitness For the FIT: Practicing What You Preach

Nicholas Ierovante_Cardiology_PGY-4This post was authored by Nick Ierovante, DO, a fellow in training (FIT) at the Wright Center For Graduate Medical Education.

As I sat in the office discussing Mr. R’s recent hospitalization, I felt fine discussing his cath findings, percutaneous coronary intervention and new medications. Though soon after, I noticed a familiar apprehensiveness coming from myself. As I was discussing his statin regimen, the little voice in my head started quietly whispering. As I started to discuss his cardiac rehab and diet modifications, it grew louder. By the time I was discussing daily activity recommendations, my inner monologue was screaming “HYPOCRITE!!!”   Continue reading

Diabetes Education: Helping Our Patients Understand and Manage Their Condition

Martha_Gulati_image_comm_2015_08_04This post was authored by Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, editor-in-chief of ACC’s CardioSmart.

The global diabetes epidemic continues to grow at an alarming pace. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, with deaths from diabetes expected to increase by more than 50 percent in the next decade. In the U.S. alone, a recent study estimates nearly half of adults have diabetes or prediabetes.

Diabetes also comes at a high price. The total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is $245 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is more than two times higher than those without the disease. Further, indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss and premature mortality). 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.


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 Role of the Cardiovascular Genetics Counselor

Marion Rae headshotThis article was authored by Marion E. McRae, MScN, ACNP-BC, CCRN-CSC-CMC, a nurse practitioner in the Congenital Heart Program at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

Genetics counselors have specialized training in medical genetics and counseling at either the masters or doctoral level and are certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Many states offer genetic counseling licensure. Genetic counselors working in cardiovascular genetics have additional clinical training and/or continuing education with regard to cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that there are currently about 50 – 60 cardiovascular genetics counselors in the U.S. Continue reading

ACC Celebrates World Heart Day With Healthy Heart Choices

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC, and Gerard Martin, MD, FACC, chair of the Population Health Policy and Health Promotion Committee.

On Sept. 29, we celebrate World Heart Day, a global initiative created by the World Heart Federation to better educate citizens about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. This year focuses on healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere.

As such, it is fitting that a bold new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was recently adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN) at the start of the three-day Summit in New York City on Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals were approved unanimously on Sept. 25, and made the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cardiovascular disease – a top sustainable development priority. This includes the target of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one third by the year 2030. Continue reading

Cholesterol Education Month: Patient and Clinician Resources

Martha_Gulati_image_comm_2015_08_04This post was authored by Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, editor-in-chief of ACC’s CardioSmart.

Despite advances in medical technology and cardiovascular disease (CVD) treatment, one of the biggest risk factors for CVD, high cholesterol, is running rampant in our communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 percent of American adults have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Of the 73.5 million people with high LDL cholesterol, less than 1 in 3 has it under control and less than half are getting treatment to get their numbers under control. The most shocking statistic for us as cardiovascular professionals is that the risk of heart disease doubles for people with high total cholesterol.

Because a variety of factors lead to high cholesterol, including a diet high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, being overweight, inactivity, age and family history , it’s a complex condition, but one that is highly preventable and treatable. Continue reading