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Home > Global Summit on Circulatory Health > Heart Talks: A Series of the 5th Global Summit on Circulatory Health
Since 2016, the World Heart Federation has been convening leaders and innovators in cardiovascular health at its annual Global Summit on Circulatory Health.
The Summit is an exclusive annual event where government, civil society, industry, and academia from around the world come together to discuss, debate and explore the future of cardiovascular health.
This year, due to exceptional circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to make the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the in-person 5th Global Summit scheduled to take place October in Washington, D.C.
However, not being able to meet in person does not mean we will stop advocating for the health workforce.
This year, the 5th Global Summit is spinning off into an innovative webinar series called Heart Talks: A Series of the 5th Global Summit on Circulatory Health:
Thomas A. Gaziano M.D., M.Sc. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Gaziano graduated from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar and is graduated from Harvard Medical School and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. He completed residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease respectively at BWH. He is the Director of both the Global Health Policy and Prevention Unit within the Cardiovascular Division at BWH where he integrates innovative prevention programs in clinical services. He is currently a principal or co-principal investigator on four NIH-funded grants in Argentina and South Africa, the main focus of which are the implementation of effective cardiovascular therapies or policies in low-income settings. The implementation work includes innovations in new technologies and task sharing. He holds a secondary appointment at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health where he works at the Center for Health Decision Science. The focus of his work at the Center is the application of his CVD PREDICT model to evaluate health outcomes, financial impacts, and the cost-effectiveness of CVD intervention strategies. Dr. Gaziano is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and is a Board Member of The World Heart Federation (WHF). He served as a co-editor of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Volume of the Disease Control Priorities Project in Developing Countries supported by the Gates Foundation. He serves as an editor or expert reviewer for several high-impact cardiovascular journals. He has authored over 200 peer reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters.
Sir George Alleyne is Director Emeritus of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). He was elected Director of PAHO in 1995, and served in that position until 2003. Dr. Alleyne was Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and visiting professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University between 2003 and 2017. From 2003 to 2010, he served as the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. Dr. Alleyne joined PAHO in 1981. Prior to this, he served as Chair of the Department of Medicine at UWI beginning in 1976, having first been appointed Professor of Medicine in 1972. Dr. Alleyne has an extensive scientific bibliography and has given numerous presentations and lectures about a variety of health issues. In 2001, Dr. Alleyne was awarded the Order of the Caribbean Community, the highest honor that can be conferred on a Caribbean national. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II made him Knight Bachelor in 1990 for his services to medicine. Dr. Alleyne is a medical graduate of UWI.
Dr Lilian Mbau is a medical doctor and a public health practitioner. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya Cardiac Society (KCS). She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Moi University and a Global Executive Master of Business Administration in Health from United States International University. She furthered her training on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by attending a specialized training at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene looking at Issues on Global NCD as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes from the University of South Wales. Dr. Mbau has also completed a Global Health Leadership Fellowship program with the Afya Bora Consortium and is an awardee of the Global Scholars Cancer Advocacy grant from the American Cancer Society. She has extensive experience managing large scale NCD projects in resource limited settings as well as advocacy for prioritization of NCDs. Her areas of interests are increasing access to quality and affordable health care for patients with NCDs with a special focus on Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) as well as preventative health.
Dr Pamela Cipriano is the Dean at the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing in Charlottesville, VA. Prior to this appointment, she served two terms as the president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nurses organization in the United States representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses from 2014 through 2018. Dr. Cipriano has extensive experience as an academic medical center executive and her career is marked by a focus on improving the quality and safety of services and the work environment for all staff. Cipriano’s advocacy for the nursing profession is well-recognized. She is known nationally and internationally as a strong advocate for quality, growing nursing’s influence on health care policy, and leading efforts to advance the role and visibility of nurses. She served as a public-sector adviser in the U.S. delegation to the 69th World Health Assembly in 2016, and currently serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Council of Nurses. In addition to her administrative and teaching experience, she has been instrumental in promoting the role technology can play in strengthening the safety and efficiency of care delivery. Her recent work with the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience has focused on reducing regulatory burden and revamping electronic documentation to relieve clinicians of unnecessary work. Among her many honors and awards for exceptional leadership and contributions to the profession, she was the Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Medicine in 2010-11 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, earning its Healthcare Leader Award in 2018. She was named among the “Top 100 Most Influential People in (U.S.) Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine for four consecutive years (2015 to 2018), and also in 2015 as one of its “Top 25 Women in Healthcare.”
David J. Skorton, MD, is president and CEO of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), a not-for-profit association representing all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools, nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC also represents more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.
Dr. Skorton began his leadership of the AAMC in July 2019 after a distinguished career in government, higher education, and medicine.
Before joining the AAMC, Dr. Skorton served as the 13th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, where he oversaw 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and education programs. Key accomplishments during his tenure include the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, the completion of a $1.88 billion campaign to support high-priority initiatives, and the development of a bold strategic plan, which included goals to reach one billion people annually by 2022 through a “digital first” strategy and to convene national conversations on issues critical to the United States. He also diversified the Smithsonian’s leadership, with women and people of color accounting for 69% of new hires at the director level or above during his tenure, including the first female director of the National Air and Space Museum and the first woman to be named director of the National Museum of American History. The Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative also was created during his tenure, as well as plans for the first Latino Gallery on the National Mall.
Dr. Skorton served as president of Cornell University from 2006 to 2015. Under his leadership, the university won an international competition to establish a technology campus (a joint academic venture between Cornell and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) in New York City, New York, and completed the largest capital campaign in Cornell’s history. He also made student, faculty, and staff mental health a priority during his tenure, and was recognized by the university naming the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives related to student well-being.
Dr. Skorton also served as president of the University of Iowa from 2003 to 2006. As a member of its faculty for 26 years, he specialized in the treatment of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease and pioneered cardiac imaging and computer image processing techniques. He also was co-director and co-founder of the university’s Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic.
Dr. Skorton received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University and his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also was chief medical resident.
Dr Anna Stavdal is a family medicine specialist who has been working for 30 years in Oslo inner city, as well as Associate professor at Oslo University since 1996, teaching undergraduate students and training family medicine residents. Dr. Stavdal is active in public debate, acolumnist for many years, an experienced speaker and passionate advocate for primary care and family medicine.
She has been holding leading positions in family medicine organisations for 25 years, at the Norwegian, Nordic, European and now global level. Voted WONCA World president- elect in 2018, Dr. Stavdal will take office as president in November 2020. WONCA is the World Organisation of Family Doctors, – worldwide representing more than ½ million family doctors engaged in research, education and professional development.
A main area of interest for Dr. Stavdal is how family doctors can be enabled to adapt to current trends, – like digitalization, increased fragmentation and specialization in medicine -, and still provide personal, continuous and comprehensive care at first point of contact.
Dr Jennifer Cohn, MD MPH, is the Senior Vice President for Cardiovascular Health at Resolve to Save Lives, an Initiative of Vital Strategies. She is a physician with a focus on improving access to and uptake of effective health products and models of care in low- and middle-income countries. Before joining Resolve to Save Lives, she served as Senior Director of Innovation at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and as the Medical Director of the Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign. She is a clinical assistant professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Jennifer has served on national and international advisory groups on TB, HIV and viral hepatitis. She is published in peer-reviewed journals including the Lancet, PLoS Medicine and Science.
Jennifer received her MD from University of Pennsylvania, is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and earned her Masters in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Omnia El Omrani is a 24-year-old medical student from Cairo, Egypt with an irrevocable passion for global health and advocacy. She is the Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues in the International Federation of Medical Students Association, representing the stance of 1.3 million medical students worldwide from 125 countries. She has been working on youth empowerment, NCDs and climate change advocacy for 5 years on a local, national and global level. SDG 3, 5 and 11 are the main focus areas that inform her advocacy work. She actively participated in five high-level meetings including Prince Mahidol Award Conference UHC Forum, the 3rd Ministerial Road Safety Conference and Conference of Parties 24 and 25, where she advocated for meaningful youth engagement at decision-making processes. She also facilitated a Climate and Health Workshop in the NCD Alliance Forum 2020 in Sharjah in collaboration with Global Climate and Health Alliance and Wellcome Trust. She believes in the significance of the involvement of youth as key stakeholders in the global health agenda.
Professor Clara Chow is Academic Director of the Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC), Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. She is a cardiologist and the Program Director of Community Based Cardiac Services at Westmead hospital, Sydney, Australia. She currently holds honorary appointments as the Charles Perkins Centre Westmead Academic Co-director and President-elect of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Professor Chow’s research focuses on the prevention of cardiovascular disease, innovation in the delivery of cardiovascular care and the evaluation of digital health interventions. She has expertise in the design, delivery and implementation of clinical trials. Her PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia was in cardiovascular epidemiology and international public Health and her Postdoc from McMaster University, Canada in clinical trials and cardiac imaging. She is supported by a NSW Health Clinician Scientist Fellowship.
Dr Ben Miled is a senior member of IEEE and an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. at Indiana Univ. Purdue Univ. Indianapolis. Her research interests include machine learning, data analytics, knowledge discovery, data models and large-scale service-oriented software architectures. She has co-authored several technical papers in journals and conference proceedings. She was also the recipient of the Indiana Women in High Tech Award and the National Science Foundation Career Award.
Lina Matta, MPH, BCPS is Director of Ambulatory Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy Practice Manager (Inpatient), and Director of the PGY2 Cardiology Pharmacy Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Department of Pharmacy Services, in Boston MA. During her tenure at BWH, Lina has lead the expansion of clinical pharmacy services across several multidisciplinary teams and she currently directs and collaborates on several hospital-wide clinical and process improvement projects. Her areas of clinical interest and research include cardiology, care redesign, and population health management. She has published several articles related to clinical topics in cardiology and the outcomes of process improvement initiatives. Lina graduated with BSPharm, and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Rutgers University and a Masters in Public Health degree from Harvard University.
Edna Adan Ismail is one of the most influential women in Africa today. A talismanic figure whose life and work have inspired people all around the world. Her long career in public life, which has seen her making lasting contributions in the fields of health, peace building and foreign affairs, has been marked by an exceptional devotion to advancing the cause of women.
From her time as a trainee nurse and midwife in London in the 1950s to her becoming the First Lady of Somalia, and presently running the pioneering Edna Adan Hospital, Edna has never ceased to be a tireless campaigner and champion of women’s rights and health. Born in Hargeisa in British Somaliland Protectorate, Edna trained as a nurse/midwife in London and returned home 1961. In 1963, she married Mohamed Ibrahim Egal who had been the President of an Independent Somaliland before moving to Libya in 1965 to share her skills as a midwife trainer for the World Health Organization (WHO). She returned to the Horn of Africa in 1967 when her husband became Prime Minister of the Somali Republic.
Despite the tragic setback of the civilian government being overthrown by a military coup led by General Mohamed Siyad Barre in October 1969, Edna Adan persevered with her work and in 1976, became the first woman director in the Somali Ministry of Health. In 1986, as Somalia descended into civil war, she re-joined WHO as Regional Nursing/midwifery Advisor, served as a Technical Officer for Reproductive Health from 1987-91, and then became WHO Representative in the Republic of Djibouti from 1991-97. As the first person to publicly speak out against FGM in a region where the practice remains widespread, Edna has been a fearless and tireless campaigner for more than 40 years, leading the campaign in the Horn of Africa and internationally, and training legions of midwives to follow in her footsteps.
Faced with a healthcare system that had been demolished by the long civil war, upon retirement in 1997, Edna founded the Edna Adan Hospital with the aim of improving women’s health in a region with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Established as a maternity teaching hospital with a goal of training 1,000 midwives, over the past 17 years it has grown into a major referral institution for obstetrical, surgical, medical and paediatric cases from a wide geographical area in the Horn of Africa. With the opening of the Edna Adan University in 2010, the level of training has been raised and the programmes multiplied. Today, over 1,400 students are enrolled on courses in nursing, midwifery, medicine, pharmacology, laboratory technology, anaesthesia, dental technology and public health. As community midwife training has taken root, the programme has expanded to regional hospitals in Berbera, Gabiley and Erigavo.
In parallel to the founding of the hospital, in 2002 Edna embarked upon a career in politics and served as minister of Social Affairs and Family Welfare in Somaliland and as a stellar Foreign Minister from 2003-06. Her time in government is remembered fondly and she became a much-loved figure in the land of her birth. As the only female minister in the government at the time she used her position to raise the concerns and amplify the voice of women.
Edna’s story chimes with the aspirations of women everywhere. It is no surprise that it has struck a chord with so many, her story being included in the PBS documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in 2012, and her work being regularly featured and celebrated by prominent journalists such as Nicholas Kristof. Among her numerous awards, Edna Adan received the French Légion d’honneur (2011), and was made Commandeur Dans l’Ordre National du 27 Juin, Djibouti (1997). Most recently she was named the inaugural recipient of the Renfield Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health by the University of Pennsylvania and was short-listed for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in the same year that she was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Price. She holds honorary doctorates from Clark University, as well as from Cardiff, London South Bank, Ahfad, and Pennsylvania universities, and has been awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal by the University of Pretoria. In July 2017, she was appointed Somaliland’s Special Envoy for the Peace Talks between Somaliland and Somalia, a monumental task which if successful, would bring peace back to the Somali-inhabited Horn of Africa. In 2019, Harper Collins published Edna’s memoirs “A Woman of First”
Since 2016, World Heart Federation has been convening leaders and innovators in cardiovascular health at its annual Global Summit on Circulatory Health. The Summit is an invitation-only, two-day event where government, civil society, industry, and academia share, learn and explore what’s next for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease at a global level. Previous editions have tackled burning issues such as access to essential medicines and digital health.
The aim of the Summit is to convene and mobilize advocates in circulatory health, coordinate stakeholders and policymakers around shared goals, campaign for circulatory health with a collective voice and a clear message, and catalyze action for circulatory health through civil society and policy engagement.
These objectives lead directly to the intended outcomes of the Summit, namely to foster greater connection between participants, issue a collective call to action in light of an urgent need, and discuss concrete next steps for programme implementation.