An innovative approach to promote a healthier lifestyle
The Colombian Heart Foundation (Fundación Colombiana del Corazón) was created in 2000 with the objective of generating strategies to promote the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) derived from unhealthy lifestyles. Endorsed by the Colombian Society of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, the foundation has managed to consolidate itself as the national reference for the promotion of healthy habits through the strategy of ‘Corazones Responsables’ (Responsible Hearts Programme).
During the first decade, the foundation held promotion and prevention events that targeted the Colombian community, which were especially highly attended from 2008 to 2010. In 2005, FCC celebrated World Heart Day for the first time in collaboration with public and private entities across the country, and it’s now one of the emblematic events of their organization. In 2010, the foundation created the strategy of ‘Corazones Responsables’.
After 10 years of rigorous academic consolidation and conversations with different formative and academic agents, FCC developed a pedagogical package based on an approach called ‘Method 10 of care as a lifestyle’, which contains ten main strategies: the culture of movement, the culture of learning to eat healthily, the culture of smoke-free spaces, the culture of acting with a woman’s heart, the culture of positive thinking, the culture of full awareness, the culture of vitamin N (Nature), the culture of holiday care, the culture of knowing your numbers and the culture of healthy organizations.
The ‘Corazones Responsables’ programme has now an interdisciplinary team of professionals, called the Responsible Hearts Care Culture Advisory Board, who review and update the content shared in all the physical and online media platforms of the Foundation. Their pedagogical approach contains several didactic elements (graphics, videos, educational talks and management indicators) based on this ‘Culture of care’ method, as FCC is certain this new approach will allow everyone to preserve our health by improving their quality of life.
The Healthy Organizations Certification Programme is the most successful initiative in the ‘Corazones Responsables’ strategy, which aims to support healthy habits at work. This initiative has already been implemented by 18 of the largest companies in the country that met the standard designed by the Foundation, including Noel, Nacional de Chocolates, Colcafé, Servicios Nutresa, Cerrejón, Codensa, Abbott-Lafrancol, Novartis, Promioriente, Clariant, OI Peldar, Prodeco and the Pontifical Bolivarian University, among others.
The Foundation has a Training Center that provides training courses for consultants and auditors of healthy organizations and ‘Corazones Responsables’ facilitators, including the Save a Life Courses with training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation supported by the American Heart Association (AHA).
The Foundation is an active member of the World Heart Federation (WHF) and its programmes are supported by the American Heart Association. FCC has also promoted strategic alliances with related entities and more than 20 universities in the country, with whom FCC has managed to promote 25 Culture of Care Seminars in the last four years. These seminars have been attended by nearly 5,000 people, including health professionals, occupational safety and health professionals and students from health science programmes. Around 200 speakers have contributed to them, who today are allies of care as a lifestyle as ambassadors of ‘Corazones Responsables’.
Healthy Canteen Distinction
An innovative management system created by the Foundation that allows companies, schools and universities to encourage healthier food/drink choices and achieve the Healthy Canteen Distinction. More than 24 entities have entered this programme.
Recommended dishes for ‘Corazones Responsables’
This initiative aims to create a georeferencing app so that users can search for restaurants in any city in Colombia that have ‘recommended dishes for Responsible Hearts’ on their menu. The restaurants receive a certificate once their nutritional analysis ensures that the ingredients, as well as the preparation and serving of these dishes, meet FCC’s heart-healthy criteria.
The Vitamin N strategy aims to rescue the therapeutic value of nature. FCC has designed medical formulas for the prescription of Vitamin N and, so far, 500 health professionals have been certified as ‘Vitamin N Prescribers’. These professionals are in daily contact with nature to promote the therapeutic effects of traditional medicines.
Care in social networks
The Foundation has a dynamic website that reflects the pedagogy of Method 10 and maintains a daily presence on social media, where they are continuously evaluating their efforts to ensure greater covering (#corazonesresponsables, #culturadelcuidado, #elcuidadocomoestilodevida).
The Foundation’s work has been articulated in highly successful publishing proposals, such as ‘Healthy habits for responsible hearts’ and the ‘Practical guide for learning to eat’ books, both widely accepted. These have been complemented by the digital book called ‘Toolbox of the culture of care’ and the book ‘Physical activity for the first child’, created in partnership with Coldeportes.
Responsible Hearts Awards
Since 2012, the Colombian Heart Foundation has been awarding the National Responsible Hearts Award, which was created to give national recognition to lifestyle promotion experiences carried out by entities, institutions, and companies in the public and private sectors.
The challenge of the Colombian Society of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery and the Colombian Heart Foundation after reaching its 20 years of life in 2020, is to make the proposal of ‘Corazones Reponsables’ become a social mobilization that encourages everyone to pursue a healthy lifestyle. FCC believes it is a simple proposal, but innovative and advanced compared to the traditional way in which the prevention of the disease has been addressed.