Skip to content

A new cohort of Emerging Leaders 2018: Breaking barriers in care for Stroke patients

10 Jul 2018

At the Duke Kunshan University, just outside Shanghai China, a team of emerging leaders working in the field of Stroke came together to challenge current practice in the patient care pathway from 23-29 June 2018. 24 emerging leaders from 17 countries around the world (blue dots in map) participated in this year’s programme, representing a broad group of health care professionals, from clinical researchers, nutritionists, speech and language therapists, cardiologists, neurologists, epidemiologists, physiotherapists, technologists and health systems researchers and now join 101 WHF Emerging Leaders alumni.


The faculty and the programme

A small team of expert faculty representing both WHF and the World Stroke Organisation (WSO), and headed by Dr Mark Huffman, Associate Professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, presented concepts in the areas of health policy, health systems and implementation science. Participants had the unique possibility to informally and formally discuss with faculty based on these key concepts. The expertise of the faculty was shared with participants throughout this intensive week in a mentoring-style relationship that built professional friendships and presented faculty with the opportunity to support and nurture an expert group of professionals in the area of stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

The programme is designed to inform participants on strategies for drafting and writing a strong, high-quality and unique research proposal, while also presenting an opportunity to discuss what to do when a research question does not go to plan.


The Emerging Leaders Challenge

Throughout the week participants had one core focus for delivery: to present a research question and prepare a proposal to request funding from the World Heart Federation. Organised in three groups, representing prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, the teams worked consistently throughout the week, taking on board key concepts presented by the faculty and using time outside of the programme to informally discuss research questions.

The research proposals

Three teams successfully presented research proposals with the intention of now further refining and submitting their funding requests. The WHF Emerging Leaders programme is truly unique in its possibility to offer a team of emerging leaders the opportunity to investigate a research question and look towards how this can be translated into practice as an adaptable, acceptable and feasible tool to improve patient care.

  • The prevention team have formulated the GOALPoST study to improve Global access to Oral AnticoaguLants to Prevent Stroke in aTrial fibrillation.
  • The treatment team presented the EASY study to further investigate Essential Acute Stroke care in low resource setting: a pilot studY.
  • The rehabilitation team will investigate the health workforce for rehabilitation and inform strategies for workforce capacity building in these countries.


Cultural Event

In the midst of a heavy week for participants the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou was the perfect setting to unwind.  This offered an opportunity to take part in team building and to absorb the sights and beautiful surroundings of cultural China.


Looking to the future, we will bring together Emerging Leaders across all ages and nationalities to discuss and debate how their research in different topics can have in impact on improved patient care and heart health. The World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health in Dubai 4-9 December will deliver activities and events to welcome WHF Emerging Leaders and showcase their research. Plans for a 2019 Emerging Leaders Programme on Heart Failure is also under way, where the WHF will welcome a new cohort of bright emerging leaders in Autumn 2019.


For more information on the WHF Emerging Leaders programme please visit