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Patients’ voices, not only their hearts, must be heard

15 Sep 2022

For the past three decades, Neil Johnson has been working with patients who live with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Empowering this global community to participate in their care drives him to help patients’ advocate for their health, and to connect patient organisations and caregivers. It is a crucial filler of the current “implementation gap” so that someday we can vanquish — or at least mitigate — the world’s leading cause of mortality.

With thanks to Servier, a global sponsor of World Heart Day, for their nomination of Neil Johnson as one of our heart heroes.

When it comes to awareness, diagnosis and treatment, Neil Johnson has seen some progressive change, albeit slow, over the years. It is one reason for his strong focus today on prevention and research. “We’re all going to become a patient at some point in our lives, and I fundamentally believe that the patients’ voice could serve as the disruptor that improves CVD health, he says.”

Neil ‘wears many hats’: He is Chief Executive of the West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation, known as Croí (Gaelic for ‘heart’) and a founder of Ireland’s first Heart and Stroke Centre dedicated to Cardiovascular Health & Wellbeing. The Centre has been recognised as a “European Centre of Excellence in CVD Prevention.” He is also the founder of the Global Heart Hub, the first not-for-profit international alliance of heart patient organisations.

“Whether prescribed as preventive care or following diagnosis, sticking to a treatment plan is crucial for cardiovascular health,” says Neil. “Adherence to medication is sometimes a challenge and yet it plays such a determining role in patients’ well-being and their prospects for healthier heart living.”

Read his full story here.


About WHF Heart Heroes

Cardiologists, healthcare professionals, policymakers, patients and their family members and friends are the heroes among us — battling, treating and beating heart disease. Read the unique stories of people and teams committed to improving cardiac health and reducing cardiovascular disease all over the world. Meet our other Heart Heroes.