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World Heart Summit

Geneva, Switzerland | 24-26 May 2024

LEARN | ENGAGE | BE INSPIRED

The 9th edition of the World Heart Summit will be held in Geneva, Switzerland — the heart of global health diplomacy — on 24-26 May 2024, ahead of the 77th World Health Assembly.

Trailblazers across government, business, civil society and academia will come together to tackle some of today’s most pressing global challenges in cardiovascular health.

Together, we can pave the way to a brighter, healthier future for all.

If you’re not able to join us in person, you can now register for the World Heart Summit Virtual Experience – a free, online version of the event!

 

Programme

On the Thursday and Friday prior to the Summit, WHF will be hosting a series of events for our community, leadership and volunteers.

Date

Sessions

Wednesday, 22 May

Multimorbidity and Integrated Care Forum (Invitation only)

Thursday, 23 May

Multimorbidity and Integrated Care Forum (Invitation only)

WHF Committee Meetings (WHF Committees)

WHF Spring Meeting (WHF Board and Committees)

Friday, 24 May

Meet & Share Forum

Summit Welcome Reception

Time

Session

8:30-9:00

Welcome & Registration

9:00-9:15

Welcome and Introduction to the Summit

Opening plenary introduction

9:15-10:00

Opening plenary: Cardiovascular health and environmental change: A vital nexus

Health and climate change are inextricably linked: Rising temperatures and poor air quality can worsen cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, while extreme heat can also lead to heat-related illnesses. This opening plenary will focus on:

  • The findings from the latest World Heart Report, showing the links between CVD and air pollution.
  • The importance of prioritizing health in climate action at the global level as a strategic and moral imperative.

The perspective from LMICs, that are the most impacted by extreme weather events resulting in negative health outcomes, to amplify  messaging around the urgency of addressing the climate crisis.

10:00-11:00

Ministerial panel: Closing the gap in Universal Health Coverage and health financing for CVD

Achieving UHC is essential in addressing the global burden of cardiovascular disease. CVD is a major driver of out-of-pocket health expenditure, leading to poverty and undermining development. This Ministerial panel will showcase examples from countries in different regions that scaled up efforts to achieve UHC, highlighting country strategies to boost financing for NCDs and particularly CVD, discussing challenges experienced in the process, but also demonstrating that it is not an unattainable goal.

11:00-11:30

Break

11:30-12:30

Panel discussion: Diverse health system approaches: From theory to real-life implementation and scale-up

Cardiovascular disease, including ischemic heart disease, congenital heart disease and RHD, among other conditions, require a comprehensive health system approach to ensure sustainable lifelong care at all levels of the health system, which is integrated with other services or spaces in the community. This session will start discussing common obstacles undermining the management of common CVD, ranging from delayed diagnosis, to missed opportunities for screening, minimal access to therapeutics, interventions and surgeries, lack of long term follow up and care, as well as awareness raising and advocacy. The discussion will focus on:

  • Effective health system and health care approaches to address these obstacles and improve the management of CVD, particularly in LMICs;

Examples of how such approaches have been successfully implemented in different contexts and address implementation challenges that may arise when scaling up.

12:30-14:00

Lunch

Morning sessions recap and introduction to the afternoon sessions

14:00-15:00

Panel discussion: Addressing social determinants: Paving the way for improved cardiovascular health

Factors beyond genetics influence the heart health of individuals and communities. The so-called determinants of health include socio-economic condition, individual behaviours, environmental and commercial factors.

This session will discuss:

  • Strategies and initiatives aimed at reducing health disparities, including improving access and affordability of care and treatment for underserved population.
  • Efforts to increase access to healthy foods and initiatives promoting healthy habits and food security.
  • Urban planning and policies that promote active transportation options, walkable neighbourhoods and green spaces.

Approaches to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in CV health.

15:00-15:30

Break

15:30-16:30

Debate format session: AI in cardiovascular health: Opportunities and threats

This debate session will feature two opposing viewpoints on AI deployment in CV health:

• The first view will illustrate the different benefits of leveraging the AI potential in CV health in both HICs and LMICs, ranging from improved diagnostics, potential risk prediction and improved patient outcomes through precision medicine and personalized treatment plans.
• The opposing view will instead present the risks that such technologies pose to health care, including issues of ethics and privacy, potential erosion of the patient-provider relationship and the risk that excessive focus on AI might divert resources from other critical aspects of healthcare, as well as their limitations.

16:30-17:30

Panel discussion:Breaking through: Communications in an era of plenty

The growth of virtual platforms has been a blessing and a curse in many respects. While it is tempting to focus on the scourge of fake news, we must recognise that there are other challenges, some as basic as revisiting the importance of speaking about health and equity, of understanding who has the power to influence and change things for the better and meeting them where they are. This session gives WHF, partners, stakeholders, and others much food for thought and the impetus to build on strong foundations.

19:00

Summit Gala dinner

Time

Session

Welcome and introduction to the Summit second day

9:00-10:00

The dual burden of CVD and mental health

The connection between CVD and mental health is a critical area of concern and yet remains still inexplored. The aim of this session is to:
• Explore the scientific evidence and mechanisms linking depression and anxiety to elevated risks of CVD, including stroke and ischemic heart disease.
• Discuss the interplay between addiction to harmful substances, between tobacco and alcohol, and their impact on cardiovascular health.
• Discuss public health policies and strategies for healthcare providers to screen for CVD risk in people experiencing mental health disorders and effectively address the two silent killers.

10:00-11:00

Joint session with WHO on HEARTS Technical package: current and future considerations for implementation

The WHO HEARTS Technical Package serves as a comprehensive guide for improving cardiovascular care. In this session, we will dissect the current state of HEARTS implementation in different regions, highlighting challenges and obstacles, but also examples of success. We will also have a more forward-looking discussion, discussing the evolving landscape of HEARTS and its relevance in the context of technological innovations and how it can stay ahead in the ever-evolving field of cardiovascular health.

11:00-11:30

Break

11:30-12:30

Panel discussion: Her heart matters: Advancing women’s cardiovascular health

This session will discuss gender-specific risk factors for CVD, as well as challenges related to diagnostics and treatment approaches that are specific to women.
• It will highlight that underrepresentation of women in clinical studies is a root cause for the current evidence and practice gaps, undermining cardiovascular management for women and resulting in negative health outcomes.
• It will seek to explain the reasons behind underrepresentation of women in clinical trials and suggest key actions that need to be implemented to ensured better inclusion of women in research.
• It will touch on healthcare disparities, particularly with regards to access and quality, including issues of underdiagnosis and undertreatment that are negatively impacting CVD outcomes.

12:30-14:00

Lunch and Walk a Heart

Meet us at the main entrance of the Biotech Campus at 13:30 for a 20-minute, heart-shaped walk through some key Geneva landmarks. The walk is suitable for everyone.

Morning sessions recap and introduction to afternoon sessions

14:00-15:00

Panel discussion: The triple threat of CVD, climate change and ultra processed food

The consumption of ultra processed food (UPF) represents a major risk factor for two of the biggest challenges of our times: CVD and climate change. The production of UPF contributes considerably to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as water usage. At the same time, regular consumption of UPF has been linked to an increased risk of CVD, due to their unhealthy levels of harmful fats, sodium and added sugars, which may contribute to obesity, high blood pressure and other CVD risk factors.

• This session will highlight the interconnection between climate change, CVD and UPF consumption as a considerable contributing factor to both climate change and CVD.
• It will also showcase policies and strategies to decrease UPF consumption and demonstrate their benefits in both reducing CVD and mitigating the impact of climate change.

15:00-15:30

Break

15:30-16:30

Panel discussion: Charting the course to 2025: Navigating cardiovascular health priorities at the UNHLM on NCDs

The UN HLM on NCDs will be an opportunity for countries to reiterate and strengthen their commitment to addressing the epidemic of NCDs and approve a bolder Political Declaration, based on available evidence. The WHF will take this opportunity to present its advocacy campaign on prioritizing CVD in the 2025 UN HLM on NCDs and delve into the key challenges and priorities for CV health that lie ahead.
The discussion will also unpack strategies, share insights and propose collaborative actions to ensure CV health remains at the forefront of global NCD agendas.

JOIN US AT THE WORLD HEART SUMMIT

THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY WILL TAKE PLACE IN GENEVA ON
27 MAY-1 JUNE 2024, FOLLOWING THE WORLD HEART SUMMIT

Speakers

HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari
HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari

Minister of Public Health

State of Qatar

Bernard Okoe-Boye
Bernard Okoe-Boye

Minister of Health

Ghana

Dr Mark Miller
Dr Mark Miller

Reader, Centre for Cardiovascular Science

University of Edinburgh

Dr Miller is a Reader in the Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. His research investigates the health effects of air pollution, particularly the mechanisms by which particles in vehicle exhaust can affect the cardiovascular system. Dr Miller is a member of the Environmental Protection Scotland Air Quality Expert Advisory Group, and a Special Adviser to the UK Clean Air Champions Knowledge Exchange Group. He is also the Chair of the World Heart Federation Air Pollution and Climate Change Expert Group, and an Expert Member of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP) which advises the UK government. Mark’s research findings have received extensive coverage in the national and international media, and featured in documentaries on UK television. His work contributed to the Department of Cardiology’s Queens Anniversary Award 2014-16 for outstanding contribution to scientific research and was highlighted as a case study in the UK Government Clean Air Strategy 2019. He has made contributions to the 2021 World Health Organisation Global Air Quality Guidelines, and the Chief Medical Officer for England’s Annual Report 2022: Air Pollution.
Maria Neira
Maria Neira

Director Public Health Environment and Social Determinants

World Health Organization

Dr Maria P. Neira is the Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization. Prior to that she served as Under-Secretary of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency. Dr Neira began her career as a medical coordinator working for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). She then spent several years working in different African countries during armed conflicts. Dr Neira is a Medical Doctor by training, specialized in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases in Paris, France, Master of Public Health and a University Diploma in Human Nutrition, Epidemic Preparedness and Crisis Management. Among many distinctions, she has been awarded the Médaille de “L'Ordre National du Mérite” by the Government of France and received an “Extraordinary Woman” award by HM Queen Letizia of Spain. In early 2019, she was nominated among the top 100 policy influencers in health and climate change.
Prabhakaran Dorairaj
Prabhakaran Dorairaj

Executive Director

Centre for Chronic Disease Control

Professor D. Prabhakaran is a cardiologist and epidemiologist by training. He is an internationally renowned researcher and is currently the Vice President- Research & Policy, Public Health Foundation of India, Executive Director of Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi, India and Professor (Epidemiology) London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. He heads the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions at PHFI which is a joint initiative of four leading institutions (Public Health Foundation of India, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Emory University). This centre conducts cutting edge research in the prevention of chronic diseases in India and the developing world. Prof. Prabhakaran is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, UK, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, and an Adjunct Professor at the Emory University. He is member of Executive Council of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and Chair of the International Society of CVD Epidemiology and Prevention (ISCEP). He has authored several chapters and over 500 scholarly papers with an H index of 97. Listed as the topmost researcher in Medicine in India terms of publications for the years 2009-2014 by Scopus and Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. He is the lead editor of the Cardiovascular Disease Volume of the latest Disease Control Priorities Project. He is the lead editor of Tandon’s text book of Cardiology a two volume comprehensive book on Cardiology for Indian Cardiologists and Fellows.
Pedro Gullón Tosio
Pedro Gullón Tosio

Director General

Public Health and Equity in Health, Spain

Ratna Devi
Ratna Devi

CEO and Co-Founder

DakshamA Health and Education

A medical doctor, public health and management professional, Dr. Ratna Devi brings more than 30 years of experience . She spent her initial 10 years in the government and for the past 20 years, she has worked with national and international NGOs for public health initiatives. She is the CEO and Co-founder of DakshamA Health and Education, and leads a cross disease Patient Alliance in India called Indian Alliance of Patient Groups (IAPG), is the Chair ISPOR Patient Council, Immediate past Chair of Board, IAPO (International Alliance of Patient Organisations, Board member HIA (Healthy India Alliance – the National NCD Alliance in India) and APARDO (Asia Pacific Alliance of Rare Disease Organisations). She holds an MBBS degree from Sambalpur University and a dual MBA from SYMBIOSIS and Manipal Institute of Distance Education. Dr. Devi also holds advisory positions at several NGOs and has contributed to research as well as publications.
Latifat Okara
Latifat Okara

Principal, Health Policy and Insights

The Economist Impact

Latifat is the Principal and Americas Regional Lead for Health Policy and Insights at Economist Impact. She holds a bachelor's degree in microbiology and received her MPH from Harvard University. Latifat leads a multidisciplinary team to deliver high-quality, evidence-based research and health policy analysis initiatives that span the global health ecosystem's public and private sectors in projects that combine technical research, systems thinking, organisational strategy, and high-level stakeholder engagements on multi-level health initiatives designed to improve population-level impact. Before joining Economist Impact, she worked for the World Bank, leading primary healthcare improvement initiatives in Africa, South Asia, and the Pacific Island regions. Latifat has authored several thought-provoking discussion papers and policy briefs on critical topics such as non-communicable disease prevention and management, maternal nutrition, nutrition financing, primary healthcare systems measurement and enhancement. Latifat is a doctor of public health degree candidate in health policy and leadership at Loma Linda University.
Gabriella Stern
Gabriella Stern

Director of Communications

World Health Organization

Gabriella Stern is Director of Communications at the World Health Organization. Based at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Gabby is in charge of the organization’s global communications strategy, manages a team of communications professionals, and serves as spokesperson for the Director-General. Gabby joined WHO in March 2019 after more than three years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Based in Seattle, she was the Director of Media & External Relations. Before moving into communications in early 2016, Gabby was a journalist. She spent almost 25 years at The Wall Street Journal in various editing and reporting roles in the U.S., London (during which she and her family became naturalized UK citizens) and Asia. Prior to joining the Journal, she worked for the Omaha, (Neb.) World-Herald. Born in New Jersey, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yale University, Gabby is married, with two adult children (and a cat named Oscar.)
Stephan Achenbach
Stephan Achenbach

Past-President

European Society of Cardiology

Prof. Dr. med. Stephan Achenbach graduated from Medical School at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany in 1993 and subsequently completed his training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the associated university hospital. In 2002/2003, he was a research fellow at the Department of Radiology and Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital. Since 2012, he is the Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine at the University of Erlangen, Germany. His main clinical interests are interventional cardiology, general cardiology as well as cardiac imaging. His research is focused on cardiac interventions and cardiac imaging with a special focus on computed tomography of the heart and the use of imaging to support coronary and structural interventional procedures. Stephan Achenbach was the Founding President of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. He is the President of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for the mandate 2020 to 2022. Academic awards include the Jan Brod Award for Clinical Research of the Medical School of Hannover, Germany (1999), the Thomas C. Cesario Distinguished Visiting Professorship Award, University of California Irvine School of Medicine (2007), the Simon Dack Award, American College of Cardiology (2009), the Gold Medal of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (2015), the Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Award of the British Institute of Radiology (2016), the Pioneer Award in Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (2019) and the Fritz Acker Award, German Society of Cardiology (2020). In 2017, he was selected by AuntMinnie.com as the “Most Influential Radiology Researcher” and he has repeatedly received the 1st Prize Best Teaching Award, Clinical Medicine, Medical Faculty of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).
J. Nwando Olayiwola
J. Nwando Olayiwola

CEO

Inspire Health Solutions, LLC

Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola is the Founder and CEO of Inspire Health Solutions, LLC, a global healthcare consulting firm through which she has provided expertise and support in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Israel and across the United States. She is an internationally renowned and transformational Board-certified primary care physician and healthcare executive with a track record of leadership in community health, hospital, academic, private, managed care, consultant and corporate environments. She currently serves as the inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer and Senior Vice President of Humana, Inc., and prior to this, she served as the Chair & Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where she was also the Founding Director of the Center for Primary Care Innovation and Transformation.
Sri Vasireddy
Sri Vasireddy

CEO & Founder

REAN Foundation

Sri Vasireddy is the Founder and CEO of REAN Foundation. Under his leadership, the REAN HealthGuru platform has blossomed into a vital resource for healthcare professionals and patients alike. Organizations like the American Heart Association, WHO (PEN Plus), George Mason University, and PATH leverage this platform to enhance the delivery and accessibility of healthcare services. Sri is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Health Tech Initiative (HTI) within the Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN). In this role, Sri collaborates with renowned organizations such as Stanford Health, Johns Hopkins, and Cincinnati Children's to spearhead groundbreaking innovations in healthcare. Before founding REAN Foundation, Sri was the CTO at Hitachi Vantara, leading cloud and IoT solutions, after his first venture, REAN Cloud, was acquired by Hitachi. REAN Cloud, under his leadership, earned notable recognition in the cloud services sector, including a $950M DoD contract.
Dipti Itchhaporia
Dipti Itchhaporia

Past-President

American College of Cardiology

Dipti Itchhaporia is an interventional cardiologist and the Eric & Sheila Samson Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Health, director of disease management for Hoag Heart and Vascular Institute, Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine and the past President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). She was the 70th President of the ACC and the first South Asian American to hold this role. Dr. Itchhaporia’s professional interests include the utilization of technology and innovation to propel the prevention of cardiovascular disease. She has been a strong advocate for the digital transformation in healthcare and achieving the Quintuple Aim. Most recently, she joined the Board for the World Heart Federation, assumed the role of associate editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) Advances and joined the innovation oversight Workgroup of the ACC.
Catherine Karekezi
Catherine Karekezi

Executive Director

Kenya NCD Alliance

Dr Karekezi is a pharmacist by profession with PhD specialisation in Medicinal Chemistry, holds key positions in the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) arena as: Member of Board and Research Committee East African Non-communicable Diseases Alliance and a founder Director of Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre. She also serves as a Member of the NCD Child Task Force on Essential Medicines and previously as a Member of Steering Group Community of Practice (CoP) for the Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs hosted by the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on the prevention and control of NCDs (WHO GCM/NCDs). Dr Karekezi has previous experience in academia and research at: Rhodes University (South Arica), University of Nairobi, USIU Africa and Kenya Medical Research Institute. She contributes to NCD prevention, access to treatment and care, health systems strengthening, research, advocacy and policy development in the region.
Nadine Kasparian
Nadine Kasparian

Director

Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center

Dr. Nadine Kasparian is Professor of Pediatrics and Founding Director of the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the United States. She received her PhD in medical psychology from the University of Sydney in Australia and a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. In 2007, Nadine established one of the first psychology programs dedicated to pediatric and congenital heart disease. Her research focuses on understanding how early medical adversity may alter developmental processes, including emotion regulation and stress reactivity, in ways that increase vulnerability to mental health conditions later in life. Nadine serves as co-vice chair of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Collaborative, and research co-lead for the Fontan Outcomes Network. She is an author of American Heart Association Scientific Statements, has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles, and recently led the mental health and neurodevelopment charters of the Australian National Standards of Care in Childhood-Onset Heart Disease. She has served as an expert advisor to the Office of the Surgeon General of California and as a clinician has expertise in the provision of mental health care and psychological treatments for infants, children, and adults with heart disease.
Samuel Sears
Samuel Sears

Professor of Cardiac Psychology

East Carolina University

Samuel F. Sears, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Cardiovascular Sciences at East Carolina University. Dr. Sears is the Division Chief of Innovation and Research at the East Carolina Heart Institute. He also serves as Associate Director of the ECU Cardiology Fellowship. Dr. Sears has published over 200 articles in the medicine and psychology research literatures and has well over 12, 000 citations. In 2021, Expertscape.com named Dr. Sears one of the top 50 experts/ prolific authors in the world on implantable defibrillators over the last 10 years amongst the 27,847 authors on the topic. Dr. Sears was awarded the O. Max Gardner Award in 2013. This annual award is given to the faculty member who “has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race” in the North Carolina University System in the past year. The award is considered the highest honor bestowed to a faculty member in the UNC system. Dr. Sears is a Board-Certified clinical health psychologist and continues to practice cardiac psychology at the East Carolina Heart Institute. Dr. Sears received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (1995) in clinical health psychology from the University of Florida.
ShantaQuilette Carter-Williams
ShantaQuilette Carter-Williams

CVD Patient Advocate and Comedian

ShantaQuilette, an influential advocate for heart health, uniquely blends humor with advocacy, reaching over 1.1 million followers. Her journey as a heart and stroke survivor fuels her mission to promote cardiovascular wellness, making her message both personal and powerful. With 1 billion views, she proves that engaging content can drive health awareness, living by “Laugh Loud, Live Longer.” Her work transcends mere entertainment; it’s a life-changing call to action for heart health, urging her audience towards healthier choices. Leveraging her story, she advocates for systemic healthcare improvements, empowering others to prioritize their cardiovascular well-being. Her innovative approach combines comedy with critical health messages, challenging traditional health education and inspiring her followers to embrace a heart-conscious lifestyle. ShantaQuilette’s platform is a testament to how humor and advocacy can intersect, creating impactful, lasting change in the health community, and encouraging a proactive stance on wellness.
Taskeen Khan
Taskeen Khan

Medical Officer

World Health Organization

Vilma Irazola
Vilma Irazola

Director, Department of Chronic Diseases

Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS)

Fernando Tomas Zanetti
Fernando Tomas Zanetti

Professor of Medicine

Universidad de la Frontera

Marco Barber Salvat
Marco Barber Salvat

Artificial Intelligence Trainer - Digital Marketing and Communication Consultant

Marco combines expertise in user experience (UX) and artificial intelligence (AI) to develop digital strategies that focus on connecting user behavior with algorithm behavior. He demystifies AI, making new technologies accessible and optimizing their use. In recent years, he has been a trainer for various public organizations in the City of Geneva and the State of Geneva, in the areas of health, employment, education, culture, and social services, as well as a trainer for private companies. In 2018, Marco's career focus shifted to digital marketing consulting and training. He realized that AI algorithms exhibit autonomous behavior. This led him to reinvent the traditional marketing theory, which only placed the consumer or user at the center of the strategy, by also considering "his robot." He founded Digital Cuts Online Marketing based on this simple but striking idea. Since then, he has worked on integrating AI behavior with user behavior to improve human-machine interaction.
David Wood
David Wood

Emeritus Professor in Cardiology

Imperial College London

Professor Wood is a cardiologist committed to prevention of cardiovascular disease. He has contributed to international policy and guidelines on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention through the World Health Organization, World Heart Federation and the European Society of Cardiology. He was a founder and President of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, a Board member of the European Society of Cardiology and in 2014 he was elected as President Elect of the World Heart Federation. He is the principal investigator for the ASPIRE and EUROASPIRE studies across 26 European countries, evaluating standards of preventive cardiology practice in hospital and primary care. He led the EUROACTION and EUROACTION+ trials in preventive cardiology evaluating nurse-led models of preventive care in hospital and general practice across 8 European countries, and the principals of EUROACTION are now incorporated in the Imperial College NHS Cardiovascular Health programme for the NHS. He is Course Director for the Imperial College Masters degree programme in Preventive Cardiology providing education and training for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. He is Senior Editor of the European Society of Cardiology Textbook of Preventive Cardiology and also founded the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (now European Journal of Preventive Cardiology) and served as the first Joint Editor in Chief.
Celina Gorre
Celina Gorre

CEO

WomenHeart

Celina Gorre is the CEO of WomenHeart, the leading nonprofit focused on greater awareness and education on the number one killer of women, as well as the injustices that women face in their heart journeys. Prior to WomenHeart, Celina served as executive director of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases where she led the GACD Secretariat based in London, funding research in over 70 countries around the world. She also worked in the field with United Nations Populations Fund and UNICEF in Angola as a senior advisor to the Angolan government on HIV/AIDS and child survival and to multinational companies on their social and local community investments. Celina also has extensive experience developing health and social programs for multinational companies. She has worked for the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (now GBCHealth), guiding companies such as Nike, Volkswagen, Colgate, American Express, and Chevron, on their strategy implementation for employees, consumers, and communities. She holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, a Master's in Public Health in epidemiology, both from UCLA and a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Johanna Ralston
Johanna Ralston

CEO

World Obesity Federation

Trevor Shilton
Trevor Shilton

Chair of the Advocacy Committee

WHF

Katie Dain
Katie Dain

CEO

NCDA

Ashley Bloomfield
Ashley Bloomfield

Professor in the School of Public Health and Director of the Public Policy Impact Institute

University of Auckland

Fabio Gomes
Fabio Gomes

Advisor, Nutrition and Physical Activity

PAHO

Thomas Sanders
Thomas Sanders

Professor, Nutritional Sciences

King’s College London

Tom holds degrees from the University of London and was Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics at King’s College London from 1994 – 2014. He is currently emeritus Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics at King’s College London and member of the Science Committee of the British Nutrition Foundation and is Honorary Director of Nutrition for the charity HEART UK. His research career has focused on the effects of diet in relation to cardiovascular health. He been involved as principal investigator in many large randomized controlled trials on dietary modification on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. He also well known for his research on the adequacy of plant based diets.
Kristin Aakre
Kristin Aakre

Professor, Department of Clinical Science

University of Bergen

Kristin M. Aakre is Professor at the University of Bergen. She is a medical doctor and board certified in laboratory medicine. Since 2023 she has been Chair of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry Committee on Clinical Application of Cardiac Biomarkers. Professor Aakre is PI of several large clinical trials primarily focusing on diagnostic and prognostic properties of cardiac biomarkers, and has a particular interest in acute coronary syndrome. Focusing on cardiac biomarkers she is involved in implementation science, educational guidance, and clinical guideline development.
Alicia Chong Rodriguez
Alicia Chong Rodriguez

Founder & CEO

BloomerTech

Leslie Rae Ferat
Leslie Rae Ferat

Executive Director

Global Alliance for Tobacco Control

Leslie Rae Ferat is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control (formerly Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control), a global network of civil society organisations working towards a world-free from the health, social and economic consequences of tobacco and tobacco use. Prior to joining the GATC/FCA in 2018, Leslie worked for several international organisations including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data at the United Nations Foundation. She is currently President-Elect of the NCDA, a member of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs and the Advisory Board for the WCToH.
Neil Johnson
Neil Johnson

Executive Director

Global Heart Hub

Neil Johnson is Chief Executive of Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke Foundation and the Irish National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health. He is a founding member and Director of Strategy & Development of the Global Heart Hub, an international alliance of heart patient organisations. He has over 30 years leadership, management and development experience in the ‘not-for-profit’ sector, twenty nine of which are in the field of cardiovascular health – working across service development; prevention, rehabilitation; education and training; research; patient engagement and patient advocacy. He is an enthusiastic supporter of Public Patient Involvement (PPI) in healthcare and a strong advocate for the patient voice in cardiovascular disease. He regularly serves as a patient advocate on research advisory groups such as pharma and med-tech industry advisory boards. He is an experienced patient/stakeholder moderator and has a special interest in patient organisation capacity building and development. He is a founder of the Irish National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health and he led the development of Ireland’s first dedicated Heart & Stroke Centre, located in Galway. He is an Honorary Clinical Fellow of the School of Medicine at the National University of Ireland. He is a director of the Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science & Industry (IPPOSI); is the patient representative on the Irish Medtech Association (IBEC) Panel for the Code of Ethical Business Practice; and is a steering committee member of the European Heart Failure Policy Network.
Kristina Sparreljung
Kristina Sparreljung

Vice President

World Heart Federation

Kristina Sparreljung is currently Secretary General of The Swedish Heart Lung Foundation and has held this position since 2014, during which period the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation has increased its fundraising significantly with a revenue increase from 25 million to approximately 50 million EUR per year, a testament to the successful fundraising, marketing strategies, and her commitment to operational excellence. This has consequently doubled the grants for the cardiovascular and lung diseases research in Sweden during that 10 year period. Her tenure has been marked by fostering collaboration across government and non-government agencies, professional groups and civil society. Being passionate about the research for cures for cardiovascular and lung diseases, Kristina also holds both domestic and international board positions. She has been a board member of WHF since 2019, where she previously also held the position as treasurer, and is also a board member of the European Heart Network, the Swedish Pharmaceutical Society and King Oscar the II jubilee foundation in Sweden. Kristina has an Executive MBA from the Stockholm University School of Business as well as an IHM Master and several leadership program exams.
Mohammed Abdulaziz
Mohammed Abdulaziz

Head, Division of Disease Control and Prevention

AfricaCDC

Dr Abdulaziz Mohammed is the Head of Division, Disease control and Prevention, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a medical doctor and has a Master in Public Health. He is a fellow of the West African College of Physician and rose to the rank of Chief Consultant Physician before Joining Africa CDC. He is one of the foundation senior epidemiologist who started the operationalization of Africa CDC in 2016 and had previously served as the Principal Medical Epidemiologist where he was the program coordinator for Africa CDC first regional initiate to strengthen public Health in Africa. He has led the development and validation of the Africa CDC strategy on NCD, Injuries and Mental Health and that of the Reproductive health which are currently been implemented to support African Union member states. 
Joumana Atallah
Joumana Atallah

Founder

Brave Heart, Lebanon

Joumana Ghandour Atallah – Joumana Ghandour Atallah is the co-founder of the Brave Heart Fund (Lebanon) and is currently serving as its Board President. She is a practicing architect and urban designer in Beirut. She received her BFA and BArch from the Rhode Island School of Design and both Masters in Architecture and Masters in Urban Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she won the Thesis Prize in 1990. Ghandour Atallah has since practiced architecture and urban design in New York and Beirut. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Baalbeck International Festival.
Moez Sanaa
Moez Sanaa

Unit Head, Scientific Advice on Food and Nutrition

WHO

Daniel Piñeiro
Daniel Piñeiro

President

World Heart Federation

Mpiko Ntsekhe
Mpiko Ntsekhe

Professor and Chair of Cardiology

University of Cape Town

Mpiko Ntsekhe is the current Hellen and Morris Mauerberger Professor and Chair of Cardiology at the University of Cape Town, and Head of the Cardiac Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital. He holds degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and UCT. He is a past SA Heart Vice-President, the current Vice-President South of the Pan African Society of Cardiology, and occupies  leadership roles and/or scientic committee roles at EuroPCR, AfricaPCR, Cardiology Nephrology and Diabetes at the Limits and a member of the ESC Working Group on Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases.
Jean-Luc Eiselé
Jean-Luc Eiselé

CEO

World Heart Federation

Charles Kamotho
Charles Kamotho

Founder and CEO

Daktari Africa

Dr. Charles Kamotho is the Founder and CEO of Daktari Africa, the premier digital health platform in Africa. As a practicing Physician/Cardiologist in Kenya, Dr. Kamotho comes face-to-face with the inabilities of healthcare models to effectively cater to patients with non-communicable diseases, and also with the shortfalls in numbers and training of doctors and other healthcare workers. This led to the creation of Daktari Africa, the first patient-centred telemedicine platform in Kenya, back in 2008. Since then, Dr Kamotho has gone from designing the various iterations of the DaktariAfrica.com platform, to developing and scaling up sustainable business models. Daktari Africa has won accolades, both locally and internationally. Dr Kamotho has presented Daktari Africa impact results at various fora, including the European Society of Cardiology Congress, and published in peer-reviewed journals. His work has been cited in The Lancet. Dr Kamotho is married with three children and enjoys live jazz.
Alexander John Büsser
Alexander John Büsser

Head of Product

Exploris Health

Ricardo Baptista Leite
Ricardo Baptista Leite

CEO

I-DAIR

Ricardo Baptista Leite, MD, serves as the CEO of HealthAI – The Global Agency for Responsible AI in Health, a Geneva-based organization striving to enable and improve access to inclusive, impactful and responsible regulation in the areas of Digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with focus on healthcare. Additionally, Dr. Baptista Leite is the Founder and President of the UNITE Parliamentarians Network for Global Health, a global platform of current and former parliamentarians spanning over 90 countries, recognized as an official partner of the World Health Organization. He also holds the position of Global Ambassador for the ‘G20 Health & Development Partnership’, advising and advocating for health policies aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Baptista Leite chairs the Center for Global Health at NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS) and is the founder of CREATING HEALTH – Research and Innovation funding, a sustainable nonprofit within the Católica University of Portugal, aimed at facilitating funding for health innovation and research projects. He is a Medical Doctor trained in infectious diseases, a former Member of the Portuguese Parliament (2011 – May 2023) and an author, having penned several books including "A Road to the Cure – Proposals to fix the Portuguese Health System" (PT, 2020), "Citizenship for Health" (PT, 2015), and "Strategic Consensus on Integrated Management of Hepatitis C in Portugal" (PT, 2014), among others.
Mariell Jessup
Mariell Jessup

Chief Science and Medical Officer

American Heart Association

Dr. Jessup is the Chief Science and Medical Officer of the American Heart Association (AHA). She is responsible for leading the Association’s science enterprise including our science and medical strategy and key strategic science relationships. An internationally renowned thought leader in heart failure research, prevention and treatment, Dr. Jessup’s efforts resulted in heart failure and transplant cardiology becoming a certified secondary subspecialty in 2004. Her tireless and compassionate work as a physician scientist and mentor have touched the lives of many patients and their families, and young professionals, over her distinguished clinical career. During her over 24 years of volunteer service to the Association Dr. Jessup has served in many notable roles, including as Chair of the ACC/AHA Heart Failure guidelines in 2009, and the Association’s Committee on Scientific Sessions Program In 2009 and 2010. She was the 2013-14 President of the Association and received its highest honor, the Gold Heart Award, in June 2018.
Lujain Alqodmani
Lujain Alqodmani

Chief Action Officer

EAT

Dr. Lujain Alqodmani is the Director of Global Action and Project Portfolio at EAT and a member of EAT’s senior leadership. Lujain has a background in global health and medicine. Prior to joining EAT, she worked in various positions including serving as an emergency physician in Kuwait. In addition to her work at EAT, She is the President of the World Medical Association (WMA) for the term 2023-2024. She served as the co-chair of the WMA Environment Caucus and was the International Relations Director of Kuwait Medical Association. Prior to this, she served as Membership Director at Women in Global Health, a Regional Coordinator of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) and IFMSA’s Vice President for Internal Affairs. Lujain is a Syrian national.
Caroline Gitonga
Caroline Gitonga

Knowledge Management Lead

Philips Foundation Kenya

Amam Mbakwem
Amam Mbakwem

Vice-President Elect

World Heart Federation

Gabriela Melo Ghisi
Gabriela Melo Ghisi

Adjunct Professor

University of Toronto

Dr. Gabriela Ghisi is a scientist with the KITE Research Institute, University Health Network with a focus on patient education in chronic disease management. In collaboration with cardiac rehab programs around the world, she has led the successful development, implementation, and evaluation of an evidence-based patient education curriculum in 15 countries. Gabriela is also a member of the executive committee of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR).

GENEVA — THE ❤️ OF GLOBAL HEALTH DIPLOMACY

Situated between Lake Geneva and the Swiss-French mountains, the city of Geneva is home to the world’s highest concentration of international organizations and diplomatic missions. It hosts the headquarters of many United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organization, and other international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Economic Forum.

THE WORLD HEART SUMMIT IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE FOLLOWING PARTNERS

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Highlights from past years