Hypertension 2018 | Presidential Address

Hypertension 2018 | Presidential Address


(calm instrumental music) (shutters closing) – Hello and welcome. I’m Ivor Benjamin, and as the 2018-2019 American
Heart Association president, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Joint Hypertension
2018 Scientific Sessions. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your extremely busy lives and joining my colleagues here in Chicago. Our program features outstanding
presentation from experts in the fields of hypertension
and kidney disease. I invite you to take
in as much as possible over the next few days. I joined the American Heart
Association as a volunteer over 30 years ago right here in Chicago. When I reflect on what
has kept me involved and engaged with the AHA, it’s the science and what we do to improve lives every day. Nothing makes me more
proud than interacting with my outstanding colleagues,
and I’d like to give special recognitions to
several of them right now. The Council on Hypertension’s
outstanding leaders, the Council Chair Joey Granger, the Council’s Chair-Elect Karen Griffin, Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs Jan Basile, and Chair of Council on Kidney
and Cardiovascular Disease Vivek Bhalla, and Vice Chair Alexander Staruschenko. I would invite you to take the time this week to thank them personally. I also want acknowledge the
program committee members who have worked so hard to make this week’s remarkable
conference possible. The committee is led
by Chair Karen Griffin and the Executive Committee,
which includes Joey Granger, Jan Basile, Michael Bloch, and John Bisognano. It’s been another great year for the Councils on
Hypertension and Kidney and Cardiovascular Disease. Hypertension currently has
more than 2,050 members and 32% of them are international members. The Kidney Council has over 540 members with 21% of them being international. Hypertension has elected nine
members to become fellows of the American Heart Association
and Kidney has elected ten this past year. Our members have a prominent role in advancing the AHA mission. Over the past two decades
six council on hypertension members have been named as
AHA distinguished scientists And 14 have received the Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award. I’d like to congratulate
member David Harrison who was awarded the 2018
basic research prize. Dr. Harrison will be recognized at the Presidential Session of
our 2018 Scientific Session. At this meeting we’re
pleased to host members and not yet members alike. We have set another record this year, with more that 34,000 members representing 68 specialties and 121 countries. I would like to extent to
you, your personal invitation to join the AHA especially
for those of you who are not yet members. It’s a place where you
can make a difference in the care of our
patients, their families, and for science. Our professional members
give generously of their time and expertise to lead
decision-making in heath policy, treatment protocols ,
prevention recommendations and much more. With their leadership we publish over 30 scientific statements each year. They all make important contributions to the American Heart Association journals like hypertension. Hypertension, kidney and our other AHA
councils are working hard to drive us ever closer to our 2020 impact goal of reducing cardiovascular diseases and stroke deaths among
all Americans by 20%, while also improving the
cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20%. In 2015, we saw a slight decrease in CVD deaths, but recent 2016 mortality
data released suggests that rates are back only to climb. To date we’re at a 15%
reduction in mortality from all cardiovascular diseases. Looking at stroke as a specific
cardiovascular disease, we’re happy to see that
the recent rising trends in stroke mortality seem to also return to a decline. To date we’re at a 14.3% reduction
in mortality from stroke. Our estimated change in
cardiovascular health, when you add it all up, is only 3.9% compared to a 12% improvement
needed to be on track to our 2020 goal. So our work is still cut out for us. I am very proud that AHA remains the largest private funder
of cardiovascular disease and stroke research outside
of the federal government. With 168 million in new research
funded just this past year. I’m especially proud
that 65% of those funds we’re awarded to early
career and researchers, bringing our total investment to more than 4.1 billion dollars in research funding since 1949. For hypertension specifically the AHA committed 15 million dollars to strategically focused research network. I know that there are many
people and investigators in this audience who are members of the
hypertension network. The four centers involved are: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin, and the University of Iowa. The network is now in its fourth year. I would like to highlight a
few of the accomplishments of the Hypertension SFRN to date. Dr. Mark Santillan from
the University of Iowa and Dr. Janet Catov from the Magee’s Women’s Hospital were awarded a collaborative grant during this years renewal
collaboration offer. This is a new project based
on their collaboration born out of the networks. They have a two year 463,000 grant entitled “Mechanisms of Early and
Late Postpartum Hypertension in Human Preeclampsia.” A report on the network has been published in AHA’s hypertension journal and three fellows have already
been promoted to assistant or associate professor positions, highlighting the very strong
commitment to supporting early career investigators
that is shared by all networks. The AHA is committed to using
evidence based approaches in enhancing diversities of those conducting
ground-breaking research. The AHA research committee
and board have approved an initiative with a
focus on undergraduates’ increased involvement of
underrepresented minorities in science. We will implement phase on
of this program this year. We hope as this program grows it will be part of the solution in helping more underrepresented
minority students decide to pursue graduate and
professional degrees in the biomedical sciences. Over the past two years
more than 25 million dollars have been dedicated to support underrepresented minority scientists across the career spectrum through the AHA’s foundational
research programs, including 15 million
dollars for an SFRN focus solely on disparities in
cardiovascular disease and stroke. These are just some examples
of how AHA is committed to doing all it can to
support diverse investigators and to solving the health challenges
facing diverse populations. Lastly, I hope to see you
all at future AHA meetings. Don’t miss the many hypertension
sessions of the coming AHA Scientific Sessions this
November 10th-12th in Chicago. There will be session on
redefining the guidelines with presentations from around the world related to all hypertension guidelines. Thank you and have a great
and wonderful meeting. (calm instrumental music)

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