ACC launches educational forums to address growing burden of valvular heart disease in China

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), working with prominent hospitals in central and eastern China, is launching a series of educational forums for physicians on valvular heart disease prevention, diagnosis and management. The educational forums will address the growing burden of valvular heart disease in China, particularly for underserved patients that face barriers to health care services.

The trainings provide a comprehensive overview regarding the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of the common manifestations of valvular heart disease and focus on the latest updates to international guidelines-based patient care. The forums will also seek to improve coordination between different health care specialists who may treat patients with indications of valvular heart disease, including internists, general cardiologists, and cardiac surgeons. Valvular heart disease specialists from the ACC will join local Chinese speakers for lecture-style presentations and interactive discussions based on case studies.

The program, supported by Edwards Lifesciences Foundation's Every Heartbeat Matters initiative, aims to reach hundreds of health care professionals in Kunming, Yunnan Province; Wuhan, Hubei Province; and Fuzhou, Fujian Province and support their efforts to offer high-quality, readily accessible care for patients from underserved communities that may be at risk for developing valvular heart disease. In addition to the educational forums for clinicians, ACC presenters will be distributing patient education materials for each hospital to use with patients to ensure they have the latest information regarding risk factors and lifestyle modification strategies for valvular heart disease.

"We are committed to working with our colleagues in China to implement this program in a way that achieves maximum impact for underserved patients in these areas and furthers the ACC's mission to prevent cardiovascular disease and improve patient care on a global scale," said Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, president of the American College of Cardiology. "By directly working with clinicians where they live and practice, we are aiming to change the culture around treating and preventing heart disease in China."

"We have identified China as one of our focus regions for Every Heartbeat Matters because of the many underserved people suffering from heart valve disease in this country," said Amanda C. Fowler, Executive Director, Global Corporate Giving for Edwards Lifesciences and Edwards Lifesciences Foundation. "By partnering with the ACC to provide expert clinical education, we believe we can exponentially increase our impact on patients and build-up sustainable high-quality care for the people of this region."

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