The European Heart Network (EHN) Annual Report 2022 encapsulates the challenges faced by Europe’s heart and stroke patients, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also tells the story of how EHN has turned the ensuing permacrisis into opportunities whereby innovative solutions have been found to address the burdens and to accomplish its vision of a life free from avoidable cardiovascular disease (CVD) for every European.
As the leading cause of death in Europe, CVD poses major societal and economic challenges. The pandemic amplified the urgency of addressing the burden of CVD, which gave way to innovative thought leadership – how were EHN and key stakeholders going to work together to tackle the biggest health challenge in Europe? Prompted by such pressing matters, EHN embarked on new ways to cooperate and collaborate within and outside its network.
The 2022 Annual Report recounts how EHN harnessed this momentum for change through each of its three pillars of work: representing the patient’s voice, influencing policies in CVD prevention, and reinforcing cardiovascular research. This work was made possible by the incredible efforts and conviction of every EHN Member to improve the lives of people living with heart and circulatory diseases and to support cardiovascular health at national level.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, President of the European Heart Network, said: “Today, cardiovascular diseases remain the biggest killer across Europe, taking millions of people from their loved ones every single year. And today, as the voices of the 60 million people living with CVD across Europe, our 29 EHN members are determined to make a difference by engaging even more patients, influencing critical policies and advancing medical research. Today, as we all stand in the middle of a cardiovascular health crisis, we also urge the EU to publish a Cardiovascular Health Plan for Europe. It has simply never been more needed.”
Establishing itself as the leading heart and stroke network in Europe, EHN succeeded in setting a concrete and structured cardiovascular health plan for Europe at the centre of national and European health policy debates. EHN will continue its longstanding legacy of leadership in the European cardiovascular community through the launch of its upcoming new Strategy 2023-2030 and will strive to mobilise leadership for change in cardiovascular health, including in the European Alliance of Cardiovascular Health (EACH), so that a Cardiovascular Health Plan becomes a reality everywhere in Europe.