One week to go until Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week

A Message from Wil Woan, Chair of the Heart Valve Disease Patient Council

Next week is Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week (Sept 14 – 20) across the world, and each of our partners at Global Heart Hub is putting the finishing touches to plans to make this the biggest and best week yet.

During Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week, our focus shifts towards #ListenToYourHeart and encouraging older people to ask their doctor for a stethoscope check, the first step in diagnosing heart valve disease.

While COVID-19 has put restrictions on what we can do and has forced us to think more creatively, across the world our members are using new and innovative ways to raise awareness and spread our important messages.

In Italy, our partners are using a newly established Seniors’ WhatsApp Group to share campaign messages, survey information and more digital content. In France, their social and digital campaign partnership with University Hospital of Rouen will target GPs compelling them to listen to more hearts. Germany has an exciting Facebook and Instagram Patient Story campaign that will command colossal reach and Austria plan to deliver live consultations on Facebook. Mexico’s ‘Virtual Think Tank’ is a collaboration between multiple institutions and associations across the country and globally and I wish them the very best for this exciting project.

Spain is targeting a younger audience with a brilliant Instagram campaign centred on Sport, Healthy Food and Health Life. Brazil will launch a valve disease booklet and patient questionnaires while in Canada, the team will be launch valve study results and Q&As for patients. In Ireland patient videos will inspire and inform patients and communities, and in the UK, we are holding a National Patient Education Day, which brings together experts from across the pathway to deliver talks for patients on every aspect of the care.

The above is just a snapshot of what our Global Heart Hub partners have planned and I ask you all to find a way to get involved and learn, educate and inspire others.

Awareness Week is a crucial week for the Global Heart Hub and anyone affected by heart valve disease across the world. Our first and most vital step is always to raise awareness of heart valve disease and our Heart Health Survey will identify some interesting findings (more of that in Heart Valve Week), but the ingenuity and innovation in our collective plans demonstrates the strength of the Heart Valve Disease Council.

These collective efforts will improve the detection, diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease, and lead more people onto the correct pathways and lead to best possible outcomes. I’m immensely proud of all the patient charities involved and I can’t wait for the week to start!

Wil Woan

Chair of the Heart Valve Disease Patient Council