Croí Scoops Gold at Top National Awards Ceremony!

Croí and its subsidiary, the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC), scooped 3 top awards at the Irish Healthcare Awards on November 20th at a special ceremony in Dublin. The Irish Healthcare Awards are Ireland’s leading Awards, now in their 18th year, and they recognise innovation and excellence in the Irish healthcare sector.

The work of Croí and NIPC put the west of Ireland on the map when the charity was announced as the overall winner in three different award categories. The charity won gold for the Best Research Paper of the Year for a systematic review of low dose Aspirin in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease conducted by Prof Bill McEvoy, Research and Medical Director, NIPC. A second award was achieved by winning the Best Student Research Project of the Year for a study of severe obesity as a barrier to international travel. Croí won a third gold for the Best Public Health Initiative of the Year in recognition of a unique partnership with the Galway County Local Community Development Committee which delivered a ‘Healthy Islands Roadshow’ together with 24 other Health and Wellbeing events throughout county Galway.

Speaking about the awards, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said, “this is great recognition for the innovative work being undertaken here in the west of Ireland. These awards are a huge endorsement of the dedication and commitment of all our health team and of all  those who support us, as sponsors, volunteers and partners. We are delighted to win these three prestigious national awards which presented Galway and the west of Ireland in such a positive light.”

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Have heart this Christmas and send Croí cards!

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, launched its stunning 2019 Christmas Card Collection this week, available to purchase in local shops and online at www.croi.ie/ChristmasCards. Send a Croí card this Christmas and show real heart, while supporting families affected by heart disease and stroke in your local community.

New this year is an image from Co. Mayo of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain. Paddy Finn’s photo of a snowy Long Walk is a top favourite, along with Nathan Wynne’s images from the Galway Christmas Market.

Each pack of Croí cards contains 12 new designs this year, including photographs from local, Galway photographers. All cards carry Christmas greetings in both Irish and English. The pack costs just €6.99, with all proceeds supporting the fight against heart disease and stroke.

The 2019 Croí Christmas cards are available to purchase in local shops, including Joyce’s Supermarkets, Evergreen Healthfoods, Headlines Newsagent and Matt O’Flaherty Chemists. See the full list of locations or purchase the cards online at www.croi.ie/ChristmasCards.

Music: Wish Background Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Croí Staff Profile: Patricia Hall

Patricia Hall, our Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist has been a brilliant asset to the Croí team since she came on board two years ago! We chatted with Patricia to learn more about her role with Croí.

Name: Patricia Hall

Job Title: Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist

Tell us about your role:
I work in a range of roles and settings, providing face-to-face advice to individuals and groups enrolled on the prevention programmes. I am also involved in a number of different community projects, screening and health promotion workshops, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, raising awareness of the importance of risk factor management and am currently the Nurse Lead on the Mayo Third Age Cardiovascular Health Project. My interest in stroke and stroke support means I oversee both the Galway and Mayo Stroke Support Groups and have been instrumental in the development and delivery of the MyStroke Educational Programme.

How has your role evolved with Croí?
Since joining Croí just 2 years ago my role continues to evolve from initial responsibility coordinating and delivering the programmes. In 2018 I coordinated the Ireland-ASPIRE National Survey of patients who have established heart disease. This year with the re-establishment of our presence in Mayo, I secured the role as Mayo Third Age Nurse Lead to launch and deliver a new, refocused initiative aimed at improving the cardiovascular health and well-being of the population of County Mayo so that they become exemplars of active and positive ageing.

Favourite, stand-out moment of your career with Croí so far:
There have been numerous so just to mention a few:

  • Ensuring the recruitment of sufficient participants for the I-ASPIRE study and delivering in an extremely tight timeline
  • Participating in the organisation and the fun involved in the annual Stroke Support Group summer outing and Christmas lunch
  • Hiking up to the statue behind Kylemore Abbey with a group of Croí patients and friends to mark World Heart Day 2019

What excites you about the future at Croí?
There are huge challenges ahead with keeping the risk of cardiovascular disease to the forefront of public awareness. With the focus on the Third Age, those over 55 years, there will be great opportunities to increase awareness and promote early detection of these conditions in order to significantly reduce the burden on the individual and on our health system.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?
Support Connacht Rugby at the Sportsground or head out into the hills with friends for a good hike.

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Support Croí this Christmas!

“The loss of conversation has been one of the hardest things…
but sometimes John will say a word and it will make me smile.” – Mary Kelly

Take part in Croí’s Golden Ticket Raffle and help stroke survivors like John find their voice again. Great cash prizes to be won and you can make a huge difference to life after stroke.

It was Christmas eight years ago that everything changed for the Kelly Family. John Kelly, then a 48-year-old Garda Sergeant based in Loughrea, Co. Galway, suffered a massive, life-changing stroke. John was rushed to Galway University Hospital and he spent the next 18 weeks receiving care across three more hospitals. “It was a very exhausting time, and we had Santa come in the middle of that! I tried to make things as normal as possible for the children,” says Mary, John’s wife, speaking of their four children – the eldest twins were 13 years old and the youngest was just 6 years old.

Eventually, John returned home to his family in Cregmore, Co. Galway, but he was faced with the long-term effects of stroke. John suffered severe speech impairments, affecting how he speaks and his ability to understand what is being said. He was left with very few words.

John needed help. But so too did Mary, as a stroke carer.

“A family member read online about Croí’s Stroke Support services and we knew we had to get involved. John started with the Gentle Yoga class, before joining the Stroke Support Group and the Stroke Communication Group,” says Mary.

John now receives specialist support from the Croí Health Team, including biweekly communication sessions with Libby Kinneen, our Speech and Language Therapist. John first met Libby five years ago and he has made real progress in gaining confidence with life after stroke. “More words… friends,” says John. Mary also attends Croí as part of the Stroke Carers Group, “It’s so great to meet like-minded people. For my sanity it was so necessary to talk to other people. Life after stroke is so lonely, you feel isolated… Croí is a place to come and feel relaxed, and where no one will judge you.”

A huge milestone in John’s speech work with Libby was actually being able to say the word ‘Ballybofey’, a really important word for John as it is his wife’s hometown. “It meant something to John and Mary,” says Libby. The ‘Ballybofey’ breakthrough gave John confidence in his speech.

“Croí’s Communication Group has been wonderful for John,” says Mary. “Sometimes John will say a word and it will make me smile. But he might never say it again. The loss of conversation has been one of the hardest things.”

With thanks to generous donors, Croí is able to offer free stroke support services to stroke survivors, their family members and their carers. These services are totally supported by the funds we raise every year, including through the Golden Ticket Raffle!

Will you support our annual raffle and help us continue to support stroke survivors and their families, like the Kellys? Each ticket costs just €5 and there are so many great cash prizes to win, with a total prize fund of €5,000!

Tickets can be purchased here.

Thank you for your support!

John Kelly with his wife, Mary Kelly
John Kelly with his wife, Mary Kelly
The Kelly Family
The Kelly Family

Global Coalition on Aging Launches Cross-Sector Global Alliance

Croí is a partner of GCOA

Global Coalition On Aging Launches Cross-Sector Global Alliance To Promote Greater Attention To And Action On Heart Failure As A Path To Healthier Aging And Health System Cost Savings

Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging brings together experts across the cardiovascular, aging, economics, policy, and communications fields to slow the impact of heart failure as we age through earlier diagnosis and treatment, better care, and awareness

New York – 14 November 2019 – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) is launching the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging (the Alliance), recognizing that while heart failure does increase in prevalence with age, it is not a normal part of aging. More than 30 organizations, including advocacy groups, global businesses, and care providers, have united to better quantify the full scope and scale of heart failure risk as the global population over 60 will reach 2 billion by mid-century.

The creation of the Alliance follows 18 months of roundtables, research, and analysis from global leaders across sectors and areas of expertise. This work has led to the realization that heart failure is too often misunderstood by patients, caregivers, policy makers, payers, the general public, and healthcare professionals themselves, leading to a collaborative commitment to promote better practice and awareness of heart failure diagnosis, treatment, and care.

“The increasing global prevalence of heart failure, linked in large part to demographic aging, underscores the urgency of raising its visibility as a global health priority and of addressing it in new and innovative ways,” said Michael W. Hodin, CEO of GCOA. “Early, common and prevailing symptoms of heart failure, like fatigue or shortness of breath, for example, are too often dismissed as simply a normal part of getting older. This complacency unfortunately perpetuates a culture of ageism in many forms—self-inflicted, ingrained in the healthcare system, among patients and family members, and across society.”

The Alliance was created to shine a light on this connection between heart failure and aging and to spur collaborative action across sectors and areas of expertise. To that end, the Alliance Partners are putting forth a Consensus Statement calling on policy makers, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, NGOs, and others interested in addressing the needs of the growing global aging population to take action to educate, raise awareness, and boost research on heart failure and healthier and more active aging.

We know that 26 million people worldwide are affected by heart failure—more than the population of Australia. Over 80% of people living with heart failure in Europe and in the United States are over 65, and heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalization in older adults as well as the leading cause of unplanned hospital readmissions. In the United States, the economic consequence is expected to be a 127% increase in costs to health systems between 2014 and 2030.

The Alliance has already been focused on a number of initiatives at the intersection of aging and heart failure, conducting research and writing reports on clinical best practices across the global heart failure landscape and on the impact on hospitals and health systems when diagnosis is missed or delayed until an acute care situation.

“The economic implications of heart failure for hospital systems, public and private payers, and therefore society at large are huge, especially when you consider the cases that are misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late,” said Nick Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, a research partner of the Alliance. “Many diseases and conditions that are often associated with aging could be avoided with earlier detection that comes from a better understanding of symptoms.  But in the case of heart failure, we still need clarity of what is at stake given this connection to aging.”

The Alliance structure consists of (1) the Partners representing the global, cross-sector, and cross-discipline nature of the initiative; (2) the Secretariat housed within GCOA to execute upon Alliance strategies; and (3) the Governing Committee, which will work closely with the Secretariat to guide the Alliance agenda, serve as strategic advisors, lend expertise, and enhance the credibility and positioning of heart failure as we age with policy makers, healthcare professionals, caregivers, patients and families.

Inaugural Governing Committee members include: Holly S. Andersen, MD, FACC, Attending Cardiologist, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Education & Outreach, The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute, The New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center; Michele Bolles, National Vice President of Quality and Health IT, American Heart Association; Salvatore di Somma, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Emergency Medicine, Chairman of Postgraduate School of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medical-Surgery Sciences and Translational Medicine, University La Sapienza Rome, Sant’Andrea Hospital; President, GREAT Network Italy; Jean-Luc Eiselé, CEO, World Heart Federation; Daniel E. Forman, MD, FAHA, FACC, Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Chair, Section of Geriatric Cardiology, Divisions of Geriatrics and Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Director of Emerging Therapeutics, Aging Institute, University of Pittsburgh; Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and GeroFit, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System; Physician Scientist, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System; Neil Johnson, Non-Executive Director/Founding Member, Global Heart Hub; Chief Executive, Croí—West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke Foundation; Sue Koob, CEO, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association; and Marc Wortmann, former Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International.

“Eighty-six percent of our members care for patients with heart failure,” said Koob, an Alliance Governing Committee member. “They play a key role in the overall prevention and management of cardiovascular disease and are critical in establishing strong relationships between patients and hospitals. PCNA is proud to drive greater awareness of and global action on heart failure as part of the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging.”

In addition to the 2019 Alliance projects, the Alliance has a robust research, communications, and advocacy agenda for 2020, including engagement in the World Health Organization’s Decade of Healthy Ageing, to be launched at the World Health Assembly in May 2020, which will mark a major milestone in elevating heart failure on the global policy agenda.

“Heart failure is currently not prioritized because it is not well understood by those most affected, including patients themselves,” said Hodin. “But, one-in-five of us can expect to live with heart failure at some point in our lives. Through the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging, we are calling on all stakeholders to make healthy aging a reality for those living with or at risk of heart failure.”

ABOUT THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE ON HEART FAILURE & HEALTHY AGING

The Global Alliance on Heart Failure & Healthy Aging is the result of a series of successive roundtables convened by the Global Coalition on Aging in New York, Brussels, and Chicago throughout 2018. The meetings collectively brought together more than 70 experts from across sectors, disciplines and geographies who identified the connection between heart failure and aging as a new opportunity to improve patients’ quality of life, better meet patient and caregiver needs, and better manage health systems costs related to heart failure by diagnosing patients as early as possible and ensuring their access to the best available treatments. The Alliance is made possible through funding and support from GCOA members Novartis and Amgen.

 

About the Global Coalition on Aging

The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. GCOA uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path to health, productivity and economic growth. For more information, visit www.globalcoalitiononaging.com.