Unique Collaboration Brings World Leaders in Heart Health to West of Ireland

A strategic partnership between local heart & stroke charity Croi and NUI Galway is leading the way in positioning Ireland as an international leader in cardiovascular health.

In 2014, Croi set about putting Galway on the map as a centre for leadership in the prevention of heart disease and stroke by establishing the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC) as an affiliate of NUI Galway. In recent months, two world leaders in heart health have joined NIPC and taken up appointments at NUI Galway, supported by Croi.

Professor David Wood, immediate past president of the World Heart Federation has moved to Galway from Imperial College London as Adjunct Professor of Preventive Cardiology at NUIG and Professor Bill McEvoy has returned to Ireland from John Hopkins University School of Medicine USA as Professor of Preventive Cardiology NUIG; Consultant Cardiologist GUH and Research & Medical Director NIPC.

At a reception in the Croi Heart & Stroke Centre, Newcastle, Galway, to highlight these developments, Prof McEvoy said “I’m delighted to join the team at both NUI Galway and the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC). Ireland has a long history of leadership and innovation in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. However, like much of the developed world, we now face major challenges in curbing the negative health impacts of obesity, diabetes and an increasingly sedentary western lifestyle. Cardiovascular disease remains the #1 killer in Ireland and reducing the impact of this disease is what drives me and my colleagues at NIPC.”

He went on to say “As research & medical director, I aim to help NIPC become a national and international centre of excellence in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and promotion of cardiovascular health; through clinical excellence, research, and education. For example, because NUI Galway has a strategic interest in population health, NIPC has been able to collaborate heavily with NUI Galway to begin the process of expanding our MSc in Preventive Cardiology into a suite of Masters programs in Lifestyle Medicine and Cardiovascular Health. This suite is designed to train the next generation of clinical leaders in cardiovascular disease prevention – leaders not just in Ireland but around the world. I also hope to bring my years of experience from leading academic health centers around the world to drive forward innovative research aimed at improving heart and stroke outcomes for patients in Galway and Ireland. University Hospital Galway has one of the most dynamic groups of cardiologists in the country and I look forward to collaborating with my outstanding colleagues there to translate the new knowledge gained at NIPC into improved clinical care. Further, it is particularly exciting to have Professor David Wood join NIPC from Imperial College London. David is a world-renowned leader in cardiovascular disease prevention and is well positioned to support me in our mutual efforts to develop NIPC as a national and international centre of excellence.”

Prof David Wood said “I am very proud to be working with Professor Bill McEvoy “ in providing leadership in the prevention of cardiovascular disease at three levels: (i) research into the causes, treatment and prevention of heart disease; (ii) postgraduate teaching in preventive medicine through a new suite of postgraduate courses in cardiovascular health and disease prevention: ‘Preventive Cardiology’; ‘Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease’; ‘Obesity and Weight Management’ and ‘Lifestyle Medicine’; and (iii) innovative service development through programmes such as those delivered by Croi in the community”.

Prof Woods went on to say “Preventive healthcare must become both a national and global priority. Prevention through promoting healthier lifestyles, and treating the major risk factors like blood pressure, lipids and diabetes, is the only realistic way to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke. I am confident that our Institute will become a beacon of excellence in cardiovascular health and disease prevention through research, teaching and innovative service delivery.’