Global Hearts is the flagship initiative of the World Health Organization to reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. HEARTS in the Americas Initiative is the regional adaptation that envisions HEARTS as the model for cardiovascular disease risk management, including hypertension and diabetes, in primary health care in the Americas by 2025. This initiative is entering its sixth year of implementation and now includes 22 countries and 1 380 primary health care centers. The objectives of this report are three-fold. First, it describes the emergence and the main elements of HEARTS in the Americas. Secondly, it summarizes the main innovations developed to catalyze and sustain implementation of the initiative. These innovations include: a) introduction of hypertension control drivers; b) development of a comprehensive and practical clinical pathway; c) development of a strategy to improve the accuracy of blood pressure measurement; d) creation of a monitoring and evaluation platform; and e) development of a standardized set of training and education resources. Thirdly, this report discusses future priorities of the initiative. The goal of implementing these innovative and pragmatic solutions is to create a more effective health system and shift the focus of cardiovascular and hypertension programs from the highly specialized care level to primary health care. In addition, HEARTS in the Americas can serve as a model for more comprehensive, effective, and sustainable noncommunicable disease prevention and treatment practices.
Ordunez et al.