Reaching for Cardiovascular Health Equity:
Investing Where it Matters

Leaders from business, healthcare, public health, and communities will identify actions to capitalize on the attention COVID-19 has brought to health inequities and cardiometabolic health disparities.

“In pre-pandemic ‘normal,’ cardiovascular disease, despite being preventable, was the leading cause of death, and its burden was inequitable. COVID magnified the inequities. Solving them will not only lead toward optimal, equitable cardiometabolic health but more equitable well-being.” John M. Clymer, Executive Director

The 19th Annual Meeting of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention will kick off with the launch of When Pandemics Collide: COVID-19 and New Concerns about Heart Disease and Stroke, the organization 5th Signature Report addressing a vicious cycle that increases the rates of both COVID and cardiovascular disease.


  • Image of Daniella Levine Cava
    Daniella Levine Cava
    Mayor, Miami-Dade County, FL
  • Image of Elizabeth H. Bradley
    Elizabeth H. Bradley
    Author, The American Health Care Paradox (and President, Vassar College)
  • Image of Stephen Sidney
    Stephen Sidney
    Director of Research Clinics, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
  • Image of Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk
    Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk
    University Chief Wellness Officer and Dean, College of Nursing, The Ohio State University
  • Image of Warren A. Jones
    Warren A. Jones
    Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Image of Janet Wright
    Janet Wright
    Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
  • Image of Rosy McGillan
    Rosy McGillan
    Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, American Red Cross
  • Image of Frank D. Scott Jr.
    Frank D. Scott Jr.
    Mayor, Little Rock, AR
  • Image of Celinda Lake
    Celinda Lake
    President, Lake Research Partners
  • Image of Jay Bhatt
    Jay Bhatt
    Chief Medical Officer and President of the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association
  • Image of Michael Cropp
    Michael Cropp
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Independent Health Association
  • Image of Margaret Sabin
    Margaret Sabin
    Past President, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Southern Region
  • Image of Cheryl L. Woods Giscombé, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN
    Cheryl L. Woods Giscombé, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN
    Associate Dean of the PhD Division & Program and Levine Family Distinguished Scholar in Quality of Life, Health Promotion, and Wellness

Coming Soon

Panel 1: The New Normal Can't Be the Old Normal--Framework for an equitable, high-performance U.S. health system

How can this be? The U.S. spends 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare.  Most industrialized countries spend half as much and get better outcomes.  These gaps reduce well-being and harm American economic competitiveness. Elizabeth H. Bradley, author of The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Us Less, will explain the fundamental cause of the paradox.  Health system and business leaders will discuss the changes needed to solve the paradox and close health and health care disparities.

  1. What should be the framework for a new, equitable normal?
  2. How do we get there?
  3. What needs to change in the health system?
  4. What is one action your organization can take to implement the new framework?


· Jay D. Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA, FACP


· Elizabeth H. Bradley, President, VASSAR

· Margaret Sabin, Past President, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs

· Michael W. Cropp, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, Independent Health

Panel 2: The Community Case for Optimal, Equitable Cardiometabolic Health? How should we talk about health equity and prevention to broaden support?

Themes and words that stakeholders can use to build and broaden support for a new normal that prioritizes health equity and invests in upstream determinants of health such as education, housing, transportation, and food security will be offered. Communications and healthcare leaders will join the discussion about public support for the new normal? Mayor Frank Scott of Little Rock will tell why a healthy population is essential to community prosperity.

  1. What do we need to change about how we talk about health to build and broaden support for a new normal?
  2. Will industry get on board?
  3. How do we generate value propositions?
  4. How do we build political support for investing in prevention and public health?
  5. What is one action your organization can take to build support to make this happen?


Warren A. Jones, MD, FAAFP, Chair

Captain, United States Navy Medical Corps (Ret.)

Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center


Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partner

Rosy McGillan, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, American Red Cross

Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., Little Rock, Arkansas

Panel 3: A missing link in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease: Evidence-based system strategies to promote mental health

Three experts in mental health, healthcare, and community interventions to improve mental health will discuss how to raise the priority on mental health.  Primary care providers will be encouraged to increase attention on mental health, screen for it, and provide or refer people to evidence-based therapies.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava from Miami-Dade, Florida, will discuss why strong mental health matters to the community and its vitality and prosperity. Mental health and healthcare experts will discuss connections between mental health and obesity, diabetes, major adverse cardiovascular events. And medication adherence.

  1. How can we elevate the priority on depression, stress, and anxiety prevention, screening, and management?
  2. How can we incentivize these services?
  3. What community-based programs affect mental health?
  4. What is one action your organization can take to increase depression, stress, and anxiety screening and management?


Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN,

Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, Professor of Pediatrics & Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Executive Director, The Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice



Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade, Florida

Cheryl Woods Giscombé, PhD, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, LeVine Family Distinguished Scholar of Quality of Life, Health Promotion, and Wellness, Associate Dean – PhD Division & Program, School of Nursing, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Call to Action

Coming Soon

19th Annual Meeting Sponsors


Amgen      AstraZeneca

Heart Friend

Merck - Inventing for Life

Annual Meeting Archives

Check out resources from our previous events.