2023-24 Strategic Plan

The 2023-24 Strategic Plan sets the National Forum’s course toward our vision of people throughout society living heart-healthy, stroke-free lives. The goals and approaches draw upon the organization’s strengths as a catalyst for collaboration. The plan is centered on the National Forum’s mission to achieve health equity and optimize cardiovascular health and well-being throughout the lifespan. The plan highlights environmental factors and drivers that shape our strategy.

As you read the plan, keep in mind that the core of the National Forum is its more than 100 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The National Forum is intent on helping member organizations accomplish shared goals through collaboration and synergy with other members.

The Strategic Plan is a living document. It will be changed as environmental factors, new approaches, and opportunities for collective impact evolve. We welcome your input both now and in months to come to ensure the National Forum continues to create and deliver unique value as a trusted convener and spark for collaborative action.

Our Vision

People throughout society living heart healthy, stroke-free lives.

Our Mission

To spark and lead collaborative action to achieve health equity and optimize cardiovascular health and well-being throughout the lifespan.

2024 Environmental Factors

  • COVID-19 and Long COVID
    • Effects on cardiovascular health outcomes
  • Economic Landscape
    • Changes to healthcare reimbursement frameworks
    • Investment in digital health
    • The cost of poor health can be measured
    • Increasing evidence that prevention is cost-effective
  • Health Equity
    • Cultural competency is hard to teach but it can and must be done
    • More People have access to care but big, unacceptable gaps remain
  • Health Landscape
    • New/renewed interest in heart failure (HFpEF), LDL-C, Lp(a) (Industry bring funds to raise attention)
    • Rising depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health concerns
    • Demographic changes, e.g., increase in 65+ population
    • Unhealthy diets and food insecurity
    • Maternal and child health and wellbeing (HTN important)
    • Lack of synergy between healthcare delivery and public health
  • Policy Landscape
    • Built environment
    • New Congress, divided government
    • Debate about government’s role in protecting the public’s health
    • Discontinuity in Medicaid coverage
    • State legislation to weaken public health
    • National Forum members updating their agendas and priorities

2023 – 2024 Drivers (Forces that share an organization’s strategy)

  • Economic prosperity dependent on community health
  • Community-level interest and commitment to improving cardiovascular health
  • Healthy People 2030 goals
  • The National Hypertension Control Initiative and the National Hypertension Control Roundtable
  • Preserve/protect ideal cardiovascular health through the lifespan
  • Shift from volume-based to value-based care
  • Cardiovascular health inequity
  • Cardiovascular disease mortality heading in wrong direction
  • Systemic inequities in health and healthcare
    • Imbalance of investment in upstream determinants
    • Financial barriers to prevention and health promotion
    • Racism, sexism, heterosexism, and gender binarism
    • Delivery and implementation of evidenced-based interventions
    • Historically under-funded/under-valued/neglected public health infrastructure
    • Lack of specificity for inclusion of ethnic racial groups

Our Focus


  • Health Equity
  • Access to equitable, timely and optimal care
  • Social Determinants of Health: Strengthening Assets, Overcoming Barriers
  • Community health and economic prosperity
  • Linkage of mental health and heart disease and stroke risk factors


  1. Ensure health equity and favorable social determinants of health are at the forefront of cardiovascular disease prevention and control
  2. Enhance health and well-being by supporting access to cultural, financial, physical, and social assets and mental healthcare
  3. Improve cardiovascular health:
    • Prevention of risk factors
    • Detection and treatment of risk factors
    • Early identification and treatment of heart attacks and stroke
    • Prevention of recurrent cardiovascular events
  4. Enhance (and brand) the National Forum’s strength as a health equity and cardiovascular health thought and change leader
  5. Mobilize members and collaborators to improve health equity and cardiovascular health (deepen current members engagement and diversify membership)

Our Approach

Leading collaborative action to achieve health equity and optimize cardiovascular health

Advocacy & Policy Development

Forging consensus, presenting a united front, and empowering members to influence policies and systems that improve health equity and cardiovascular health

Catalyst for Collaboration

Bringing public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders together to accelerate and enhance their impact

Knowledge Exchange

Facilitating exchange of expertise, insights, and equitable data with partners and stakeholders

Thought Leadership     

Drawing attention to innovative and inspiring ideas

Operational Excellence         

Embracing principles and tools to achieve sustainable improvement and diversify resources