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World Heart Federation Chief Executive Officer appointed Vice Chair of NCD Alliance

24 Sep 2015

Geneva, 24 September 2015 – The World Heart Federation is delighted to announce that Chief Executive Officer Johanna Ralston has been appointed Vice Chair of the NCD Alliance. As a founding member of the NCD Alliance, Johanna will take up the position of Vice Chair whilst continuing to represent the World Heart Federation and the fight against cardiovascular disease globally.

Johanna will work closely with the new Chair of NCD Alliance, José Luis Castro, Executive Director of The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, (The Union), in driving the NCDA’s new strategic plan at this crucial time in the development agenda.

“The new five year plan being launched in New York this week is a huge opportunity to embed non-communicable diseases and the role civil society must play across all elements of the new Sustainable Development Goals, ranging from the health goals to those focusing on urbanisation, food and agriculture, environment and the many other sectors and topics that contribute to and can help address NCDs in every country.

I am excited and honoured to become Vice Chair of the NCD Alliance, bringing me full circle since joining the World Heart Federation in 2011 and as an active member of the NCD Alliance since its inception. The timing of this appointment, alongside the UN General Assembly and World Heart Day 2015, gives us the strongest opportunity yet to bring cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases to the attention of the world,” commented Johanna.

Johanna, who has worked in global non-communicable diseases since 1999, has led the World Heart Federation’s efforts to contribute to and align with this agenda since joining the organisation and the NCD Alliance Steering Group in 2010.

“At the World Heart Federation, we are working hard to get cardiovascular disease on the agenda of every government, policymaker and healthcare professional in the world. My job at the NCD Alliance will be very much a partnership with José, to support the NCDA’s vision and co-ordinate this on a bigger scale for every country, whether high, low or middle income, to raise the profile of non-communicable diseases nationally and internationally.”

As the UN Sustainable Development Summit kicks off in New York, the World Heart Federation is representing the cardiovascular community at a series of high profile events, including:

• Transforming the world: Promoting healthy lifestyles and NCDs control (Friday 25th September, 13.15 – 14.30)

o Keynote speakers at this event include UN Director General Margaret Chan and Russia’s Minister of Healthcare

• Urban Health in Sustainable Development (Thursday 24th September, 08.30 – 13.30)

o This meeting brings together stakeholders from the many disciplines and sectors affecting urban health to exchange knowledge, policies and practices that promote the health of individuals in urban areas