NEW YORK, July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number one risk factor for cardiac deaths in the U.S., high blood pressure has been called the "silent killer" in the war on heart disease. In order to implement a more vigorous and efficacious nationwide platform to address hypertension as a national health issue, the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) announced that it is dissolving as a singular enterprise and its organizational leaders and members will align within the mission and framework of the American Heart Association (AHA). Together, they will work to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools, education, and information to save and improve lives.
"The venture signifies a new era in heart health," says current ASH President, John D. Bisognano, MD, PhD. "Both organizations have worked tirelessly to expand awareness, support scientific advancements, educate healthcare professionals and provide tools and resources for Americans. Working under the umbrella of one organization, we will be able to have a greater impact on public health."
As the oldest, largest volunteer organization in heart health, the AHA has been heralded for its game-changing causes, scientific statements, practical resources and consumer advocacy. With the strength of 22.5 million AHA volunteers and supporters, the joint alignment will enhance ASH's contribution to hypertension awareness, prevention and treatment. For example, the ASH Certified Hypertension Specialist and Hypertension Clinician program will become part of the AHA Lifelong Learning portfolio. ASH members can continue to rely on member values, such as continuing medical education opportunities, clinical papers, the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension (JASH), and annual meetings.
"At their core, the mission and vision of the AHA and ASH have always aligned," says John J. Warner. MD, national volunteer president of the American Heart Association. "We are thrilled to welcome the membership of ASH and work with them to expand our efforts to prevent and more effectively treat hypertension through research, public education, health policies and professional development."
Beginning in 2018, the organizations will weave ASH Board and Committee Members into the AHA Hypertension Leadership Committee. The 2017 ASH Annual Scientific Meeting is slated to be held as Joint Scientific Sessions with the AHA Council on Hypertension and AHA Council on Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, September 14-17, 2017.
"The fight against hypertension now has a louder megaphone to speak to a larger audience," notes the Chair of the AHA Council on Hypertension, Joey Granger, PhD, FAHA.
Both AHA and ASH's existences have been based on the desire to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension through health education to the public and practitioners. Now, their members will do it together.
"As a lifelong member of both the AHA Council on Hypertension and ASH, I applaud this new alignment which will greatly benefit those who suffer from high blood pressure," says Robert A. Phillips, MD, PhD, ASH secretary/treasurer.
About the American Society of Hypertension, Inc.
The American Society of Hypertension, Inc. (ASH) is the largest U.S. professional organization of scientific investigators and healthcare professionals committed to eliminating hypertension and its consequences. ASH is dedicated to promoting strategies to prevent hypertension and to improving the care of patients with hypertension and associated disorders. The specific focus of the Society is to translate current research findings on hypertension into effective treatment strategies, in order to better address the needs of hypertensive patients. For more information, please visit www.ash-us.org.
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SOURCE American Society of Hypertension