Dr. Rabadán-Diehl on the global network of Collaborating Centers of Excellence.
Prevention is a cornerstone to any program dealing with the chronic diseases. And we know that with respect to prevention of chronic diseases worldwide, we really need to pay attention to three risk factors. Those risk factors are: improving diet, increasing physical activity, and eliminating tobacco and smoking. If we pay attention to those three risk factors, we will prevent or eliminate 50 percent of chronic diseases worldwide. That's a dramatic effect.
We hope that each Center of Excellence will be deeply engaged in their local community, that they will understand the risk factors for heart disease [and] lung disease within their community, that they will develop measures for assessing those risk factors in the community, that they will develop intervention programs by which they cannot just identify the risk factors, but intervene to modify the risk factors.
We want to develop the next generation of global health leaders in the chronic diseases. Each of the Centers of Excellence has a training program. Those training programs are linked with training programs in a developed country, often to a school of public health here in the United States.
We know that one of the additional impacts that the NHLBI Global Health Initiative will have will be to accelerate knowledge [and] accelerate research discoveries. So, a research discovery that is made in Africa or India or China will undoubtedly benefit Americans here at home. This is really the nature of the global community today, that there's a dramatic sharing of information and progress on a global scale.
Last Updated: December 2013