Mount Sinai Heart, established in 2006, is among the world’s leading centers for cardiovascular medicine and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. We successfully treat cardiac conditions ranging from chronic arrhythmias to sudden heart attacks. We are dedicated to prevention, management, and reducing the epidemic of cardiovascular disease. We have a top-flight multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, surgeons, scientists, nurses, and technicians, led by founding director Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director, Mount Sinai Heart, and Physician-in-Chief of the Mount Sinai Hospital.
Our multidisciplinary effort brings together the expertise of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai Heart in the areas of cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, medical education, research, and community service. We offer state-of-the-art imaging and health care facilities for patients, advanced laboratories for scientists, and highly regarded postgraduate educational programs for medical and graduate students.
Our mission is to improve the heart health of patients from the local, regional, and global communities. Mount Sinai Heart's commitment to its patients is dramatically changing lives, and its collaborative, comprehensive approach to health care is revolutionizing the practice of medicine around the world.
Mount Sinai Heart takes an active role in tackling the global epidemic of cardiovascular disease. We promote inexpensive, easily adopted preventative measures to address this international health priority. By addressing risk factors early on with preventive interventions, such as education and treatment, researchers hope that the rate of heart disease can be slowed before it reaches the epidemic proportions found in industrialized nations. Our projects involve children as well as adults.
We are partnering with several organizations and governmental institutions in projects designed to protect cardiovascular health worldwide:
Hypertension Management in Rural Kenya
We take a multidisciplinary approach to address the challenge of linking and retaining hypertensive individuals to a hypertension-management program. Our community health workers, equipped with a behavioral communication strategy and smartphone-based tool, are working to enhance our efforts with hypertensive individuals to significantly reduce their blood pressure. We are looking to identify what works and what creates challenges; evaluate our tools and communications techniques; and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of this approach.
Sesame Street Education Project
Together with the Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life Workshop, we are studying the effectiveness of an early intervention program in Colombia using "Plaza Sésamo," a Spanish-language version of "Sesame Street." The TV show is designed to help improve the health and health awareness of children ages 3 to 6. The project aims to teach children to eat a healthy and varied diet, to increase their physical activity, and to gain a better understanding and appreciation of a healthy human body — with particular emphasis on heart health.
The Polypill Initiative
An inexpensive three-in-one pill designed to prevent heart disease, the polypill contains a low dose of aspirin, statin, and ACE inhibitor. We hope to make the polypill accessible not only to the high number of heart attack patients in the United States who stop taking their medication(s), but also to patients in developing nations, where the cost of medication is prohibitive.
Additionally we have embarked on two studies in three countries of varying socioeconomic wealth and access to health care. One study will determine whether the polypill is effective in reducing cardiovascular disease, and the other will see if it improves adherence and accessibility to health care.
Going Abroad to Prevent Another Epidemic
In many developing countries, the prevention and treatment of heart disease is still in its infancy. Dr. Fuster and other Mount Sinai Heart physicians have embarked on a series of global projects to forestall heart disease in these nations. These research projects will determine whether we can encourage people in developing countries to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle before unhealthy Western behaviors set in.
The goal is that by addressing risk factors early on with preventive interventions, such as education and treatment, that the rate of heart disease can be slowed before it reaches the epidemic proportions.
SI! Salud Integral Program
Operating within schools, and using the appeal of Sesame Street, our comprehensive health program is designed to promote heart healthy behaviors in children ages 3 to 5. We emphasize four components: human body, diet, physical exercise, and emotions. In addition to Sesame Street, the program incorporates parents, teachers, and schools as well as new technology. We are evaluating the program’s success rates and cost-effectiveness.
Grenada Heart Project
Is it possible to stem a developing epidemic of cardiovascular disease? Dr. Fusteris working with the World Heart Federation to profile risk factors in Grenada and set the stage for a population-based intervention.
The Caribbean island of Grenada is rapidly industrializing and its citizens’ behaviors are changing. Fewer people get exercise by walking, and more people are eating foods that are bad for their heart health. In this project, our goal is to collect 10,000 risk evaluations, community education, and preventive interventions in hopes of reversing their growing risk of heart disease. If successful, the project could lead to the development of a world model to instill heart-healthy behaviors.
Cardona Integral Fifty-Fifty Program
Building on the Grenada Heart Project, we are implementing the Cardona Integral Fifty-Fifty Program, which provides training and motivational workshops to develop an environment that facilitates and promote healthy life habits. The project transcends the health care field and includes, for example, projects aimed at recovering natural environments and integrating unemployed local residents.
Millennium Villages Cardiovascular Disease Project
Working with the United Nations Millennium Villages Project and the government of Rwanda, we are studying villages in Tanzania, Malawi, and Rwanda, where smoking and high blood pressure have reached alarming levels. The project gives us the rare opportunity to create a model for working in heart health among elementary school students in developing countries. We are measuring the impact and cost of prevention interventions.