Welcome to 2020 as 2019 just wrapped itself!
I would like to express my deepest appreciation and send my best wishes to all the members of the Stent – Save a Life! community, be they Country Champions, Project Managers, Regional Champions, Ambassadors or Advisory Board members, as well as to our loyal industry partners who – through their continuous trust and financial support – made possible for the Stent – Save a Life! initiative to strive and develop over the last ten years to become the global, compelling and recognised organisation it is today. An achievement which wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable backing of the EuroPCR event management company, Europa Organisation, with whom I look forward to another great year of collaboration. To all, a very happy New Year!
Every new year brings a time of reflection, of what we’ve accomplished, for what we are grateful and what the new goals will be. I’m delighted to say we are proud of our reporting in 2019, busy with further exciting and positive accomplishments.
New countries have decided to join Stent – Save a Life!, bringing in different challenges, experiences and dynamics, and thus enriching the community. Indeed, the global initiative officially welcomed Japan, Taiwan and Uruguay as new members during its annual Forum meeting held in Paris at the end of May hence increasing its footprint further in the Asia and LATAM regions. More recently, the membership candidacies received from Iran and Latvia were also accepted; representatives of those countries will be invited to take part in a signing ceremony during the 2020 edition of the Stent – Save a Life! annual Forum.
Talking about the Stent – Save a Life! annual Forum, this year’s event was once again a great success. Gathering approximately 60 representatives from the member countries, the meeting was an opportunity to present a retrospective of the successful path covered by the initiative in each region of the globe since its launch as well as to involve participants in a practical workshop to brainstorm on how to improve STEMI networks’ efficiency and patient reperfusion.
Regionally, Argentina replicated the concept with a local Stent – Save a Life! Forum meeting held in March, successfully bringing together all the actors involved in the treatment of STEMI patients to look at the reality of the AMI medical care in the country and discuss strategies to improve the delivery of guideline complying therapy and patient access to the life-saving indication of reperfusion treatment.
Beyond Stent-Save a Life’s own meetings, the initiative keeps being represented at international and regional conferences partnering occasionally with the organising society or committee to hold specific sessions tackling the regional challenges of reperfusion (with SOLACI for LATAM, STEMI South Africa during AfricaPCR and with Sudan Heart Society and PASCAR more recently).
Finally, as the culmination of a long-winded work, I am very proud that the Stent for Life Economic Model paper was published in the September edition of the European Heart Journal – Acute Cardiovascular Care. This analysis and its outcome have mobilised so many resources from the various countries involved that I can only feel indebted to all the Stent – Save a Life! representatives who have taken part for their consistent efforts to deliver such an outstanding work. I’m convinced the Stent for Life Economic Model paper could become a very powerful concept that might ultimately contribute to influence some policy decisions.
However, a new year is not just about changing calendar; it is also about commitment. Indeed, a new year marks a new beginning, new possibilities, new adventures and new opportunities.
As Stent – Save a Life! embark in a new year – and a new decade – our commitment is to continue to work hard to better serve our members. Providing more practical support definitely remains one of the primary objectives of the global initiative. The Blueprint manuscript, whose objective is to provide guidance to set-up more efficient STEMI networks, should be completed shortly and the project tested in a few pilot countries during the second half of the year before being released worldwide. Simultaneously, the App project – the result of a collaboration with STEMI India’s engineering team – should soon enter its technical development phase and get ready for the pilot testing.
Enhancing collaboration between members should also be a priority. As the initiative keeps growing and welcoming new countries, we feel it is important that sharing best-practice becomes a regular standard between Stent – Save a Life! countries – be they from the same region of the world, or not – for new comers can definitely benefit from the learnings acquired by the most experienced members of the project.
Lastly, although the initiative is now in its 10th year and has proven to be successful in its global task – thanks to the continuous support of engaged volunteers in the medical field, from the national societies and working groups in the member countries and, from industrial cooperation partners – it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise funds from third-parties, and even more so in an economically tough context. This is the reason why we have undertaken, in collaboration with the member countries, a reflection process to think about a new funding model that would allow us to plan ahead, engage in more complex projects and ultimately ensure a better sustainability of the initiative in the future years to come. The preliminary outcomes of the consultation should be shared and discussed collectively during the next SSL annual Forum meeting in Paris. As usual, this year’s edition will take place on the day prior to EuroPCR, Monday May 18th, 2020. The event will be another exciting opportunity for the global initiative members and any health professionals interested in STEMI care to discuss, exchange experiences and brainstorm on how to improve STEMI patient access to guideline adherent therapy. Make sure to mark your calendar as we very much hope to have you among us in Paris to kick-off a new successful decade for the global initiative.
I believe 2020 is a brand-new year sparking with hope and anticipation. Make sure you are geared for it and arm yourself with fresh and realistic optimism to make a difference!
I wish everyone a rewarding, joyous New Year and look forward to continuing building Stent-Save a Life’s success through 2020 and beyond.
C. K. Naber
Stent – Save a Life! Chairman