Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone Recognizes the HFSA's Contribution, Service and
Presence in Washington, D.C., September 10, 2001.
"Mr. President, the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a non-profit
professional organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, that represents the first organized effort
by heart failure experts from the Americas to provide a forum to all those interested in heart failure
research and patient care.
Today, the Heart Failure Society of America is convening here in our Nation's capital with over 2,000
cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, internists, family practitioners, research scientists, pharmacologists,
nurses, pharmacists and other allied health care professionals who treat heart failure for the HFSA 5th Annual
Scientific Meeting. At this forum, preeminent professionals will unveil and review the latest developments in
heart failure research and clinical practice.
Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle weakens and gradually loses its ability to
pump enough blood to supply the body's needs and is frighteningly common but under-recognized. Heart failure affects nearly
5 million Americans. As more people survive heart attacks and are being left with weakened hearts, heart failure is the only
major cardiovascular disease on the rise. An estimated 400,000 to 700,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year.
The number of deaths in the United States from this condition has more than doubled since 1979, averaging 250,000 annually. In comparison,
the death rate from coronary disease has dramatically dropped statistically over a similar time period. An estimated
$8 to $15 billion is spent on the cost of hospitalization due to heart failure, which is twice the amount spent for all
forms of cancer. While there is no known cure for heart failure, new treatment approaches may help patients live more normal and
fulfilling lives and benefit from a decreased risk of hospitalization.
The HFSA was founded in 1994 by a small, dedicated group of academic cardiologists who recognized that heart failure was
on the rise, but that there was no venue for researchers, trainees and clinicians to share ideas about combating
the disease. We owe them a debt of gratitude for providing the impetus for exploring further research and treatment which might
not otherwise have occurred. The Heart Failure Society of America is seen by government, industry and the medical community as the
authoritative organization on heart failure. The Senate first commended the HFSA and its work in the area of heart failure
in February of last year, designating the week surrounding Valentine's Day each year as "National Heart Failure Awareness Week".
These medical professionals are dedicated to enhancing the quality and duration of people's lives.
We are pleased to welcome this group of distinguished individuals to Washington and recognize their extraordinary public service."