Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect, impacting approximately 1 out of every 100 births. Fortunately, thanks to medical advances, people with congenital heart disease (CHD) are surviving and thriving into adulthood more than ever before—1.4 million American adults live life every day with CHD in some form, and the population grows by 5% annually. In fact, the newest medical specialty in adult congenital heart disease was created for this population.
As the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) paves the way for future generations, we focus on lifelong care of the millions with CHD—from infancy and youth to adulthood and into advanced age. We are the voice and strength of CHD and a go-to resource for our community of patients, their loved ones, and medical providers, as well as for the media, legislators and others.
Vision 2025 is ACHA’s guide for the future, and encompasses these core concepts:
- We will improve access to quality care for CHD patients.
- We focus on advocacy.
- We focus on research.
- We will improve the awareness of CHD.
- We are financially strong.
- We are a national organization with regional offices.
We believe in the following shared principles, beliefs and priorities:
- Patient Empowerment. We believe that those affected by congenital heart disease need to be heard and that they are powerful advocates for our community.
- Commitment to Excellence. We believe in providing resources and information from qualified professionals and in promoting quality healthcare for the congenital heart community.
- Patient -Provider Partnerships. We believe in medical professionals and patients working together to promote health in our community.
- Collaboration. We believe in individuals and organizations working together in a collaborative effort to achieve common goals in the patients’ interest.
- Leadership for Change. We believe that we play a lead role in creating a better future for congenital heart patients.
We worked to create clear outcomes by engaging our most critical stakeholders on this important journey. The outcomes that we envision by 2025 include:
- That CHD and ACHA are household names.
- That our emphasis on advocacy and research will bring about systemic change in healthcare policy, surveillance and treatment.
- That far fewer are lost to care.
- That the ACHA ACHD Accreditation program leads the way for the standard of accessible, comprehensive care increasing throughout the country.
- That we are viewed as both a national and a local organization.
- That the organization is financially sound and able to increase its capacity to keep up with the rapid CHD population increase.
- That there is one strong voice in the CHD community that is clear and consistent, not fragmented.
As we think about the ACHA of the future, Vision 2025 is foremost in our minds as our population is surviving and thriving beyond the expectations of years ago. Our decision to be the voice and strength of CHD and to focus on lifelong care is vital as we pave the way for future generations.