“Eighty percent of premature deaths from heart disease could be avoided if individuals made lifestyle changes and took control of the three principal risk factors for heart disease—smoking, unhealthy eating, and physical inactivity.”

It’s a startling statement to think so many lives could be saved by such simple solutions; yet the message is one the World Heart Federation found it worthy of reminding us all of today—September 29—in recognition of World Heart Day. This year it is celebrated with the theme “One World, One Home, One Heart.”

While the focus of World Heart Day this year focuses on steps that can be taken right in the home to develop healthy habits that will reduce the risk of heart disease, I thought today would be a perfect opportunity to also recognize the heart institutes that not only encourage healthy lifestyles but work miracles each day to save lives. I know I personally owe a loved one's life to the feats accomplished inside their walls.

We’re happy to feature some of those very facilities in the pages of HEALTHCARE DESIGN, including the work healthcare design firms have done to support those hospitals in their endeavors. A great example is the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Heart Hospital at Kettering Medical Center, which was the focus of the September 2011 article “Patients First.”

Look for more content dedicated to cardiac care centers in 2012, when we’ll usher in a special August issue with a Spotlight on Heart Hospitals.

For more information on World Heart Day, please visit www.world-heart-federation.org .