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Every heartbeat counts: an interview with the Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, Dr Charmaine Griffiths
  1. Clare Coyle
  1. Correspondence to Dr Clare Coyle, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London W1T 7HA, UK; c.coyle{at}

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The British Heart Foundation (BHF) was set up by doctors and philanthropists in 1961 when more than half of all deaths in the UK were caused by cardiovascular disease. Their aim, as now, was to reduce this through research and innovation. In the 60 years since, this number has halved,1 though cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide.2 As a former BHF Swimathon fundraiser and now BHF-funded clinical research fellow, I spoke to the recently appointed Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, Dr Charmaine Griffiths, to find out more about her role and the BHF.

Dr Griffiths was appointed as the Chief Executive of the BHF in February of this year, returning to the charity to take on the challenge of delivering their recently launched 10-year strategy to 2030. Having lost loved ones to heart and circulatory disease, she is passionate about the BHF’s life-saving work and is proud to be the first woman to hold this role. She is a scientist by training, with a life-long curiosity for science and health and a neuroscience PhD from UCL. Having worked in science engagement for the Wellcome Trust during her post doc, she joined the BHF in 2003 and held a number of roles across the charity. She also completed an MBA and held a number of Trustee and sector positions in this time. Over the past …

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  • Funding This study was supported by British Heart Foundation (BHF Clinical Research Training Fellowship FS/20/14).

  • Competing interests I am a BHF-funded research fellow as stated within the article.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.