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March 27, 2020

Coronavirus: A Message From ABC President-Elect Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH

Friends and Colleagues: At this time in our global history, we are severely challenged by the ongoing COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic while concurrently inspired by how different communities are pulling together at individual, leadership, medical, scientific and public health levels to mitigate this pandemic. At ABC, we want to remind you of the importance of social distancing and adherence to sanitary measures. ABC stands closely with you in support of your safety, well-being and health.

News From Medscape
The following recommended articles on are freely available through the partnership between ABC and Medscape, no registration or login required.

AHA Guidance for CPR, Emergency CV Care Amid COVID-19
The American Heart Association (AHA) has issued interim guidance for CPR and emergency cardiovascular care for patients with known or suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to help reduce the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The ACC.20/WCC Sessions Are Virtually Here: A Preview
Online learning rises to the next level starting March 28 with the ambitious, pioneering response from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to the cancellation of its annual scientific sessions live meeting forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, uncharted territory in most every way.
Cath and Coronavirus: ACC, SCAI Weigh in on MI, Elective Cases
New challenges can lead to new rules, or at least new protocols based on the best available data. The president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) recently announced a set of informal recommendations on how to manage patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19 infection who, in ordinary times, would be sent to the cardiac catheterization laboratory without hesitation. The next day, a fuller and more nuanced version of the recommendations was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology under the sponsorship of SCAI itself and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Resources
John Hopkins COVID-19 Interactive Map
The data sources for this map include the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, 1point3acres,, BNO, state and national government health departments, local media reports, and the DXY, one of the world’s largest online communities for physicians, health care professionals, pharmacies and facilities.
CDC Updates on COVID-19
Find out what you need to know and about available resources from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention page on COVID-19.
WHO Info on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
Gain access to global situation reports, travel advice, and current info on research activities for the Coronavirus disease from the World Health Organization (WHO).
FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control
This FEMA page is intended to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. Do your part to stop the spread of disinformation by doing 3 easy things; don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.
FDA Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Daily Update
Visit this FDA page for pertinent info on COVID-19 including the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup” and other alerts such as the consumer notice on fraudulent Coronavirus tests, vaccines and treatments.
Items of Interest

Roxana Mehran, MD: ACC 2020 Preview
HCPLive® interviews Roxana Mehran, MD, an ACC 2020 late-breaking presentation panelist and Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Trials at the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Get a preview of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2020 Scientific Sessions virtual agenda, which kicks off Saturday morning. Find out about the most promising trial presentations and learn more about the move to a virtual meeting format.
What Will Happen With Telehealth When the Emergency is Over?
As healthcare providers embrace new telehealth and mHealth services to address the Coronavirus pandemic, they should remember one thing: Capture and store all the data. Federal and state agencies are revising guidelines and reducing barriers to connected health at a dizzying pace, giving providers the opportunity to try things they’ve hesitated to try before. But these new freedoms will only last as long as the emergency, and experts worry that the telehealth wave will wane if the momentum isn’t maintained. They should also be capturing quality data and fine-tuning business plans to keep that momentum going after the emergency ends.
PODCAST | Telehealth: Ensuring Quality Cardiovascular Care During Uncertain Times
In this Practice Made Perfect podcast episode, Alison Bailey hosts Ami Bhatt and Andrew Freeman in a discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and how to prioritize patient safety while setting up telemedicine services.
Study Uncovers Bias and Stereotyping When Recruiting Patients for Clinical Trials
New research reveals bias and stereotyping among clinical and research professionals who recruit patients to enroll in cancer clinical trials. The findings are published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS). See study in the "Featured Articles by Members" section below.
CRT 2020 | Gender and Race Disparities in Hypertension — Dr Ileana Piña
Dr. Ileana Piña, MD, MPH, discusses whether gender and race disparities exist for essential hypertension. With references to the SPRINT trial, she discusses a number of issues around this important topic, to look at the SPRINT trial outcomes, the affect of gender, race and social determinants on hypertension and the importance of patient adherence to medical treatment.
Top 10 Things to Know When Performing Cardiac Imaging to Assess Cardiac Amyloidosis
Renée Bullock-Palmer, MD, offers ten points to keep in mind when diagnosing, assessing prognosis, and determining therapeutic response of cardiac amyloidosis with cardiac imaging.
The Majority of Milwaukee Coronavirus Cases are Middle-Aged African American Men
The majority of confirmed coronavirus cases in the city of Milwaukee involve middle-aged African American men, Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said Monday. Kowalik did not offer a specific number or percentage but said the majority of the city's confirmed cases — 158 in total as of Monday afternoon — are middle-aged African American men. The first three Milwaukee patients reported to have died after contracting coronavirus were all African American men in their 50s or 60s. The men who died had underlying conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart problems.
Black Doctors Face Added Burden in Outbreak: Patient Trust
Black doctors say the burden of the coronavirus crisis weighs exponentially on them. They harbor concern about the history of health care inequities in underserved communities and worry about how testing and services will play out as the virus spreads from coast to coast. And so, they go about their business with multiple responsibilities: do their jobs, make sure black communities are not left behind in the process of treatment, and convince people of color to trust the services they hope will become accessible. (Dr. William Cooper, a thoracic surgeon in Marietta, Georgia, is quoted in the article.)
Cardiac Injury in COVID-19 Sharply Increases Risk of Death
Wuhan researchers have published details on 416 hospitalized patients, but treatment pathways remain unclear. New data out of Wuhan, China, confirm that cardiac injury is common in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and, unsurprisingly, is tightly linked to higher mortality. One in five patients had cardiac injury; among those who did, half died, Shaobo Shi, MD (Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, China), reports in JAMA Cardiology.

Journal Reference: Shi S, Qin M, Shen B, et al. Association of cardiac injury with mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. JAMA Cardiol. 2020;Epub ahead of print.

ACE Inhibitors, ARBs, and COVID-19: New Insights, Advice
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way many physicians view the use of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), but experts caution against changing practice at this point given the lack of data showing any risk and stress that there is not enough evidence to suggest these medications can worsen COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Concern over these drugs grew out of observational Chinese research showing greater morbidity and mortality among patients with hypertension who develop COVID-19. However, these studies did not adjust for confounding variables, “and thus it remains unclear if this association is related to the pathogenesis of hypertension or another associated comorbidity or treatment,” according to Ankit Patel, MD, PhD, and Ashish Verma, MBBS (both from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA), who wrote a viewpoint on the topic this week in JAMA.

Journal Reference: Patel AB, Verma A. COVID-19 and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers: what is the evidence? JAMA. 2020;Epub ahead of print.

Cardiac Considerations Amid COVID-19: Shared Stories May Save Lives
The experience of Chinese physicians is leading the way for others around the world as the pandemic explodes in the US. As the medical community mobilizes to deal with growing infection rates of COVID-19, physicians are trying to understand how the virus interacts with the cardiovascular system, taking cues from the experience of China and others. A new paper in Circulation illustrates how one group of cardiologists has been documenting what is known and unknown in order to help themselves and their colleagues.

Journal Reference: Clerkin KJ, Fried JA, Raikhelkar J, et al. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2020;Epub ahead of print.

CVD in the Setting of COVID-19: Considerations to Prepare Patients, Providers, Health Systems
The cardiovascular community will be on the frontlines and play a key role in managing and treating patients with COVID-19. In a paper published March 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, considerations for patients, providers and health systems now and during the COVID-19 pandemic are outlined, along with a review of what's currently known from the available literature about this disease and its cardiovascular impacts, as well as the gaps in knowledge.

Journal Reference: Elissa Driggin, Mahesh V. Madhavan, Behnood Bikdeli, et al. Cardiovascular Considerations for Patients, Health Care Workers, and Health Systems During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;Epub ahead of print DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.03.031.

First Study Identifies Risk Factors Associated With Death in Adults Hospitalized With New Coronavirus Disease in Wuhan
Being of an older age, showing signs of sepsis, and having blood clotting issues when admitted to hospital are key risk factors associated with higher risk of death from the new coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a new observational study of 191 patients with confirmed COVID-19 from two hospitals in Wuhan, China.

Journal Reference: Fei Zhou, Ting Yu, Ronghui Du, MD, et al. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. The Lancet, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30566-3

BONUS: Listen to the interview with Dr. Bin Cao, a “Clinical course” co-author from Wuhan, on a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “Public Health On Call” Podcast: “A Doctor’s Perspective from Wuhan

Featured Articles by Members
ABC Members: We welcome your published research submissions and articles for inclusion in future issues of Clinical Updates and Insights. Email Rachel Williams at and please attach file or include links to the original published work and/or abstract.

Bias and Stereotyping Among Research and Clinical Professionals: Perspectives On Minority Recruitment for Oncology Clinical Trials
Co-authored by Mona N. Fouad (with Soumya J. Niranjan, Michelle Y. Martin, Selwyn M. Vickers, Jennifer A. Wenzel, Elise D. Cook, Badrinath R. Konety and Raegan W. Durant)
In recent years, extensive attention has been paid to the possibility that bias among health care professionals contributes to health disparities. In its 2003 report, the Institute of Medicine concluded that bias against racial minorities may affect communication or care offered. However, to the authors' knowledge, the role of bias within the context of recruitment of racial and ethnic minorities to cancer clinical trials has not been explored to date. Therefore, the authors assessed the experiences of clinical and research personnel related to factors influencing the recruitment of racial and ethnic minorities for cancer clinical trials.
Protocol Paper: Stepped Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial Translating the ABCS Into Optimizing Cardiovascular Care for People Living With HIV
Co-authored by Stephen K. Williams (Brent A. Johnson, Jonathan N. Tobin, Amneris Esther Luqued, Mechelle Sanders, Jennifer K. Carroll, Andrea Cassells, Tameir Holder and Kevin Fiscella)
People living with HIV (PWH) are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke in comparison to their non-infected counterparts. The ABCS (aspirin-blood pressure control-cholesterol control-smoking cessation) reduce atherosclerotic (ASCVD) risk in the general population, but little is known regarding strategies for promoting the ABCS among PWH. Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), we designed multilevel implementation strategies that target PWH and their clinicians to promote appropriate use of the ABCS based on a 10-year estimated ASCVD risk. Implementation strategies include patient coaching, automated texting, peer phone support, academic detailing and audit and feedback for the patient's clinician. We are evaluating implementation through a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial based on the Reach-Effectiveness-Adoption-Maintenance/Qualitative-Evaluation-for-Systematic-Translation (RE-AIM/QuEST) mixed methods framework that integrates quantitative and qualitative assessments. The primary outcome is change in ASCVD risk. Findings will have important implications regarding strategies for reducing ASCVD risk among PWH.

Healthy People 2020 Health Disparities Data Widget
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) are pleased to announce the release of a new data search function. The Health Disparities widget is a new way for you to access this health disparities information. The new widget provides an easy way to find health disparities data related to the Healthy People 2020 objectives for the Leading Health Indicators (LHIs).

We LOVE to LEARN how our ABC Members are making a difference! Please Share. Giving a keynote speech? Presenting at a Grand Round? Receiving an Award? Interviewed by the Press? Published in a journal? Presenter or Panelist at a Conference? Graduating? Email Rachel Williams at or please tag or DM us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with links/details, so we can spotlight your excellence in our newsletter!


$2.5 million now available for fast-tracked heart and brain focused scientific research of COVID-19

As part of its global response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health and research, is committing $2.5 million to research efforts to better understand this unique coronavirus and its interaction with the body’s cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. AHA will fund one national coordinating center along with at least 10 project grants of $100,000 each. Due to the critical need, the process will be expedited with applications due by April 6. Awardees announced in May and projects underway by June.


Million Hearts® announces a NEW Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program that will spotlight clinical entities committed to reducing the impact of heart attacks and strokes. Learn how you can apply below.

Job Opening | Assistant/Associate Professor of Cardiology

The Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the Morehouse School of Medicine is seeking a BC/BE interventional cardiologist at the assistant or associate professor level.

This position includes practice in a facility with state of the art invasive/interventional and noninvasive laboratories, the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and cardiology fellowship training program. Qualified applicants should possess outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills with commitment to teaching and research. Additional skills in echocardiography, nuclear and peripheral imaging is desirable.

Interested applicants should email or send CV to:

Anekwe Onwuanyi, MD, FACC, FHFSA
Chief, Division of Cardiology
720 Westview Drive, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Phone: (404) 616-8804


Call for Applications: ACCEL Editor-in-Chief

ACC’s Lifelong Learning Oversight Committee is seeking a qualified candidate to serve as ACCEL Editor-in-Chief. ACCEL is ACC’s audio learning product that helps its users understand the latest science in cardiovascular disease and provides CME credit and MOC points to cardiovascular professionals. The new editor will work with members, staff and the publisher to innovate the way this product is created and delivered. It is anticipated that this position will require approximately 10 hours per week for an 18-month term of service. There will be no extensions to the deadline.

Application Deadline: Friday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET


Call For Applications: ACCSAP Editor in Chief

ACC's Lifelong Learning Oversight Committee is seeking a qualified candidate to serve as ACCSAP Editor in Chief. ACCSAP is ACC's flagship self-assessment program covering the entire field of adult clinical cardiology. As of 2019, it allows users to meet their ABIM MOC assessment option through the new Collaborative Maintenance Pathway. To ensure consistent leadership and allow for continual improvement of the program, the commitment will be for a total of five years. There will be no extensions to the deadline.

Application Deadline: Friday, April 17 at 11:59 p.m. ET


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's PRIDE Summer Institute is now accepting applications! There are nine mentored research training programs offering career advancing opportunities for junior-level faculty and research scientists from diverse backgrounds. Rolling admission until all positions are filled.




Upcoming Events

Student National Medical Association AMEC 2020 Update

The leadership of Student National Medical Association (SNMA) has decided to forgo its on-site 2020 Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC) in Cleveland, OH and is considering alternative options that will be determined and communicated in the coming weeks. SNMA made this decision considering the increased concerns and recent occurrences related to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 as well as the restricted travel impacting several organizations attending this year’s AMEC.


2020 Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions Update

The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Board of Trustees convened on March 17, 2020 to address the unprecedented challenges and concerns of our community in responding to COVID-19. The outlook for the next few months makes the viability of the 2020 Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions as an in-person meeting on May 6-9, 2020, in San Diego, CA highly unlikely. HRS is exploring alternatives to an in-person meeting, including the sharing of science digitally. A decision regarding the status of the Scientific Sessions will be made after April 6, 2020.


Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2020 Scientific Sessions Update

The SCAI 2020 Scientific Sessions which were scheduled to take place in Atlanta, Georgia from May 13–16 have been canceled. We will provide virtual content in various formats that you can access online via an on-demand platform or via live broadcast. These plans are currently in development.


American Diabetes Association (ADA) 79th Scientific Sessions Update

The ADA continues to monitor current Federal guidance as well as public health guidance in the state of Illinois. At this time, the 80th Scientific Sessions, is scheduled to take place June 12-16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois at the McCormick Place Convention Center as planned.


European Society of Cardiology Congress (ESC) Update

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus and the resulting travel restrictions imposed on many physicians have required the cancellation of EHRA 2020 (29-31 March, Vienna) and ESC Preventive Cardiology 2020 (2-4 April, Malaga). The ESC is reviewing all other upcoming congresses and events on a case-by-case basis. Any changes will be announced here. Our heartfelt best wishes go out to you and your patients.


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