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July 24, 2020


ABC COVID-19 Innovation Awards

In an effort to identify solution-focused mechanisms aimed at mitigating the pandemic’s impact, ABC has established the Association of Black Cardiologists COVID-19 Innovation Awards. Six individual applications will be awarded: 4 awards each totaling $25,000 and 2 awards each totaling $50,000 will be disbursed.

Applications from individual(s) or organizations that satisfy one or more of the indicated criteria are welcome.


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

AHA Issues Scientific Statement on Genetic Testing for Inherited CVD
Advances in genetic testing are improving the understanding of a variety of inherited cardiovascular diseases, but not all cardiologists are aware of the benefits and risks of incorporating genetic test results into clinical practice.
Used Together, Troponin and Coronary Calcium Improve CV Risk Assessment
If either high sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTnT) or coronary artery calcium (CAC) are elevated, the 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) climbs substantially, which suggests these biomarkers yield more prognostic information when they are used together, according to a cohort study with a median 15 years of follow-up.
Prediabetes, A 'Window of Opportunity' to Prevent Heart Disease?
People with prediabetes had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and dying from all causes during the next decade compared to people with normal glucose levels in a new large meta-analysis. The increased risks remained even with different definitions of prediabetes in the subset of people with prediabetes and preexisting CVD.
SGLT2 Inhibitors, Developed for T2D, Now 'Belong to Cardiologists and Nephrologists'
It's passé to think of the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor drugs as agents that primarily treat hyperglycemia because their major clinical role has rapidly morphed into treating or preventing heart failure and chronic kidney disease.
Cardiovascular Risk Factors Tied to Midlife Cognitive Decline
Cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs), including hypertension, diabetes, and smoking, are linked to a significantly increased risk for cognitive decline in midlife in a dose-dependent manner, new research shows.

Encourage Patients to Learn More About Afib and the HEARTLINE Trial

Approximately six million people in the United States live with an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation (AFib). Up to 30% of those people don’t even know they have it until a serious cardiovascular event, such as stroke, occurs because AFib is often not associated with any symptoms.

In an effort to change this, Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with Apple, is offering eligible U.S. adults 65 years and older with an iPhone the opportunity to join the Heartline™ Study, a nationwide heart health research study.

The Heartline™ Study is designed to explore if the Heartline Study app on iPhone and heart health features on Apple Watch can potentially improve heart health outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke, with earlier detection of AFib.

Each week, participants will have access to a heart health engagement program via the Heartline Study app on iPhone, including wellness tips, surveys and questionnaires across multiple topics related to heart health.

This study is virtual. This means it’s easy to participate from anywhere through your iPhone — including from the comfort of your home — without having to go to a doctor’s office. If you’re 65 or older and interested in being a part of the study, visit to learn more and download the app to see if you’re eligible to enroll.*

*Key eligibility criteria include: you must be 65 or older, a U.S. resident for the duration of the study, able to read/understand English, own an iPhone 6s or later (with iOS 12.2 or later) and have Original (Traditional) Medicare. Other eligibility participation requirements will apply.

Items of Interest

Discrimination Increases Hypertension Risk Among African American Adults
Lifetime discrimination increased the risk for hypertension among African American participants from the Jackson Heart Study, researchers found. (See the featured member section to learn more about this study, “Discrimination and Hypertension Risk Among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study,” co-authored by Tené T. Lewis, MD.)
PERSPECTIVE by Paul Underwood, MD
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and recent social unrest has shed new light on health disparities, social determinants of health and racism. The recent article by Forde and colleagues provides insight into the link between everyday or lifetime discrimination and hypertension, a major driver of CV morbidity in African Americans.
Dr. Annette Ansong and Colleagues Gives Presentation on COVID-19 related illness in Children for Facebook Live Session
On July 3, U.S. based-Ghanaian Pediatric Cardiologists, Drs. George Ofori-Amanfo, Annette Ansong, and Benjamin Acheampong took part in an educational webinar series hosted by the Ghana Physicians & Surgeons Foundation of North America (GPSF). GPSF Vice-President Dr. Bertha Serwaa Ayi moderated the webinar, which focused on the COVID-related Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Dr. Ofori-Amanfo shared his personal experience with MIS-C at his New York hospital as well as the facts and figures that are currently known about the syndrome. Dr. Ansong presented her outpatient cardiology perspective on dealing with pediatric heart disease during this pandemic. Dr. Acheampong explored some of the debatable issues with MIS-C management and offered his thoughts on the topic. It was a fun, engaging learning experience for all in attendance. (Submitted by Dr. Ansong)
Dr. Sheila Sahni Gives Keynote at Google's Think Health
Sheila Sahni, MD, was chosen as the keynote speaker for Google Healthcare’s Thought Leadership series, Think Health, for her role as a pioneer in the use of digital media for patient education and advocacy. She shared insights from her work with UCLA Women’s Heart and the hashtag #RadialFirst. Dr. Sahni also discussed her practice’s transformation in cardiovascular care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic (Submitted by Dr. Sahni).

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.

Racial Differences in Diuretic Efficiency, Plasma Renin, and Rehospitalization in Subjects With Acute Heart Failure
Co-authored by Alanna A. Morris (with Aditi Nayak, Yi-An Ko, Melroy D’Souza, G. Michael Felker, Margaret M. Redfield, W.H. Wilson Tang, Jeffrey M. Testani and Javed Butler)
Black patients have higher rates of hospitalization for acute heart failure than other race/ethnic groups. This study seeks to determine whether diuretic efficiency is associated with racial differences in risk for rehospitalization after acute heart failure.
Coronavirus Disease 19 in Minority Populations of Newark, New Jersey
Co-authored by Alexis K. Okoh (with , Christoph Sossou, Neha S. Dangayach, Sherin Meledathu, Oluwakemi Phillips, Corinne Raczek, Michael Patti, Nathan Kang, Sameer A. Hirji, Charles Cathcart, Christian Engell, et al.)
The purpose of this study is to report the clinical features and outcomes of Black/African American (AA) and Latino Hispanic patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalized in an inter-city hospital in the state of New Jersey.
Alexis K Okoh, MD @OkohMd
Our work entitled “Coronavirus Disease 19 in Minority Populations of Newark, New Jersey" has been flagged by Springer Nature as relevant to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and shared with the World Health Organization.

Discrimination and Hypertension Risk Among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study
Co-authored by Tené Lewis (with Allana T. Forde, Mario Sims, Paul Muntner, Amanda Onwuka, Kari Moore and Ana V. Diez Roux)
African Americans have a higher risk of hypertension compared with other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. One possible explanation for this disparity is discrimination. Few studies have examined the association between discrimination and incidence of hypertension. We examined whether everyday discrimination, lifetime discrimination, and stress from discrimination were associated with incident hypertension and whether these associations differed by gender, age, discrimination attribution, and coping responses to discrimination among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study.

ABC Member Seeks Your Help With Study

Rachel M Bond, MD, FACC is the System Director, Women's Heart Health, at Dignity Health, Arizona and Principal Investigator of a study that is seeking information from practicing clinicians who are involved in the diagnosis and/or management of females with heart valve disease.

Your assistance will help in a qualitative research project brought to you by the research division of the Women's Heart Health Program of Dignity Health in Arizona. The goal of the project is to better understand the reasons for disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of women with heart valve disease. Any information you provide will be confidential, and your participation is completely voluntary. You may end your participation in the study at any time without penalty.

Please click on this link to answer some questions. It should take 20-25 minutes. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Alex Yaconetti at or 480-728-9971.

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!


Now Accepting Applications
Dr. Richard Allen Williams Scholarship
for Medical Students

Dr. Williams The Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. (ABC) is pleased to announce the Dr. Richard Allen Williams Scholarship for African American and other minority 1st or 2nd year medical students who show promise in medical research, cardiology and academic medicine. This scholarship honors Richard Allen Williams, MD, FACC, FAHA, founder of the Association of Black Cardiologists and was created to promote diversity in medicine, encourage commitment to eliminating health care disparities and support future cardiologists, while helping to alleviate medical student debt.

$5,000 scholarships will be awarded to recipients in honor of Dr. Richard Allen Williams. Winners will be announced by September 25, 2020.

Awards are based upon the following criteria:
  • Demonstrated ability, interest, and participation in the promotion of health for the African American community
  • Participation in research or other extracurricular activities, demonstrated academic pursuits and clinical acumen
  • Proven leadership during his or her academic pursuits
Applicants should submit the following documents electronically via our online form:
  • A one-page statement of interest
  • Official medical school transcript
  • Recent curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation from a professor at current medical school
Questions: Katrese Phelps McCullum at

Deadline to submit: August 28, 2020


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.
**PRIDE is still recruiting for Summer 2020. We are currently working out how to hold sessions if we are unable to do so onsite due to COVID-19. The programs will carry-on. If you are interested you may still apply.


Job Opening | Non- Invasive Cardiologist | Mount Vernon/Alexandria, VA

The Inova Heart and Vascular Institute is seeking a board-certified/eligible Non-Invasive Cardiologist for our Mount Vernon/Alexandria location. Inova Cardiology comprises an elite team of board-certified cardiologists providing the highest level of comprehensive care to help patients achieve heart and vascular wellness.

Our world-class physicians provide quality and experienced care using the most advanced diagnostic procedures and treatments. Inova Cardiology physicians create customized care plans for each patient’s unique needs to deliver highly personalized care to help patients achieve improved heart and overall health.

The non-invasive cardiologist will support our Mount Vernon and Alexandria Hospital locations.

Inova Alexandria Hospital: Our heart specialists use advanced technologies to provide cardiac patients with services that include evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, education, and rehabilitation. Our diagnostic and treatment capabilities include cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital: Offers an array of interventional radiology and other cardiac services including cardiac stress tests.

Inova is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that serves more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area, and beyond. Inova is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient services and facilities, primary and specialty care practices, and health and wellness initiatives.

  • MD from an accredited university medical school.

  • Board eligible or board-certified in cardiology.

  • Credentialed in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology with skills in interpreting carotid and peripheral vascular non-invasive studies.

  • Current Virginia state medical license and DEA preferred.

  • Ability to achieve full and unrestricted hospital privileges at Mount Vernon and Alexandria Inova hospitals.
This is a full-time position with competitive compensation and benefits, including medical, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as defined contribution retirement plans.

Interested applicants should email or send CV to:


There is still time to nominate a physician for a 2020 Excellence in Medicine Award! These awards recognize physicians who exemplify the highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership and dedication to the care of underserved populations.

Nominations will be accepted via the application portal thru July 31, 2020 at 11:59PM CST. You will be able to complete the application process at your own pace by simply clicking "save & continue" as you complete each section.




ABC’s COVID-19 FAQ Community Watch Available Now

Watch ABC’s video on proper hand-washing etiquette, featuring sisters Laini and Asilia Ferdinand. This video is part of ABC’s COVID-19 FAQ Community Watch resources. Please share with your family, friends and colleagues.

Upcoming Events

Sign up Today for the 2020 ASPC Virtual Summit! The complimentary 2-day summit will cover a wide range of topics on the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease presented by a faculty that will include several ABC members: Ileana Piña, MD, Hannah Valantine, MD, MRCP, Renée Bullock-Palmer, MD, Keith Ferdinand, MD, FASPC. The keynote lecture will be given by Herman Taylor Jr., MD, MPH. The honorary fellow lecture will be given by Nanette Wenger, MD, FASPC. The latest research in prevention will be displayed in the virtual abstract hall and information on the latest products and technology can be found in the corporate partner showcase.




The NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly Goes Virtual
Friday, July 31 – Tuesday, August 4, 2020.
This year’s theme: A 2020 Vision: Transcending COVID-19 To A Healthier Black America.




CRF has transitioned the in-person conference to a compelling and unique virtual experience – TCT Connect – broadcast online October 14-18, 2020. The event will feature live case-based transmissions from around the globe, late-breaking clinical trials and science, virtual training, and countless opportunities to learn and engage with the brightest minds in interventional cardiovascular medicine. Call for Science submission deadlines will be extended. New dates will be announced soon.


After months of thorough, thoughtful review and discussion, and with a continued commitment to the health and safety of participants and staff, the American Heart Association will present Scientific Sessions 2020 as a 100% virtual experience in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be held November 13-17, 2020, with registration opening in mid-August.


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Click here to support ABC through your purchases on Amazon or AmazonPrime!

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