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April 30, 2020
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News From Medscape
The following recommended articles on are freely available through the partnership between ABC and Medscape, no registration or login required.

COVID-19 Pandemic: 'Another Earthquake' Exposing Glaring Health Inequities
ABC President Dr. Michelle A. Albert and American Heart Association President Dr. Bob Harrington engage in a discussion about COVID-19, the impact on Black Communities and the social determinants of health that urgently need to be addressed to close the disparity gap. Hear what they had to say on The Bob Harrington on | Medscape Cardiology.
CDC Adds Six Symptoms to COVID-19 List
The CDC has added several new symptoms to its list for the coronavirus: chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, repeated shaking with chills and a loss of taste or smell. The six new symptoms join the existing list with fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Hospitals Update Hydroxychloroquine Protocols After FDA Warning
Across the country, hospitals are incorporating Friday's warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the risks of prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19 into their treatment protocols. For some hospitals, the message affirmed the cautious approach they were already taking with hydroxychloroquine. "From a New York state or Northwell perspective, there is no major change," said Onisis Stefas, PharmD, vice president of pharmacy at Northwell Health in New York. Prior to the updates, the treatment protocols indicated that hydroxychloroquine should only be considered after weighing the risks and benefits for patients who are not candidates for other clinical trials and meet a specific set of health criteria.
Metastatic Cancer Linked to Worse Outcomes of COVID-19
Cancer type, stage, and recent treatment may affect outcomes of COVID-19 in cancer patients, according to a study of patients from China. The data showed that patients with hematologic malignancies and those with metastatic cancers had higher risks of developing severe or critical COVID-19 symptoms, being admitted to the ICU, requiring ventilation, and dying.
COVID-19 Spurs Telemedicine, Furloughs, Retirement
The broad use of telemedicine has been a bright spot in the COVID-19 response, but the pandemic is also creating significant disruption as some physicians are furloughed and others consider practice changes. A recent survey of physicians conducted by Merritt Hawkins and The Physicians Foundation examined how physicians are being affected by and responding to the pandemic. The findings are based on completed surveys from 842 physicians. About one-third of respondents are primary care physicians, while two-thirds are surgical, medical, and diagnostic specialists and subspecialists.
Diabetes Doc Who Turned His Unit to COVID-19 Sees End in Sight
Endocrinology units turned entirely over to patients with COVID-19 when the pandemic struck the French capital could start returning to routine care soon, according to Jean-François Gautier, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and head of diabetes and endocrinology at Lariboisière Hospital, in Paris, France. Medscape Medical News caught up with him to discover how he made the transformation, what impact this had on his staff and regular patients, and when he envisages going back to routine care.

Items of Interest

The New Pandemic Threat: People May Die Because They're Not Calling 911
The Association of Black Cardiologists and other leaders of major national organizations - dedicated to saving people from heart disease and stroke - speak out about reports from the front lines of hospitals that indicate there has been a marked drop in the number of heart attacks and strokes nationally. But, COVID-19 is definitely not stopping people from having heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrests.
What High COVID-19 Mortality Among Black Patients Tells us About CVD Care in the Us
The high mortality rates from COVID-19 among black patients and other racial/ethnic minorities put a much-needed spotlight on the “deep-rooted failures” of the U.S. healthcare system to improve care for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new commentary from authors Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, a professor of medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and Samar A. Nasser, PhD, MPH, director of clinical health services at the George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The authors noted that high COVID-19 mortality among black patients “reflects long-standing, unacceptable U.S. racial/ethnic and socioeconomic CVD inequities and unmasks system failures and unacceptable care to be caught and mitigated.”
COMMENTARY | It's No Surprise That COVID-19 Is Exposing Health Disparities
The coronavirus’ impact on African Americans requires us to address an ongoing problem for U.S. communities, so says Garth Graham, M.D., MPH, vice president of community health and impact at CVS Health and Oliver T. Brooks, M.D., president of the National Medical Association, who co-authored a commentary in US News.
UAB's Dr. Mona Fouad on COVID-19, Health Disparities in Birmingham and More
Dr. Mona Fouad is playing a leading role in local efforts to bridge health care disparities in Alabama’s most disadvantaged communities. Inclusivity is a key focus of Fouad’s work at the UAB School of Medicine, where she works as the senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, the director of the Division of Preventative Medicine and the founding director of the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center. The BBJ recently spoke with Dr. Fouad about her career background, her current work at UAB and future plans for the Live HealthSmart initiative to improve health care across the state.
What Black Doctors and Nurses Want You to Know About COVID-19
For Black health care workers, there is the duality of absolutely holding space for every single victim of this disease, no matter who they are or where they come from, that must live alongside the knowledge that one of the most significant complications of COVID-19 is racism. ESSENCE spoke exclusively to a number of Black doctors, nurses and health care professionals from around the country with the singular goal of learning and sharing what they are seeing and what they would want people to know about what’s happening on what’s often described as the “front lines.”
What Life Is Like on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Outbreak
Dr. Kecia Gaither, MPH, double board-certified in OB-GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, is director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. She agreed to speak with Healthline about her experiences during the ongoing crisis.
Why Black Cardiologists are Vital — and Rare
Black cardiologists' numbers don't match importance of the role they could play in fighting heart disease among African Americans. The American Heart Association News interviewed Drs. Rachel Bond and Icilma Fergus about the low numbers of black cardiologists and why it’s crucial to increase those numbers.
COVID-19's Lopsided Impact on Minorities Should 'Ignite' Reform, Experts Say
The disproportionate burden of COVID-19 infections and fatalities among minority groups in the United States should push policy makers, the healthcare community, and citizens to do more to rectify stark healthcare disparities, experts say. Better testing and culturally targeted PSAs are needed in the short term; on the other side, societal fixes will be critical. (TCTMD interviews Clyde Yancy, MD, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.)
COVID-19: Frontline Perspectives in Jamaica

COVID-19 & You: The Effect of COVID-19 on the Heart
The effects of COVID-19 on the lungs are well-known. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more information is becoming available about the role the virus, called SARS-CoV-2, has on the heart. In this episode of COVID-19 & You, Chairman, Founder and CEO Consultant Cardiologist of The Heart Institute of the Caribbean and HIC Heart Hospital, Prof. Ernest Madu informs us of the impact COVID-19 has on the heart and why persons with cardiovascular disease are at an increased risk of more severe complications.

COVID-19 Pandemic Has Heightened Inequalities – UWI Clinical Pharmacologist
Clinical Pharmacologist at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Kenneth Connell says the COVID19 Pandemic has heightened inequalities faced by many in society. Dr. Connell says the increased risk of mortality due to the high incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases, NCDs among the poor, and those of African descent have been brought into sharp focus.

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.

The Role of Cardiac MRI in Animal Models of Cardiotoxicity: Hopes and Challenges
Co-authored by Mary E. Branch (with Carolyn J. Park, Sujethra Vasu and Giselle C. Meléndez)
Given the rising population of cancer survivors and the current lack of effective therapies for the management of cardiotoxicity, research combining clinically relevant animal models and non-invasive cardiac imaging remains essential to improve methods to monitor, predict, and treat cardiovascular adverse events. This comprehensive review summarizes the lessons learned from animal models of cardiotoxicity employing CMR and tissue characterization techniques and discusses the ongoing challenges and hopes for the future.
Association of Outpatient Practice-Level Socioeconomic Disadvantage With Quality of Care and Outcomes Among Older Adults With Coronary Artery Disease: Implications for Value-Based Payment
Co-authored by Kim A. Williams (with Rishi K. Wadhera, Deepak L. Bhatt, Amy J.H. Kind, Yang Song, Thomas M. Maddox, Robert W. Yeh, Liyan Dong, Gheorghe Doros, Alexander Turchin, and Karen E. Joynt Maddox)
Medicare patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) have been a significant focus of value-based payment programs for outpatient practices. Physicians and policymakers, however, have voiced concern that value-based payment programs may penalize practices that serve vulnerable populations. This study evaluated whether outpatient practices that serve socioeconomically disadvantaged populations have worse CAD outcomes, and if this reflects the delivery of lower-quality care or rather, patient and community factors beyond the care provided by physician practices.

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!



Work with nationally recognized research experts and learn more about clinical trial research in ACC’s newly expanded Clinical Trials Research: Upping Your Game Program. Apply for this opportunity by May 30.


The Cardiovascular Digital Health Journal will be published
every other month beginning in July 2020.

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. The first round of applications is due April 30, 2020.


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


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.


Upcoming Events

March 26th Message Related to the Upcoming 2020 Conference

NMA continues to monitor the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 1st, 2020, NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly remains scheduled for August 1–5 in Atlanta.


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