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Update: ABC Annual Membership Meeting
The ABC General Membership Dinner Meeting was held on Saturday, March 16th at Arnaud’s Restaurant in New Orleans, LA. The program opened with welcoming comments from our Board Chair, Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH. Updates were then given to our membership, sponsors and friends on Research (by Eldrin Lewis, MD, MPH, Research Committee Chair), on the organization’s business development (by Inside Edge Consulting Group) and on the Fellows-In-Training Committee (by Sabra Lewsey, MD, MPH Fellows Representative to the Board of Directors). Keith Ferdinand, MD, delivered a presentation on “Sharing Our Progress: Access to Care and Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease” to update attendees on the ABC Access Initiative. And, Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH took the stage to discuss the importance of access and introduce a new Shaquille O’Neal campaign, “Shaquille Gets Real About Heart Failure.” ABC President John M. Fontaine, MD, MBA, closed with a President’s Report and special announcement that Boston Scientific would become a founding sponsor of ABC’s Value Based Care Collaborative.


Mr. Scott Johnson, a member of the
Stakeholder Advisory Board for the
Eugene Washington Award.
Ms. Angela Burroughs
ABC, PCORI and University of Maryland Host Patient-Centered Workshop for ACC.19
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Training for ABC Practitioners Workshop was held on March 17, 2019 at 7:00 am during the ACC meeting, as a collaboration with the Association of Black Cardiologists, the University of Maryland, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Over 30 attendees were present as the workshop was opened by Mr. Scott Johnson (pictured above), a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Board for the Eugene Washington Award. Mr. Johnson shared his heart health story, his role on the Stakeholder Advisory Board, and the importance of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) from the patient’s perspective. Dr. Eldrin Lewis, Chair of the ABC’s Research committee, discussed the differences between patient-centered care and PCOR, and shared information about PCORI and our specific Eugene Washington award. Dr. C. Daniel Mullins described what differentiates randomized controlled-trials from comparative effectiveness research (CER), and how patient engagement at every step transforms CER to PCOR. The workshop continued with Dr. Catherine Cooke describing her experiences as a clinician-researcher on how to conduct PCOR within the cardiovascular arena, and Ms. Angela Burroughs (pictured above) led an interactive session on potential research questions for cardiovascular PCOR.

Winner of the Dr. Jay Brown Best Abstract Competition
Alexis Okoh, MD is the winner of the 2019 Dr. Jay Brown Best Abstract Competition, held during the Annual Fellows Dinner in New Orleans. The title of his presentation was “Racial Disparities and Outcomes After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation as Bridge to Heart Transplantation.”

Dr. Okoh is a Physician Scientist at the Cardiovascular Research Unit of the RWJ Barnabas Health Centers in Newark, New Jersey. He served as a research trainee at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN and went ahead to complete a research fellowship at the Endocrine and Metabolism Institute of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland Ohio. He has over five years of experience in the field of cardiovascular research and has contributed immensely to the area during this short time, authoring and co-authoring more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and textbook chapters.

His main research interests are clinical outcomes in valvular heart disease and heart failure. Other areas of interest of his are the utilization of clinical quality improvement tools to better understand healthcare systems, recognize opportunities for improvement, and identify the best practices for achieving these improvements in healthcare outcomes. Congratulations Dr. Okoh.

Finalists in the Dr. Jay Brown Best Abstract Competition include, standing L to R:
Ashraf Abugroun, MD, Olajide Buhari, MD, MD, Sabra Lewsey, MD, MPH, ABC Fellows Representative to the Board of Directors, Kevin F. Kwaku, MD, PHD, Co-Chair, ABC Fellows Committee, Mary Branch, MD, and Alexis Okoh, MD.

ABC/ACC Joint Educational Symposium,Sunday, March 17: “New Paradigms in Contemporary Cardiovascular Care: Application of Guideline-Directed Therapies – Implications for Minority Populations and Resolution of Disparities”
Karol E. Watson, MD, PhD, symposium faculty member, gives a presentation on “PCSK-9 Inhibitors, Appropriate Use and Benefits Application in Minority Populations.” Additional symposium faculty members (L to R):Dawood Darbar MD, PhD, Kenneth A. Jamerson, MD, Program Co-Chair John Fontaine, MD, MBA Kevin L. Thomas, MD, Eldrin F. Lewis MD, MPH, and Program Co-Chair Henry E. Okafor, MD.

Daphne Ferdinand, RN, PhD was among the women in medicine honored at the 2019 New Orleans Go Red for Women Luncheon.


ACC.19 Video Interviews: ABC Members

Dr. Clyde Yancy on What Fellows Should Focus on at ACC 2019
Dr. Nidhi Madan, FIT Roving Reporter from Rush University in Chicago, interviews Dr. Yancy, Northwestern University, about the top things fellows should focus on at ACC 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Barriers Faced By Women in Cardiology | ACC.19
Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, FACC, discusses the barriers women face while entering the field of cardiology and advancing into leadership roles. She also provides advice for women seeking support and mentorship.
Dr. Robert Roswell on Improving Health Equity | ACC.19
Robert Roswell, MD, FACC, discusses some ways that would improve everyone's access to healthcare.
How Ethnicity Impacts CardioMetabolic Risk | ACC.19
Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD, gives an overview of her ACC.19 session on health disparities among African-American women. Learn about the barriers these patients face and ways in which the cardiology community can make strides toward raising awareness.
Dr. Roxana Mehran on Women In Cardiology at ACC '19
Dr. Roxana Mehran (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY) speaks with Dr. Abeer Berry (Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield, MI) about Women in Cardiology (WIC), WIC opportunities at ACC '19 and the launch of Dr. Mehran’s organization, Women As One.
Prevention Has Dr. Ferdinand Most Excited at ACC.19
Dr. Setri Fugar, Cardiology Fellow and FITs Roving Reporter from Rush University, and Dr. Keith Ferdinand, Cardiologist at Tulane University, discuss Preventive Cardiology at the American College of Cardiology 2019 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dr. Annette Ansong Honored with a Woman in White Coat Hero Award
Annette Ansong MD was selected as one of the 2019 Top 20 Women in White Coats Heroes. Each physician was nominated for her strong clinical work, service, mentorship, research, relief work, innovation and the impact she is having on her patients, the community and the world. All twenty heroes were honored at the Women in White Coats Heroes Award Ceremony & Dinner at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton, GA.

Dr. Mona N. Fouad Speaks at Community Engagement Symposium
As the keynote speaker for the 2019 Community Engagement and Research Symposium at the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Mona N. Fouad, MD, MPH, gave a lecture on “Building Capacity in Health Disparities Research,” offering historical context as well as an overview of the three community-based government funded cancer projects for which she was the lead author: the NCI’s Community-Based Intervention Strategy (CRIS), the NIMHD’s Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT) and the CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010 and REACH for Better Health.

Dr. Dave Montgomery's PreventClinic Co-Hosts a Mindfulness Workshop
Dave Montgomery, MD, PhD, and staff from PreventClinic in collaboration with the Mindfulness Working Group held its first workshop, “Health is a State of Mind,” on the many benefits of mindfulness at the Atlanta Center for Wellness with a standing room only crowd. Dr. Natalie Watson-Singleton and Dr. Neha Khorana were among the leading experts who spoke at the event.

Dr. Gary Gibbons Takes Centerstage at the Utah Cardiac Recovery Symposium
Gary Gibbons, MD, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI),was the keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Utah Cardiac Recovery Symposium (U-CARS) in Salt Lake City, UT, where he spoke about “Advancing Discovery Science for Public Health Impact” to an audience of more than 500 attendees. Dr. Gibbons also appeared on The Scope podcast as a guest expert and outlined the NHLBI’s strategic vision for improving the health of Americans in a conversation with Dr. Stavros Drakos, a cardiologist and professor of Internal Medicine at University of Utah Health. Audio and an online interview transcript can be accessed below.

Dr. Khadijah Breathett Recognized as a "40 Under 40 Leader in Minority Health"
Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, was selected by the National Minority Quality Forum as one of “40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health.” The NMQF chose the 2019 group from hundreds of applications of health-care professionals from throughout the United States, noting that these 40 represent the next generation of thought leaders in reducing health disparities. Dr. Breathett’s current NHLBI project is, “Addressing Individual Provider Bias and Group Decision-Making in Selection of Advanced Heart Failure Therapies in Racial/Ethnic Minorities.”

Dr. Ileana Piña Delivers Keynote at Caribbean Women's Health Conference
Ileana L. Piña, MD, PhD, attended the inaugural Women’s Health Caribbean Conference as one of the keynote speakers.“Heart failure in women” was the topic of Dr. Piña’s speech. She was also co-chair for the “Unhealthy Lifestyle in the Caribbean” segment. Jennifer Mieres, MD presented at the event (on the “Impact of social economic status on women’s cardiac health” and “Optimal diagnostic pathways in IHD”) and served as co-chair (for the “Ischemic heart disease in women”) for separate sessions as well. The conference, which took place in Willemstad, Curacao, brought together experts and attendees from different disciplines, including cardiology, gynecology and oncology.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow Receives an AHA Lifetime Achievement Award
Gregg C. Fonarow, MD was honored at a council dinner during the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research (QCOR) in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke 2019 Scientific Sessions in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Fonarow received the QCOR Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant long-term contribution to outcomes research and the improvement of cardiovascular care and was a keynote speaker as well.

Dr. Myrna Alexander Nickens Participates in an ACC Regional Women's Conference
Myrna Alexander Nickens, MD, shared strategies for addressing physician burnout with a group of forty-two women cardiologists in Point Clear, Alabama at the American College of Cardiology's 2019 Southeastern Women in Cardiology (WIC) Conference. The group also had a breakout session with keynote speaker, Minnow Walsh, MD, FACC, Past President of the American College of Cardiology, and heard from other speakers on topics that included contracts, financial management and how to achieve work-life balance. To see all presentations, click here.

Drs. Tochi Okwuosa and Sharonne Hayes Present at Annual Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium
Tochi Okwuosa, DO, FACC gave a lecture at the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association’s (PCNA) 25th Annual Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Okwuosa’s workshop focused on “Cardio-Oncology: Preventing and Treating Cardiovascular Complications Associated with Cancer Treatments.” Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, was also in attendance and spoke about “Women and CVD: Creating Awareness and Making Prevention a Priority.”

Drs. Niva Lubin-Johnson and Kevin Sneed Speak at NOLA Health Disparities Conference
Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD, FACP, President, National Medical Association, was an Opening Session Panelist at the 12th Health Disparities Conference, hosted by The Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, Research and Education at Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy in New Orleans. Dr. Lubin-Johnson presented on “Achieving Health Equity by Increasing the Numbers of African American Physician Scientists: The NMA / NIH,” during a panel discussion on the “Models of Successes and Failures.” Kevin B. Sneed, PharmD, gave a speech on “Digital Innovations: Value is the New Revenue” during the second plenary session at the two day conference.

Dr. Keith Ferdinand Honored with Champion Award at NOLA Health Disparities Conference
Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, was among four individuals who received the Champion Award, given to Individuals or organizations whose commitment through their vast networkand service contribute to the elimination of health disparities and achievement of health equity. During the conference, Dr. Ferdinand also had a poster presentation on “Evidence-Based Processes and Outcomes of Reach 2010 @ The Heart of New Orleans CBPR (Community Academic Partnership and Engagement) Faith-Based Innovations to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among African Americans” (Cheryl Taylor, et. al). The conference, titled, “Linking Upstream Determinants to Downstream Interventions — Targeting Health Disparities & Health Equity” was organized by Kermit G. Payne, President & CEO of 1 Joshua Group, LLC.


Quinn Capers, IV, MD
Medical School Admissions, Holistic Review, Implicit Bias, and Healthcare Disparities: A Perspective
Kern Institute at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee
Implicit Bias in Healthcare and Medical School Admissions
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Clyde Yancy, MD
Decision Making in Cardiovascular Disease; The Pernicious Influence of Bias and How Best to Overcome Bias
University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson
Heart Failure – Exploring the New Frontiers
University of California San Diego School of Medicine
The following ABC Members can add a new
Fellows designation to their professional credentials

Some great online member-based educational tools to share with patients, family, and friends, who would benefit from learning more about cardiovascular disease and heart health.

Heart Health Tutorial on's Facebook Watch channel
From Dr. Keith Ferdinand
Master teacher Keith Ferdinand MD participated in a video Q&A on cardiovascular disease with In the 23-minute video, Dr. Ferdinand offers a tutorial on the different forms and causes of heart disease, the signs of a heart attack, and ways to decrease specific risk factors through lifestyle changes. He also explains the reason for the new updated blood pressure guidelines utilizing terms an average person can understand. Additionally, he desribes the best ways patients can interact with their healthcare providers and medical institutions when it comes to managing their health. View the broadcast below.

Patient-Centered Tips from the 2019 CVD Prevention Guidelines
From Dr. Renee Bullock-Palmer
American Heart Association Early Career Blogger Renee Bullock-Palmer, MD, blogs about the steps patients can take towards a heart healthy lifestyle based on the latest 2019 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines on Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular disease. Dr. Bullock-Palmer provides seven key ‘take home’ points for patients.

Facebook Live Series on Heart Health for Adults and Kids
From Dr. Annette Ansong
Pediatric Cardiologist Annette Ansong takes on topics such as “Promoting Heart Health in Children,” plant-based diets, and stress in her weekly FaceBook Live video series, which she also uploads to her Youtube channel. Most of the videos run roughly about 6 to 12 minutes each. In addition, she also provides separate video primers on hypertension in kids and adults as well as the ways telemedicine can be used in pediatric cardiology.

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