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PRACTICE SPOTLIGHT
Bola Sogade, MD, FACOG, FAAFP
Founder and CEO of the Obgyne Birth Center For Natural Deliveries, and Board Chair, Birth Center For Natural Deliveries Foundation, dually board-certified in OB/GYN and Family Medicine, ABC Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee Member

"As the founder and CEO of the Birth Center For Natural Deliveries Foundation, I appreciate the Herculean efforts required and the daunting task of bridging this seemingly ever-elusive ethnic and racial gap in healthcare, and in women’s health, especially natural birth deliveries. I recognize that we cannot be successful without a concerted effort to early attention to cardiovascular health. For these reasons and many more, I am proud to be permanently affiliated with the ABC, an organization with a solid commitment to this mission and crucial to the advancement of health equity. "
Felix O. Sogade, MD, FACC, FHRS
CEO/President, Georgia Arrhythmia Consultants and Research Institute and ABC Past Board Chair

"ABC has been a very important part of my growth as a physician since my days as a medical resident when I attended my first meeting. The environment at ABC events helps minority physicians in training to develop great mentoring relationships and eventually develop their own careers. I have benefited from such interactions and relationships with several ABC members who came before me. I feel very proud and honored to be a life member of such an esteemed organization."
Joseph Poku, MD, FACC, FHRS
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Georgia Arrhythmia Consultants and Research Institute and ABC Treasurer

"The ABC provided mentoring and support for me through residency and fellowship training. The leadership skills I gained have benefited me greatly. It is my honor to dedicate a lifetime of support to the Association and pay it forward."
Daniel Haithcock, MD, FACC, FHRS
Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Georgia Arrhythmia Consultants and Research Institute and ABC Membership Committee Member

"The Association of Black Cardiologists has benefited me greatly throughout my career. Members of the Association have been my mentors, role models, friends and cherished colleagues. Given all that the organization has given to me, I am honored to have the opportunity to make a lifelong commitment to the mission and vision of the ABC."

Welcome New ABC Life Members
Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH, FACC
President and Chief Medical Officer, Cambia Consumer Health Solutions and Immediate Past Board Chair, ABC Executive Committee

"The ABC is needed today as much as it was needed when it was founded by cardiology pioneers, led by Dr. Richard A. Williams. We must continue the work to make healthcare accessible, affordable and equitable. During these heart-wrenching times, organizations that will work to provide the care that our communities need and give our communities a voice, are why we exist. Being a lifetime member is my commitment to being a lifetime supporter of the ABC’s mission."
Sheila A. Robinson, MD, FACC
Invasive cardiologist at WellStar Metro Atlanta Cardiovascular Medicine.

"I believe in the mission of the ABC. The leadership and dedicated staff have always and continue to advance the organization’s goals through education, community outreach, research and advocacy - making a difference in the communities we all serve. I have been an active member of the ABC for all of my professional career. I consider it a personal and professional privilege to have made a lifelong commitment to continue the mission of this vital organization."

Click here to view other ABC Life members
who have made the commitment.


Become A Life Member
If you are also passionate about making a lifelong commitment to eliminate health disparities with the ABC, we invite you to become a Life Member!

Contact Katrese Phelps McCullum today at kphelps@abcardio.org for additional information.


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MEMBER NEWS

Drs. François M. Abboud, Ayotunde Dokun, and Gary Gibbons Make List of 100 Inspiring Black Scientists
Are there any other black science professors, and if they do exist, why aren’t we learning about their accomplishments in our curriculum? This was the impetus for a list of accomplished scientists from African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, and African-American backgrounds in the fields of life sciences, chemistry, engineering, and physics who make significant contributions to the field. François M. Abboud, MD, Ayotunde Dokun, MD, PhD, FACE, and Gary Gibbons, MD, were among a list of 100 inspiring black scientists - 75 established investigators, ranging from Assistant to Full Professors, as well as 25 rising stars. The full list can be found on “CrossTalk,” the official blog of Cell Press, a publisher of biomedical and physical science research and reviews.

Diversity and Inclusion: A Message From Dr. Myrna Alexander Nickens
Myrna Alexander Nickens, MD, explains why an intentional effort to reach out for inclusivity and diversity is the key to success for any organization, particularly academic institutions and medical training programs.
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L to R: Francis E. Fynn-Thompson, MD, Annette Ansong, MD and Isaac Okyere, MD at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Dr. Ansong with one of the patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.
Dr. Annette Ansong Honors Her Family's 'Hidden Figure' and Ghanian Heritage
In celebration of Black History Month, Annette Ansong, MD, participated with her local Jack and Jill chapter to showcase an everyday "Hidden Figure” in her life. For Dr. Ansong, the unsung hero was her mother, an immigrant from Ghana in the 1970's. Dr. Ansong described how despite her mother's blue collar job as a custodian for over 30 years, she was able to raise two girls who went on to pursue their doctorates. She also taught her girls about their strong Ghanaian heritage and to give back to Ghana whenever they had the opportunity to do so. This moment came up sooner than expected.

Last fall, Dr. Ansong was able to accompany a congenital heart disease (CHD) surgical mission group from Boston Children's Hospital on their most recent trip to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. She and the rest of their medical mission team, led by Ghanaian pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, Francis E. Fynn-Thompson, MD, carefully screened young patients for potential surgical repair of their CHD. Dr. Ansong saw firsthand the challenges that CHD patients and their families face in trying to improve their well-being in a developing country like Ghana.

Dr. Ansong says she truly experienced a full circle moment in being able to use her skillset to aid the community that helped raise her.

Dr. Pelbreton C. Balfour, Jr., Leads "Healthy Heart' Seminar
As part of Baptist Health Care’s “Healthy Heart” series, Pelbreton C. Balfour, Jr., MD, a cardiologist with Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute and Cardiology Consultants in Pensacola, FL, led seminars that taught participants about preventing, detecting and treating heart disease through exercise, diet, stress reduction and medication. Patients were taught the signs and symptoms of a cardiac event and how they differ between men and women. Patients were given tips for coping and gaining a positive outlook after a cardiac event and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Blood pressure screenings were available. Attendees also had access to a mobile unit that provided mammography and other on-site health services. BHC held eight of these events during February.

Dr. Rachel Bond Launches Annual Health Fair with Dignity Health
Rachel M. Bond, MD, member of ABC’s Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee and Medical Director, Women’s Heart Health, Dignity Health, spearheaded a heart health fair at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center’s Healing Garden (Gilbert, Arizona) on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 7th. The inaugural Dignity Health/CommonSpirit heart health fair raised awareness about the signs, symptoms and risks associated with heart disease, particularly for women.

Attendees had access to complementary screenings including cholesterol testing, blood pressure and blood glucose level checks, weight and body mass index measurements as well as discounted coronary artery calcium scores to assess for subclinical plaque within the arteries. They were also educated about the importance of hands-only CPR, heart valve disease and peripheral arterial disease, which women are less aggressively treated for. They learned about the importance of cardiac rehab and had access to and could speak with a clinical pharmacist, registered dietician, sleep disorder center, weight management clinic, the WomenHeart support group champions and the American Heart Association of Greater Phoenix, who stressed the importance of advocacy with emphasis on their anti-vaping campaign.




Dr. LaPrincess Brewer Talks Health Disparities and the FAITH Initiative at the Barbershop
LaPrincess Brewer, MD, took the “hot seat” on the “Barbershop Talk” show in Rochester, MN, to discuss health disparities and health equity as well as her church-based intervention and community-wide initiative called FAITH (Fostering African-American Improvement in Total Health).
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Dr. Renée Bullock-Palmer Outlines the Path to a Healthy Heart
Deborah’s Women’s Heart Center Director and board certified Cardiologist Renée Bullock-Palmer, MD, recently joined a panel of professionals at a “Journey to a Healthy Heart” presentation in Willingboro, NJ. Sponsored by the Southern New Jersey Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the event focused on the importance of a heart healthy lifestyle of exercise, nutrition, managing stress and maintenance of good heart health. Dr. Bullock-Palmer shared info and tips on lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Congratulations to Keith Ferdinand, MD, for being appointed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Medical Subcommittee.


Keith C. Ferdinand, MD FACC, FAHA, FASH, FNLA Gerald S. Berenson Endowed Chair in Preventive Cardiology Professor, Tulane University School Of Medicine

Dr. Kecia Gaither Answers Questions About COVID-19 and Maternal Health in NMA Facebook Live session
Kecia Gaither, MD, participated in one of the National Medical Association’s Facebook Live discussion series as part of 2020 Black Maternal Health Week. This session focused on COVID-19 and Maternal and Child Health. Dr. Gaither spoke about her experience in the Bronx, or as she called it, “the heart of COVID country,” and answered questions about coronavirus symptoms for pregant women, what they can do to boost their immune system.
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Drs. Roxana Mehran and Sheila Sahni Take Center Stage at the CRT2020 All Women's Panel
During the Women and Heart Symposium at CRT2020, Roxana Mehran, MD, and Sheila Sahni, MD, were part of an all-women panel on the main arena stage. The 16 women panel discussed the challenges and successes of women in interventional cardiology. Dr. Sahni shared the role of the media in her career and how she helped start the hashtag #RadialFirst on Twitter to share evidence concerning radial access. Dr. Mehran spoke about the importance of publishing research and recommended interventional cardiologists get master’s degrees in subjects such as biostatistics, in addition to their medical degrees.


George Mensah, MD, (center with red tie) meets with graduate students at Morehouse School of Medicine during his visit as Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society Visiting Professor.
Dr. George Mensah Gives Keynote Address for Morehouse College's Annual Student Research Symposium
George Mensah, MD, gave this year’s keynote address at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) Curtis L. Parker Student Research Symposium annual event showcasing research led by MSM residents, medical and graduate students, undergraduate students in the Atlanta University Center, as well as colleges and universities across the state of Georgia. Dr. Mensah’s lecture, “Turning Discovery into Health: The Need to Move from Incremental Improvements to Transformative Health Impact for All,” focused on the rationale for establishing the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) at the NIH and its core objectives and purpose. He also highlighted the center’s global health research capacity-building initiatives in low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Mensah is currently the Director for CTRIS.

Alana Lewis, MD, Nicole Minniefield-Young, MD, Black Men In White Coats (BMWC) founder, Dale Okorodudu, MD and Kimberli Taylor Lambert, MD. Alana Lewis, MD with budding cardiologists at the Black Men In White Coats Youth Summit in Dallas.
Three ABC Fellows Inspire Budding Cardiologists
Nicole Minniefield-Young, MD, Kimberli Taylor Lambert, MD and Alana Lewis, MD, all former ABC Fellow Representatives to the ABC Board, participated in a Black Men in White Coats (BMWC) Youth Summit in Dallas, TX, in February. The summit brought together students (boys and girls from 3rd grade and above), educators, parents, physicians, and community leaders for a full day of hands-on activities - including teaching them about anatomy, EKG’s and echocardiograms - and to network with healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds. Drs. Lewis and Lambert set up three different classrooms to introduce 300 students to the field of cardiology. Dr. Minniefield-Young also served on the panel, “Black Women In White Coats.” BMWC was founded by Dale Okorodudu, MD, and seeks to increase the amount of Black men in the field of medicine by exposure, inspiration, and mentoring.

Dr. Alanna Morris Shares Info on COVID-19 With Heart Failure Patients
Along with other clinical experts, Alanna Morris, MD, participated in a Facebook Live on "COVID-19 and Heart Failure," sponsored by the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) and WomenHeart. The panel offered information focused on the impact of the pandemic on heart failure patients.
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Gbolahan Ogunbayo, MD
Cardiovascular Fellow, University of Kentucky

"I am a member of ABC, a society that has given more to me than any other since I started my professional journey in the United States. They supported me financially, allowing me to attend a lot of the major national conferences to present my work and research. One of the main goals of the society is reducing disparities in healthcare. Since joining, I have learned so much about the huge gap in healthcare delivery in the U.S. If you are passionate about healthcare disparities, please consider joining us."

Become an ABC Member or
Continue Your Investment in 2020 Today!
The ABC is here for you! We value our ABC members so we strive to offer benefits and rewards that are essential to your career advancement and patient education.

Help us continue our growth and further our commitment to "Promote the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease, including Stroke, in Blacks and other Minorities and to Achieve Health Equity for all through the Elimination of Disparities."

If you have not activated your 2020 membership, we encourage you to renew today! Not a member? We welcome you to join our ABC family!

To join/renew online click here or remit payment by mail to Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. – 2400 N Street, NW, Suite 200; Washington, DC 20037.

What's Old Is New: Patients Want Good New Days in Health Care
In an OpEd for The Hill, Tochi Okwuosa, MD, writes about the laments of her patients’ for the “good old days” and explains why the focus on preventive services in the healthcare system need to move towards providing an excellent quality of health care, in order to create good new days for all patients.
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Dr. Cheryl Pegus Holds Court at 'Women in Medicine' Dinner
Cheryl Pegus, MD, served as co-host for Portland IPA’s winter "Women in Medicine" Speed Networking event for women physicians and advanced practice providers. Cambia Health Solutions partnered with Portland IPA, an independent practice association in the Portland Metropolitan area, on the networking session. The evening’s guided format involved a discussion around wellness, work/life balance and professional growth and offered attendees a chance to connect with other women providers. Drinks and a light dinner were served. Susan Clack, MD, from Pacific Medical Group and Xiaoyan Huang, MD, from Providence Heart Clinic were the other co-hosts for the evening. Raffle prizes included a cookbook by Dr. Pegus, Everyone Eats: Healthy American Meals With A Caribbean Flair, and a visit to the Dragontree Holistic Day Spa. The event also collected small bathroom items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, Kleenex, and travel size shampoo and conditioner to donate to Portland Rescue Mission.

From the Frontlines: Dr. Rob Roswell on Practicing in New York City
The following is a letter addressed to the full Board from Robert O. Roswell, MD, an ABIM Board of Directors member. The Board shared the letter in a blog post with his permission because they felt it carries a striking and poignant message for their community of board certified physicians at this time.
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Dr. Sheila Sahni Paints a Picture of Women's Heart Health at 'Heart Art'
Over 120 women joined Sheila Sahni, MD, for 'Heart Art,’ “a ladies-only” paint night in celebration of American Heart Month. Prior to the painting session, Dr. Sahni discussed the signs of heart attacks in women, tips for preventing heart attacks and heart-healthy foods, some of which were provided as snacks. Participants, then, painted heart-themed artwork, which they took home.
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HODGE for Supervisor Virtual Town Hall with Dr Paul Underwood on COVID - 19
Virtual town hall with Jevin D. Hodge, candidate for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Dr. Paul Underwood.
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Dr. Anezi Uzendu Teaches Cardiology to Ninth Graders
Students from Eastmoor Academy High School, a Columbus City School, showed up at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to hear a mini-lecture from Anezi Uzendu, MD, on the heart and participate in virtual heart caths on a simulator. Dr. Uzendu was also shadowed for part of the day, by a ninth grader named Genesis. The program, launched 7 years ago, allows Eastmoor Academy High School students to come to the Center's clinical skills lab for hands-on activities and to interact with healthcare professionals. Each grade has a different topic and visits once a year.

ANNOUNCEMENTS



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HHS Makes Additional Financial Relief Available to Providers Application Portal Open
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced how it will disseminate the remainder of the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 27.

HHS has apportioned $50 billion for “general allocation” to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19. HHS’ announcement states the general distribution will be “allocated proportional to providers' share of 2018 net patient revenue.” Information on the General Distribution Portal instructs providers to “upload their most recent IRS tax filings.”

What this means is a provider’s payment will be calculated based on the revenue data they submit to HHS. From that amount, HHS will subtract the amount a provider already received from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund between April 10 and April 17 based on their 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements.

HHS says additional payments will go out weekly, on a rolling basis, as revenue information is received by HHS and is validated.

HHS opened the portal late Friday, April 24, for providers to submit revenue information. HHS has also created a users guide and a frequently asked questions document to help providers through the process.

Only providers, such as hospitals, with cost reports on file with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will automatically receive a second distribution of funds. All other providers must use the CARES Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. According to the portal instructions, only providers who already received payments through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund can use this portal to apply for additional relief funds.

These funds are not an advance payment and do not need to be repaid.

Just published! ABC Founder Dr. Richard Allen Williams' new book, Blacks in Medicine: Clinical, Demographic, and Socioeconomic Correlations, is a socially conscious and culturally relevant book that explores the little-known history and present climate of Black people in the medical field. ABC Members will receive a substantial discount if the order for the e-book is placed prior to the MHI COVID webinar on Thursday, April 30.

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
Email: aonwuanyi@msm.edu
Phone: (404) 616-8804

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