Temple Heart and Vascular Institute Receives Funding from the Edna Kynett Foundation to Engage Under-Represented Medical Trainees in Research on Racial and Sex-Specific Cardiovascular Disease Disparities in COVID-19

Resource: Temple University

Deborah L. Crabbe, MD, FACC, FAHA, Professor of Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) and a cardiologist at the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute at Temple University Hospital, has been approved for a $35,000 funding award from the Edna Kynett Foundation to start a pilot program which provides mentorship and research training experiences to medical trainees from under-represented minority groups (URM) focused on Racial/Sex-specific Cardiovascular Disease Disparities in COVID-19. The project will provide LKSOM senior medical students and postgraduate medical trainees with needed health equity and research training to improve the pipeline of physicians interested in medical research.

The project is the first of its kind sponsored by the newly established Collaborative for Cardiovascular Equity in North Philadelphia (COVE-NP). The collaborative consists of investigators from the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute (THVI) and the Office of Community Engaged Research and Practice (CERP) at Temple University.

Recipients of this training opportunity will be known as COVE scholars and will receive mentoring and research training experiences supported by the COVE-NP investigators. The overarching goals of this training award are to promote health equity and increase opportunities for medical trainees from under-represented minority groups to pursue a career in cardiovascular medicine. This award will suppport medical trainees from URM groups to build competitive dossiers and support their efforts to pursue a career in cardiovascular medicine. The COVE scholars will participate in community outreach, develop research skills and contribute to the collaborative’s COVID-19 research activities as stakeholder partners. The award will also create leadership and mentorship opportunities for female fellows in cardiovascular medicine, in recognition of their unique under-representation status in the field of academic cardiology.

Dr. Crabbe is the project lead for this award. She is a practicing cardiologist and has over 20 years of experience in academic medicine. “Programs such as this will help educate the next generation of medical trainees from URM groups and will ensure there is a pipeline of URM physicians interested in pursuing a career in cardiovascular medicine in the US,” said Dr. Crabbe. “This project is the first award made to THVI in support of URM medical trainees and we are quite privileged to receive this opportunity”.

This award enhances both the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute’s and the Office of Community-Engaged Research and Practice’s commitment to support cardiovascular equity for the residents of North Philadelphia.

Sabrina Islam, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, Assistant Professor of Medicine at LKSOM and a cardiologist at THVI will serve as the co-lead on the award. Dr. Islam will be responsible for providing leadership in executing the Women in Cardiology curriculum, mentorship to the COVE-NP scholars and serve as course director for the citywide diversity in cardiovascular medicine conference. The award will support a citywide conference on diversifying the workplace in cardiovascular medicine and will be conducted virtually to the 4 academic medical centers in the greater Philadelphia area.

Dr. Islam also highlighted the importance of this project to health equity, stating that “programs such as these are critical to improving diversity in cardiovascular medicine and I look forward to participating in this worthy project.”

The activities outlined in this award will begin in January 2021.