Dr. William Abraham, Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the OSU College of Medicine, will accept the 2012 Diversity in Cardiology Award from the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC). Established in 2002 and presented annually, the award spotlights a university’s efforts at promoting diversity in its cardiology program through the active recruitment and training of minority post-graduate students. Under Dr. Abraham’s leadership, OSU has been actively training African Americans in cardiology for the past five years. His program’s efforts in pursuing the ABC’s initiative to increase the number of African American fellows in cardiovascular programs are central to OSU receiving the Diversity in Cardiology Award. He will accept the award on behalf of OSU on September 22nd at a ceremony held in Washington D.C.
The implications of receiving this award are numerous and further propel Dr. Abraham’s mission to increase diversity in the College’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Perhaps most notably, the award clearly illustrates the sea change in the College’s recruitment of African American cardiology fellows – due to the efforts of Dr. Abraham, Dr. Albert Kolibash, Dr. Alex Auseon, and Dr. Quinn Capers, among others, over the past five years, the College has added at least one African American cardiology fellow in each year. Significantly, six African American fellows are in the cardiology program this year, three of whom are female. Dr. Abraham notes, “We should be committed to improving the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the cardiology program and work force.”
The ABC submits that African Americans are overrepresented in terms of the total number of individuals living with cardiovascular disease. One way to combat that problem is to increase the number of African Americans studying, teaching and practicing cardiovascular medicine. In fact, the Association’s goal is to reduce by 20% the number of African Americans with cardiovascular disease by 2020. Dovetailing that goal is an additional and significant implication of OSU receiving the Diversity in Cardiology Award: it helps boost the current momentum in recruitment generated over the past five years. Dr. Abraham adds, “This award will help the College continue to be successful in the future for attracting the best African American fellows to the University. And the award also helps us retain those fellows on our faculty to enhance the environment for the Medical Center community and to help the College recruit nationally.”