Elizabeth Ofili, MD: Heart Failure Outreach

September 18, 2019
Patrick Campbell

Elizabeth Ofili, MD, discusses the importance of annual meetings, such as HFSA 2019, for outreach and engaging patient populations about heart failure.

While this year’s Heart Failure Society of America 2019 Scientific Sessions was headlined by sessions that included DEFINE-HF, PROVE-HF, and AMBER results, patient and non-patient outreach and education was a point of discussion throughout and was the subject of the event’s keynote address.

The theme of improving patient education and outreach is one that has been sustained throughout the history of HFSA meetings, as heart failure still disproportionately impacts certain populations — including the African American community.

The keynote address, which was delivered by Elizabeth Ofili, MD, professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, and Shaquille O’Neal, EdD, centered around disparities in heart failure rates among African Americans how to better serve that population. After the presentation Ofili, who is the first female president of the Association of Black Cardiologists, sat down with MD Magazine® to discuss the importance of annual conferences such as HFSA 2019 for outreach and engagement.

MD Mag: Why are meetings like the HFSA Scientific Sessions so important to outreach?

Ofili: So, I think that obviously the Heart Failure Society of America has a significant platform in this space and coming up and bringing Shaquille here really highlights the kind of importance they place on the problem as well as on disparities and so we think this is a great — as well as the Association of Black Cardiologists.

These societies have doctors and providers and a lot of times doctors are sort of the frontline, in terms of how are you communicating with your patients, how are you listening to the patient's in terms of how they're presenting. So, I think you know it's never sort of a one and done. This is has to be an ongoing engagement so the message is sustained because the challenge is real and it's a big one out there.