Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans (CDC). This February, join us during American Heart Month as we spotlight MSIH alumni who are working to change that statistic. MSIH alumni are improving heart health by conducting groundbreaking cardiovascular research and providing exemplary care that allows their patients to live longer and healthier lives.
MSIH alumna Erica Spatz, MD, MHS (‘03) is an Associate Professor of Cardiology and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Yale University in New Haven, CT. She also serves as Director of the Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program, and as clinical investigator at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). Dr. Spatz’s clinical and research interests include the development of individualized approaches to preventing and managing cardiovascular disease, along with tools to help patients become more active in their healthcare decisions.
Dr. Spatz’s research focuses on individual- and community-based strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease and advance health equity. Dr. Spatz is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a national quality measure of informed consent for elective procedures. Her research has been published in the Journal of American Medical Association, JAMA Cardiology, and Circulation (Yale School of Medicine).
In an effort to further health equity, Dr. Spatz co-founded Project Access-New Haven, a network of physicians, hospitals and community organizations that provide healthcare to underserved communities in New Haven, CT. During the pandemic, Project Access-New Haven launched a health platform to assist low-income communities with accessing their health records and increase their participation in clinical studies.
Fellow alum, Renata Mazurek, MD (‘14) is a Postdoctoral Cardiology Research Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Her current work focuses on developing therapeutic strategies for heart failure through translational research.
As part of the Ishikawa laboratory at Mount Sinai, Dr. Mazurek is engaged in studies aimed at preventing and overcoming multiple forms of heart failure resulting from myocardial infarction and pulmonary hypertension. Her research expands existing modes of therapy and aims to improve precision medicine within the scope of mechanical circulatory support and gene therapy.
Recently, Dr. Mazurek presented on her team’s novel studies examining exit strategy for mechanical left ventricular support at the Annual A-CURE Symposium as the recipient of the Young Investigator Award.
Her ongoing personal efforts also concentrate on better bridging communication between providers and researchers in the field of cardiology, addressing transitions from pediatric to adult care, increasing community engagement in health and access to appropriate information, as well as mentoring students interested in medical and research careers.
“Training at MSIH reinforced me in thinking bigger about my role in medicine, in trusting myself, in opening possibilities for others, and reimagining specialized medicine in cardiology as a critical component to better enable community health,” Dr. Mazurek reflected.
MSIH alumni are experts in heart health and continue to make a difference in the lives of those most at risk for cardiovascular disease.