The Clinical Research Forum recognized the Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute with a 2019 Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award for its study aimed at developing a blood-pressure control program for African-American men in their barbershops.
In just six months, the study, first published in the New England Journal of Medicine and led by the late hypertension expert Dr. Ronald G. Victor, improved the outcomes and control of high blood pressure in more than 60 percent of participants.
Dr. Eduardo Marbán, director of the Smidt Heart Institute, noted that Victor was the first to prove that if barbers offered blood pressure checks during men’s haircuts and encouraged patrons with hypertension to follow up with physicians, hundreds of lives could be saved annually.
“Not only do we miss Ron’s smile and smarts, but science is all the much poorer for his loss,” Marbán said.
Cedars-Sinai was nominated for the award by researchers at UCLA, and the barbershop study is one of 10 award-winning studies identified by the Clinical Research Forum. Winners must exemplify major advances resulting from the nation’s investment in research to benefit the health and welfare of its citizens and reflect the influential work being conducted by investigators at nearly 60 research institutions and hospitals across the United States, as well as at partner institutions from around the world.
Winners were selected based on the degree of innovation and novelty involved in the advancement of science, contribution to the understanding of human disease and/or physiology, and potential impact upon the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of disease.
“This esteemed award is a true honor for our institution and the medical team who was driven to change and improve outcomes for this at-risk community,” said Dr. Ravi Thadhani, vice dean of research and education at Cedars-Sinai, who accepted the award March 4 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Thadhani also will join the Clinical Research Forum for its “Hill Day” on March 6 to meet with senators and congressional representatives to discuss the importance of federal funding for clinical research.
Cedars-Sinai is located at 8700 Beverly Blvd. For information, visit cedars-sinai.org.
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