This year, our lab is co-leading the Boston University and Medical Center team for the annual American Heart Association (AHA) Boston Heart Walk. Dedicated to fighting heart disease, the AHA is a volunteer-led organization that strives to empower patients, healthcare providers, and researchers to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
The AHA is particularly near and dear to my heart. The organization has supported me through grant funding from the start of my career as a graduate student. Their support afforded opportunities for me to engage in cutting-edge research, attend conferences, and present my work in front of experts in the field, helping me to establish my career in research. Many of the students and fellows working with me in the lab have been supported by the AHA as well.
The AHA is deeply committed to supporting individuals from groups under-represented in science and medicine and health equity for all through community engagement and advocacy efforts. The AHA hosts events and funding for middle and high school students from groups under-represented in science and medicine to engage in science with researchers like myself. Giving young women access to science early in their education is critical for building a more diverse workforce in science and medicine, something that I was fortunate enough to have access to during those formative years in my life.
As a part of Boston Medical Center, a hospital that serves the under-served, I have observed first-hand the complexities of healthcare among those with limited access to resources and am constantly impressed by the extra lengths the physicians I work with go to care for their patients and fight to give them the same opportunities as patients from privileged backgrounds. The AHA has worked with hospitals, including ours, to ensure access to the best care for patients from underserved communities.
Have a heart and help me reach my goal today!