Advocacy at the ABC

Cardiology Review® Online, November 2005, Volume 22, Issue 11

Advocacy at the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) takes two forms. We constantly meet with government, foundations, sister organizations, medical institutions, the Congressional Black Caucus, and other concerned organizations to educate and motivate them to address health care disparities. Fox-Kiser, one of the most effective lobbying groups in Washington, provides their services on a pro bono basis to the ABC. We would not be pleased if, at the end of the day, African Americans were exercising 30 minutes per day, did not smoke, lost weight, and still died prematurely because of inequities in our society. While addressing issues at the “macro” level, we are ever mindful of our “micro” responsibility. Racism still exists in a few quarters of the United States, and one of the things we are resolved to do is never to allow our members to be unfairly singled out for mistreatment and abuse. We successfully aided several deserving members last year.

We deliver. We get results. We have a well-earned reputation for playing a meaningful role in enhancing the health and well-being of our citizens. The ABC is a positive force for simplifying and enhancing the lives of our members. Our educational programs (clinical and practice management) help to inform physicians about new developments in health care, patient—doctor communications, adherence to guidelines, and other cutting-edge issues. We have developed a comprehensive array of patient-oriented educational materials to meet the full spectrum of health promotion and clinical care.

Our publications—such as our journal, newsletter, monthly letters from our president, pamphlets, and books (A Minute for Your Health, Why Children Should Know Their Grandparents, The African American Women’s Guide to a Healthy Heart)—equip and empower physicians to better communicate with patients and the community.

The ABC has a relentless pursuit: we are committed to ensuring that African American children will grow up knowing the love, guidance, and nurturing of their grandparents. The thief we know as heart disease must be stopped. When a grandparent

dies, an entire library goes up in flames. There is greater success to come.