Closing the Health Care Gap – Why Women are Significantly at Risk for Heart Disease {Interview}

Closing the Health Care Gap – Why Women are Significantly at Risk for Heart Disease {Interview}


Even as the U.S. population becomes more diverse, women, African Americans, Hispanics and other racial and ethnic minorities are significantly at risk of developing heart disease, which has been the largest killer of all Americans since the 1940s. However, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health have recently noted, women and minorities are significantly underrepresented in today’s medical research. Physicians need reliable data that explore demographic, social, cultural and economic factors in order to properly diagnose, treat and educate their patients. Up until now, these data have never been collected in America’s most vulnerable populations with regard to the most deadly disease.

With this in mind, Boston Scientific conducted a first-of-its-kind clinical study, the PLATINUM Diversity Study, to examine women and minorities undergoing coronary stenting procedures. New data from this study, was presented on May 12th at the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, and provided insight on demographic and socioeconomic factors that could have an impact on outcomes for people with coronary disease. Coronary stents are small expandable mesh tubes that are used to open narrowed blood vessels feeding the heart to help reduce symptoms such as chest pain (angina) or mitigate the risk of another heart attack.

Paul Underwood, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, medical director, Interventional Cardiology, Boston Scientific and Wayne Batchelor, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, co-principal investigator and chair of the Interventional Cardiology Council at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Tallahassee, Florida recently were on hand for an exclusive interview with Michigan Mom Living to discuss key findings from the study, including:

  • What do these new findings tell us about what are the reasons behind the differences that patients may experience and how to reduce these differences?
  • What are steps doctors can take in the terms of care?
  • What can people do to take charge of their health care and make sure they are getting the proper treatment?
  •  Where can we learn more?

Click here for the entire interview:

For more information, go to

Paul Underwood, MD

Paul Underwood, MD, FACC, FSCAI is a native of Knoxville, TN and attended Morehouse College for his premedical studies. He received his MD degree from the Mayo Clinic, followed by a cardiology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. His interventional cardiology training was completed at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines.

Following his internal medicine training at Mayo, he moved to the Virgin Islands to head the ER and ICU at St. Croix Hospital. After completing his cardiology training, Dr. Underwood practiced interventional cardiology and clinical research in Phoenix for over 18 years. He left clinical practice and joined Boston Scientific in 2009 to become a medical director in the cardiology business.

While in Phoenix he held several hospital committee appointments and was a member of the Arizona Council of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Underwood has been actively involved in community-based efforts focused on promoting cardiovascular health. He is past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists and founding member for the Center for African American Health-AZ. He served the American Heart Association Desert Mountain Affiliate, as well as, nationally on the Women and Minority Leadership Committee, the Power To End Stroke Advisory Committee and the Science Advisory & Coordinating Committee.

Dr. Wayne Batchelor

Dr. Batchelor received his Doctorate of Medicine (summa cum laude) in 1990 from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he was awarded with the Dr. and Mrs. Sydney P. Schiff Medal in Surgery and the Nathan E. Berry Prize in Urology. He then completed a Comprehensive Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Adult Cardiology at the University of Toronto and was awarded the University of Toronto Sopman Award for Clinical Excellence and Human Compassion.  Upon completing his fellowship, he was awarded a National Research Fellowship from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and attended Duke University in North Carolina where he completed a Master’s of Health Science Degree in Clinical Research and an Advanced Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology. Thereafter, he returned to Toronto as an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Interventional Cardiologist and Clinician Investigator at the University of Toronto (St. Michael’s Hospital).  In 2002, Dr. Batchelor was hired by Southern Medical Group, P.A and moved to Tallahassee with his wife Zaneta and two children, Nadia and Samia. There, he co-founded the Tallahassee Research Institute (TRI) and successfully developed a broad-based clinical research program within a large clinical cardiology practice.  He has held several leadership positions within the local medical community, including Chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH) Medical Staff Executive Committee (2009-2010), immediate-past President of Southern Medical Group, P.A., President of TRI and currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine.  He also serves as President of the Duke University Cardiovascular Cooperative Society, a large national and international network of Duke trained cardiologists who collaborate in research and educational activities and is on the Executive Board of the South Atlantic Cardiovascular Society (SACS).

Interview is courtesy of Boston Scientific

Cynthia Tait

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