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Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program (PCHPY)

The Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program @Yale (PCHPY) brings a personalized approach to cardiovascular disease prevention. Patients referred to the program meet with one of our cardiologists for an in-depth consultation that takes into account their biology and biography, along with information from advanced diagnostic testing, to inform a more personalized, evidence-based approach to cardiovascular risk assessment. Using this information, and in partnership with patients, we design tailored programs to reduce cardiovascular risk and improve well-being.

PCHPY brings together experts in cardiovascular disease prevention, including cardiologists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and health psychologists. We also work together with IT (information technology) and digital health companies to offer high-tech/low-burden approaches to cardiovascular care. Our team is highly attuned to the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication, and understands that a one-size-fits all approach often falls short. Instead, we strive to understand and integrate each person’ priorities, preferences and goals into the care plan.

This program is particularly focused on people who are:

  • At increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including people with:
    • Severe hypercholesterolemia or Familial Hypercholesterolemia
    • Family history of premature (before the age of 60) coronary artery disease
    • Poorly controlled hypertension
    • Underlying inflammatory condition (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis; HIV)
    • A diagnosis of ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease
  • Women with cardiovascular disease
  • Individuals seeking a more personalized approach to cardiovascular health

PCHPY additionally works with communities to identify and address barriers to cardiovascular health, focusing on environmental and social factors that contribute to disparities in health outcomes.

Directors

  • Associate Professor of Cardiology and Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program

    Dr. Erica S. Spatz, MD, MHS is a general cardiologist and a clinical investigator at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). Her 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.

  • Assistant Professor; Associate Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program

    Oyere Onuma, MD, MSc, is a nationally recognized authority on global health and cardiovascular disease prevention. An alumna of the Yale School of Medicine, Onuma returned to Yale in 2019 as an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine.

    Dr. Onuma earned an M.D. from the Yale School of Medicine in 2007. She completed her internal medicine residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a M.Sc. from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in 2014. Dr. Onuma later served as a medical officer with the World Health Organization where she helped launch the Global Hearts Initiative to support governments in strengthening cardiovascular disease prevention and control.

    Dr. Onuma is the author of multiple publications in Stroke, Lancet, Circulation, and the New England Journal of Medicine, among others.

Faculty

  • Professor

    Dr. Burg is a clinical psychologist whose research concerns the contribution of stress and emotional factors to incident cardiovascular disease and prognosis, the pathophysiology underlying this risk, and the development and testing of behavioral interventions to mitigate this risk. His focus includes patients at risk for hypertension, and those with ischemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure, and his work is funded by both the NIH and the Veterans Administration.

  • Assistant Professor

    Dr. Lu was trained in epidemiology and global health, with a particular focus on cardiovascular diseases. She obtained both of her ScD and MSc Degrees in Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. She works in the intersection of cardiovascular disease prevention, health equity, and digital health, using implementation science methods to resolve real-world issues. Her long-term goal is to improve care, outcomes, and equity of cardiovascular diseases by designing and implementing technology-based interventions. As a K12 Yale Scholar in Implementation Science, she is currently working on a project to leverage the electronic health records from the Yale New Haven Health System to identify patients with persistent hypertension and design decision supports to improve their care. Over the past few years, she has been working on a number of groundbreaking collaborating projects between Yale University and the Chinese National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases in Beijing. These include the Millions Persons Project that assembles remarkable population health and biomedical resources from 5 million people across China. She has also worked with the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) on global analyses of the impact of risk factors on global burden of cardiovascular diseases. She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications, including first author articles in leading journals such as The Lancet and Circulation, and her work has been cited more than an 40,000 times. 

  • Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and of Genetics; Director, Cardiovascular Genetics Program; Director, Cardiovascular Module

    My laboratory’s major focus is the identification of genetic causes of major cardiovascular disorders and the elucidation of their pathophysiology. Through collaborative efforts with physicians and scientist across the world we have recruited large populations of patients and families with early onset coronary artery disease and metabolic syndrome and have successfully mapped and identified number of genes for these diseases. An ongoing effort in the laboratory is to understand the function of these genes and how the mutations affect the phenotype, using mouse and zebrafish models.

    Having unique access to the genetic study population, we have had the opportunity to carry out clinical studies to investigate the disease mechanisms and have made numerous novel discoveries. We are actively investigating pathways that regulate insulin signaling, glucose metabolism, VLDL and LDL syntheis and clearance and atherosclerosis.

    In addition, my laboratory studies the genetic causes of adult congenital heart disease, such as bicuspid aortic valve, atrial fibrillation and patent ductus arteriosus.

  • Associate Professor Term; Fellowship Director, Advanced Cardiac Imaging; Director, Cardiology Clinical Trial Unit; Director, Cardiac Imaging (Nuclear, MR, CT), Division of Cardiology; Director, Cardiometabolic Prevention Clinic, Division of Cardiology; Director, Nuclear Cardiology; Associate Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program (PCHPY)

    Dr. Judith Meadows, MD MPH, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the section of Cardiovascular Medicine, with appointments at Yale New Haven Hospital and VHA-Connecticut.  Dr. Meadows directs the cardiac imaging at VHA-Connecticut, inclusive of nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, and cardiac MRI. Additionally, she is the fellowship director for the Yale Fellowship in Advanced Cardiac Imaging.  She leads the VISN1/VHA-New England cardiology clinical trial network which coordinates 15+ trials in the areas of coronary artery disease, vascular disease, heart failure, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Dr. Meadows clinical focus is in cardio metabolic prevention, wherein she developed and oversees a patient-centered cardiometabolic primary prevention initiative at VA-Connecticut. 

    Dr. Meadows received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, majoring in Genetics and History.  She completed medical school at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Meadows completed internal medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, followed by clinical cardiology and advanced imaging and research training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  In addition, she completed an MPH in clinical effectiveness at Harvard University School of Public Health.  She was on the junior faculty at Northwestern University before she was recruited back to Yale School of Medicine in 2011 to be leader in the cardiac imaging program and to integrate clinical research into care models.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

    Dr. Shah is an Interventional Cardiologist who specializes in the invasive evaluation of coronary physiology as well as coronary and peripheral vascular interventions. He was an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University and went to medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where he graduated with a medical doctorate as well as doctorate in Neuroscience. He subsequently completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, followed by clinical fellowships in Cardiovascular Medicine, Peripheral Vascular Interventions, and Interventional Cardiology. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Interventional Cardiology. 

    Dr. Shah's scholarly work has focused on the outcomes of cardiovascular interventions and the invasive assessment of coronary physiology. He has active research projects at Yale regarding invasive coronary physiology testing, ischemic heart disease in women, and the vascular effects of psychological stress.