Velarde Receives National Hispanic Health Leadership Award

Caring for Hispanics, underserved is focus of Women’s Heart Program director

July 31, 2007

Cardiologist Gladys Velarde, M.D., associate professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and founder/director of the Strong Women’s Heart Program, was recently awarded the Hispanic Health Leadership Award by the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) for her commitment to improving health care for Hispanics and the underserved.

She will be recognized again locally on Aug. 7 by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency and the Ibero American Action League, in honor of the 2007 NHMA award and for her outstanding contributions to the community and their impact on the health of its residents.

Velarde’s practice stresses preventive care for women and men at risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as early detection of cardiac-related problems. Over the last three years, she and her staff at the Strong Women’s Heart Program have organized cardiac screening events at community churches and other sites, to improve access to care that many individuals may lack, and to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease and risk in the Hispanic community.

Under the leadership of Velarde, volunteer staff, residents, medical students and fellows come together to improve the cardiac health of Hispanics in the Rochester inner city, one community at a time. Her team has partnered with Pfizer to develop an initiative for inner-city churches. The program is called “Vidasana,” which means “health living.”

Velarde received her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and fellowships in cardiology at Boston University and Mt. Sinai Hospital. She joined the University of Rochester Medical Center faculty in 1998. She is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

For information about the reception, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Ibero Family Center, 777 Clifford Ave., please call the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency at (585) 461-3520.

For Media Inquiries:
Karin Christensen
(585) 275-1311
Email Karin Christensen