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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Columbia: Alumna Receives American Heart Association Chairman’s Award

Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health alumna, was the recipient of the American Heart Association (AHA) 2019 Chairman’s Award for her outstanding volunteer efforts to reduce health disparities. A cardiologist and internist, Dr. Pegus is  president of Consumer Health Solutions and chief medical officer of Cambia Health Solutions in Portland, Oregon. The award was presented at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions 2019 in Philadelphia, their annual global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Dr. Pegus has more than 25 years of clinical practice and industry experience. Over the course of her career, she has focused on solutions that involve collecting and analyzing quality metrics, then making this data available to diverse communities and local healthcare systems, where it can be used to improve clinical outcomes. Her work using evidence-based protocols to improve care for patients with chronic conditions earned her a position on Modern Healthcare’s 2019 list of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

Dr. Pegus received her MPH degree at Mailman in 1992. She earned her medical degree from Cornell and was the first African American woman to complete a fellowship in cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.  In 2000 she started a scholarship for minority students at Weill Cornell.

Dr. Pegus spent the early part of her career investigating heart disease among women and minorities, which helped her to recognize the need to increase minority participation in clinical drug trials.

She is past president of the AHA’s Founder’s Affiliate and former chair of the Association’s Health Disparities Taskforce. She is currently the board chair for the Association of Black Cardiologists.

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