The Association of Black Cardiologists Honors Distinguished Advocates for Health Equity and Celebrates a Year of Innovation & Resilience in the Field of Cardiology

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), the nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the disparities related to cardiovascular disease and achieving health equity for all, will host its 12th Annual Spirit of the Heart Awards Gala & Fundraiser virtually on Saturday, October 16, 2021. The "Health Equity in Motion" themed event will celebrate an incredible year of innovation and resiliency amongst ABC’s members and the communities they serve.

"Health equity in motion not only describes the work of the Association of Black Cardiologists’, but it also defines the core of ABC’s organizational DNA," said CEO of ABC, Cassandra McCullough, MBA. "Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we are still tackling health disparities, addressing social determinants of health including racism in medicine, and sounding the alarm on the lack of diversity in both the healthcare workforce and clinical trials."

This night of recognition pays tribute to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of health equity in medicine, research, public service, leadership, and volunteerism. The evening’s distinguished honorees include:

  • Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, James F. Fries Professor of Medicine; Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity; Director, Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute (Spirit of the Heart Health Equity Legend In Motion Award);
  • Daphne P. Ferdinand, PhD, RN, Executive Director, Healthy Heart Community Prevention Project, Inc. (Dr. Walter M. Booker, Sr. Health Promotion Award); and,
  • Hilliard "Hilly" Paige, Vice-President of Patient and Professional Advocacy Relations at Esperion Therapeutics (Spirit of the Heart Health Equity Champion Award)

In addition to recognizing the incredible accomplishments of our dedicated members, colleagues, and partners, we are excited to announce our Dr. Richard Allen Williams Scholarship recipients, the Dr. Richard Allen Williams & Genita Evangelista Johnson / ABC Scholarship recipients, the finalists and winner from the Dr. Jay Brown Best Abstract Competition, and the winners of the research-based, 2021 COVID-19 Innovation Awards.

Guests will be treated to performances by gospel phenom Jonathan McReynolds and new-to-the-scene youth singing group, WanMor (sons of legendary R&B group Boyz II Men member Wanyá Morris). Cameo appearances and special messages of support will be delivered by Anthony Anderson, star of ABC’s Emmy-nominated sitcom Black-ish, and Jocko Sims, star of NBC’s drama New Amsterdam. Throughout the evening, viewers will enjoy live music played by DJ Vince Adams and will be given the opportunity to donate online.

ABC Past-Presidents Drs. Barbara Hutchinson and Icilma V. Fergus, along with CEO McCullough, will serve as Mistresses of Ceremony. Featured speakers, an amazing roster of pioneering Black cardiologists and ABC Members, include Dr. Yele Aluko (Ernst & Young); Dr. Michelle Albert (USCF), President of ABC; Dr. Elizabeth Ofili (Morehouse School of Medicine), ABC Board Chair; and  ABC Founder and Board Member; Dr. Richard Allen Williams; Dr. Norissa Haynes (University of Pennsylvania) and Dr. Kemar J. Brown (Massachusetts General Hospital) will also present during the evening which will begin with an opening prayer and blessing, the ABC’s honored tradition, by The Very Reverend Sandye A. Wilson, Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Andrews and Holy Communion in South Orange, New Jersey.

As ABC’s premier fundraising event, this celebration benefits ABC’s ongoing clinical research, advocacy, education, community outreach, and heart disease prevention awareness. The funding raised will also support scholarships for medical students from underrepresented groups and communities. 

For more information about the Spirit of the Heart Awards Gala and the mission of ABC, please visit

ABC Virtual Awards Gala & Fundraiser Sponsors:

Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor
Bristol Myers Squibb

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsor
American College of Cardiology


Bronze Sponsors
Morehouse School of Medicine
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Samuel and Rosalind B. Spielvogel Family Foundation

About the ABC
Founded in 1974, the ABC adheres to the vision that all people regardless of race, ethnicity or gender should benefit equally from the reduction in the frequency, duration, and impact of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Membership is open to all interested in the care of people with or at risk for cardiovascular disease, including health professionals, lay members of the community (Com­munity Health Advocates), corporate and institutional members. Today, the ABC’s public and private partnerships continue to increase its impact in communities across the nation. For more information, visit and connect with ABC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Contact:  ABC Media Relations

SOURCE Association of Black Cardiologists