By ELLEN GOLDBAUM
Published February 1, 2024
Anne B. Curtis, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been chosen to receive the 2024 Dr. Carolyn McCue Award for Woman Cardiologist of the Year.
Curtis will be presented with the award at the Heart Health in Women Symposium that will be hosted on Feb. 3 by the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Pauley Heart Center in Richmond.
Funded by a grant from the McCue family, the McCue Award honors the late Carolyn Moore McCue (1916-1999), one of the few female cardiologists of her time, who served as the first woman elected president of the Richmond Academy of Medicine. During her 42 years of medical practice at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV, now VCU Health), she also created and chaired MCV’s Pediatric Cardiology Division and played a vital role in establishing pediatric cardiology clinics in medically underserved communities throughout Virginia.
“I am incredibly honored to receive the 2024 Dr. Carolyn McCue Award for Woman Cardiologist of the Year,” Curtis says. “Dr. McCue was a highly accomplished pediatric cardiologist and a pioneering role model for women in the field. This award reminds us not only of her accomplishments, but also of the importance of continuing to encourage women to pursue careers in cardiovascular medicine.”
Curtis will give the conference’s keynote speech, titled “Sex differences and disparities in the management of cardiac arrhythmias.” She will discuss sex differences in the epidemiology, presentation and course of cardiac arrhythmias, as well as disparities in the use of and response to implantable devices in treating them and how disparities in treating arrhythmias can be addressed.
“Clinical trials for years predominantly included men,” Curtis explains. “As we began to recognize differences in the clinical course and management of cardiac arrhythmias in women, it became important for us to focus on these differences to improve outcomes in women with similar cardiovascular conditions.”
Curtis will cite studies noting that, while pharmacological vs. non-pharmacological outcomes are similar between men and women, advanced cardiac therapies are either offered to women later in the course of their disease than men or not offered at all.
“Not offering guideline-indicated treatments for women with cardiovascular disease can negatively impact quality of life, progression of the underlying condition, and even survival,” she says.
A Jacobs School faculty member since 2010, Curtis is both a clinician, caring for patients at UBMD Internal medicine, and a Jacobs School researcher specializing in clinical cardiac electrophysiology, the field of cardiology that studies, diagnoses and treats disorders of the electrical activity of the heart muscle.
Her research interests include clinical trials in implantable device therapy, including defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy; sex and racial disparities in the management of patients with arrhythmias; and clinical research in atrial fibrillation.
Curtis received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She did her residency in internal medicine at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and fellowships in cardiovascular disease and clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Duke University Medical Center.
She currently serves as president of the Association of Professors of Medicine, an organization that represents the leadership of departments of internal medicine across the United States and Canada.
Curtis is past president of the Heart Rhythm Society and a recipient of its Distinguished Service Award and President’s Award. She is also past president of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society and the Association of University Cardiologists. She is on the editorial boards of many of the key academic journals in the fields of cardiology and electrophysiology, and also serves as an associate editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In addition to holding leadership positions on steering committees, executive committees, and data and safety monitoring boards for multicenter clinical trials, Curtis was the national principal investigator on a study of heart failure patients with atrioventricular block (entitled Block HF).