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In a virtual discussion held Friday, three medical doctors and the chief diversity officer from Boston Scientific Corporation discussed obesity, diabetes, chronic pain, and leg artery blockage, a leading cause of complications in the intensive care unit (ICU) during the pandemic. The “Healthy Doses” seminar was held in the Boston Scientific Auditorium of the La Familia Wellness Center in STEM City USA.

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Healthy Doses was moderated by Deepa, Boston Scientific’s global supply chain director. The expert panel featured Dr. Nilesh Kumar Patel, vice president of medical affairs for Boston Scientific’s Neuromodulation division, Dr. Kapil Gupta, a senior director for endoscopy at Boston Scientific, Dr. Michael R. Jaff, vice president of clinical affairs, innovation, technology, peripheral interventions at Boston Scientific, and Camille Chang Gilmore,  vice president of human resources and global chief diversity officer, Boston Scientific.

The online event marked a  milestone for STEM City USA, which aims to bridge the information gap by answering questions on education, health care, equity, workforce development, climate action, social justice, and economic recovery.

“We did say STEM City USA will be transformational,” said Career Communications Group CEO Tyrone Taborn. “It was good to hear about so many topics addressed in an easy way and look at the impact they have on our community. World experts are bringing information based on science and facts. Thanks to Boston Scientific, who were the first to invest in the STEM City USA platform.”

Taborn recognized the inspiration of well-known nurse and politician Shirley Nathan-Pulliam. The veteran member of the Maryland House of Delegates is credited with motivating Career Communications Group (CCG) to address health care at all events produced by the media company.

CCG supports organizations in promoting multiculturalism and diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Their events include the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference held during Black History Month and the upcoming Women of Color (WOC) STEM Conference, which will be held October 7-9.

“Obesity doesn’t affect us all equally,” said Dr. Gupta. “Interventions help with weight loss. But it’s not enough to say just do it. We have to do it together as a society, with policymakers, community, and family.”

More than 120 million people (nearly 40 percent of the total population) in the United States are obese. Fast foods, stress, lack of sleep, fruit and vegetables, and access to safe areas are just some of the factors that increase the risk of being overweight. Sleep apnea, cancer, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease all have components that come from obesity.

Dr. Jaff noted that obesity led to many complications that were seen in COVID-19 patients. The medical community knew just how common leg artery blockage was before the pandemic, he added, revealing one study which showed that in Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, and Atlanta, peripheral artery disease (PAD)⁠—a circulatory problem in which your legs or arms don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand⁠—was the leading cause of total and major amputations.

Dr. Patel encouraged more people to take part in clinical studies. He acknowledged that trust has been a barrier, but he said Boston Scientific was doing more to reach diverse neighborhoods and have local study coordinators and nurses to help educate and inform. More information on pain can be found at Pain dot com and ongoing clinical studies are listed at Clinical Trails dot gov.

“Close the Gap isn’t just a feel-good initiative,” said Camille Chang Gilmore. “The aim is to improve outcomes and eradicate inequities.”

Close the Gap is a health equity initiative from Boston Scientific that educates and empowers healthcare providers to reduce health inequities among underserved populations.  Boston Scientific’s Know Your Health platform website aims to help people get access to the quality healthcare that they need but aren’t reaching today.

WATCH the Healthy Doses seminar now.

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