Gladys Velarde, MD, a UF Heath cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, has received honors from two high-profile organizations in her field.
Velarde has been elected as a fellow of the American Heart Association, a distinction conferred by the association’s Council on Clinical Cardiology. It recognizes and awards premium professional members for excellence, innovation and sustained contributions in the areas of scholarship, practice, education and volunteer service.
She has also been appointed to serve as a member of the American College of Cardiology’s Women in Cardiology Section Leadership Council. Her three-year term begins April 1.
“Leadership roles within ACC committees are more important than ever, as ACC’s ongoing governance transformation has made way for decentralized decision-making and increased autonomy at the committee level,” ACC officials wrote in a letter to Velarde.
Velarde said she wants to use her appointment to help enhance the careers of female cardiologists through mentorship, professional development and the promotion of leadership opportunities. Exposing prospective cardiologists to the field is also an aim.
“We want to enhance the appeal of cardiology as a specialty and encourage young women in high school, college and medical school to pursue careers in this field,” Velarde said. “In addition, we seek to advocate for parity between the genders, particularly in terms of salary equity and leadership advancement within the physician workforce.”
Like the ACC appointment, Velarde says her election from the American Heart Association is a great honor.
“I am extremely thankful for the honor. It is a recognition of my commitment to education, volunteerism, community service and cross-collaboration with leaders in cardiovascular disease prevention,” said Velarde, who serves on a special AHA council geared toward stroke and heart disease prevention among special populations.
“The distinction of fellow will elevate my role within the council and allow me to continue collaborating with national leaders in the field on reducing racial, gender and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular health,” she said.
Velarde is medical director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Program at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center and director of the cardiovascular disease fellowship program at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. She also spends time with internal medicine residents during their cardiology rotations and leads several public education initiatives, especially those pertaining to women’s heart health.
Gladys P. Velarde, MD, FACC, FAHA
Medical Director, Cardiovascular Women's Heart Program; Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship