Cardiology Division

Department of Medicine

University of California at

San Francisco Medical Center

CeNter for the StUdy of AdveRsiTy

and CardioascUlaR DiseasE

Nurture Center


(415) 502-3616

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NURTURE Center Conference on Adversity and Health Blasted Off With Exciting Agenda

The Inaugural Conference of the CeNter for the stUdy of AdveRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE [NURTURE Center] was held on Monday, March 7th 2016 at Genentech Hall, UCSF Mission Bay from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, under the theme “Adversity and Cardiovascular Health: Defining New Ecological Frontiers”, a unique effort that crossed academic and community boundaries.  Internationally and nationally renowned experts gathered to engage the multi-disciplinary audience of clinicians, researchers, trainees, community and technology representatives with CME-accredited, evidence-based and thought-provoking talks focused on the lifespan approach to adversity at the nexus of neuro-cardiology research, innovation and technology.


Dr. Michelle A. Albert, Professor of Medicine and Founding Director of the NURTURE Center, Cardiology Division at UCSF, and Dr. David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman Professor of Public Health and African American Studies at Harvard University, an internationally recognized authority on social influences of health, co-chaired the inaugural conference and presented respectively on the Neurologic phenotypes associated with cardiovascular disease, and the stress of discrimination and cardiovascular disease.


The keynote speaker, Dr. Bruce S. McEwen, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor, Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at the Rockefeller University, enriched the audience’s knowledge with a dive into the brain’s adaption to stress, life experience and related health behaviors (“allostasis”), as well as the damage that can ensue (“allostatic load”) when overused and dysregulated, both in the brain and the cardiovascular system.


Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of this conference was the expert panel roundtable on “Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease”, which featured a unique combination of disciplines, with speakers ranging from the medical field (Cardiology, Trauma Surgery, and Internal Medicine), health policy, community education, cancer research, as well as community representatives from, law enforcement, a religious/faith group and a local youth organization (YMCA of San Francisco). See panel picture below.


Overall, the topic of adversity and cardiovascular health was broached from social, biological, clinical and technological lenses, and dissected through a lifespan approach, transecting through the domains of reproductive and childhood health, community influence, and biological and neurological changes through adulthood. The breadth of knowledge gained and exchanged helped define new frontiers for the role of lifelong adversity in cardiovascular health, and the integration of this concept into clinical practice and research to holistically improve the health of our community.  The audience was challenged to collaborate across now usually separate areas in medicine and community in order to spearhead innovative solutions to the complex issue of adversity and cardiovascular health.


The YMCA San Francisco, Y For Youth 5th Anniversary Luncheon


March 18, 2016 - Fundraiser luncheon to foster "life-changing opportunities and improving the quality of life for all those living in our Bay Area communities" according to the Y San Francisco is critical. The luncheon featured House Democratic Leader, Honorable Nancy Pelosi as keynote speaker, Mr. Charles Collins (President & CEO, YMCA San Francisco) and Mr. John Berg (President & CEO, SWIRL, YMCA Board Chair) who all emphasized the important work that needs to be done in our communities to ensure healthy lives through healthy policy, scientific research, advocacy, mentorship and by empowering children and young adults in particular to " reach their highest potential. Another theme was support for adults who are leading very stressful lives while trying to keep their families and communities together. Inspiring empowerment contributions were also given by youth emcee, Rajghana Spikes and Maverick Bishop, Reach & Rise Mentoring Program.



During the month of February, The CeNter for the StUdy of AdverRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE (NURTURE Center), Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at UCSF supported national Heart Month and The Heart Truth® (NHLBI) and The American Heart Association-Go RED For Women campaigns by hosting A NURTURED Purse drive.  The donated purses were filled with sustainable items as well as information about heart disease in women.  We partnered with three shelters in San Francisco: A Woman’s Place; Hamilton Family Center, and Episcopal Community Services.  We collected and distributed over 200 purses to the residents at each of the shelters.


The highlight of the purse distribution was the NURTURE Center’s Heart love prevention and wellness program held at A Woman’s Place Shelter.  The heart love program featured a presentation on stress management by Dr. Danyetta Anderson as well as a presentation on how stress can break your heart presented by Dr. Michelle Albert.  The residents also took part in an engaging dialog with Dr. Michelle Albert and Dr. Melissa Pena, covering topics ranging from the impact of lifestyle choices on cardiovascular health to suggestions on improving the clinical patient interaction.  It was a privilege to spear head this Heart month initiative and to raise awareness of the impact of cardiovascular disease among underserved women.


Danyetta D. Anderson, PhD



THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK THE TIME TO SECURE AND DROP OFF PURSE(S). While it is not possible to mention everyone who participated/contributed by name, extra special thanks go out to Dr. Tom Ports, Dr. Melissa Burroughs Pena, Ms. Jerley Arafelis and Ms. Alyse Miluck.  Thanks for your support of this project, Dr. Olgin.





The NURTURE Center team attended the 2016 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, from November 12th to 16th.

Dr. Michelle A. Albert was the recipient of the “2016 AHA Clinical Cardiology Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award”, and several NURTURE team members received the Clinical Cardiology Minority Travel Grant.  Together, the team gave eight original research presentations, and an Early Career Development Talk regarding “An Overview of Current AHA Funding Opportunities”. Selected presentations can be found here



UCSF American Heart Association Heart Walk

On November 18th 2016, from 12-1pm, at least 400 members of the UCSF community participated in the UCSF American Heart Association Heart Walk. Dr. Michelle A. Albert served as the UCSF Heart Walk Executive Champion.