On April 13th, the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health celebrated 20 years of their Global Health fellows and scholars program, LAUNCH. Dr. Anubha Agarwal of the Washington University Cardiovascular Division was invited to speak on a panel of alumni of the program.
According to the NIH website, “The mission of the Fogarty International Center is to support and facilitate research, build partnerships, and train the next generation of scientists. Even in the short term, the Fellows and Scholars Program is highly effective in advancing these goals. The career trajectories of former trainees and their leadership roles in global health research, education, programs, and policies affirms that this program is a great long-term investment and a ‘best buy’ for Fogarty that should be continued long into the future.”
The overarching goal of Dr. Agarwal’s Fogarty year was to answer the question: How can we improve heart failure care in South India? She worked in the state of Kerala, where her first step was to conduct a systematic review of existing heart failure intervention programs. While many improvement programs existed, all had been studied and refined in high-income countries, making it a challenging to understand how they might work in her own low-income setting. Agarwal and her colleagues then took that data and conducted qualitative interviews with physicians, nurses, patients, and pharmacists, asking them what they think needs to be done to improve heart failure care. From there, they designed their quality improvement intervention and tested it amongst 1,400 heart patients in Kerala over six months.