ACPHS In The News

Defining the Pharmacist’s Role in Cardiology

Dr. Kate Cabral points out an element on a heart illustration at Capital Cardiology Associates' Albany office.
March 6, 2023

Among the select group of heart specialists who have earned the title of Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, fewer than two dozen nationwide are pharmacists.

Pharmacist Dr. Kate Cabral has just joined their ranks. She is ACPHS’ program director for the PGY2 residency in cardiology pharmacy who has a practice at Capital Cardiology Associates.

ACC Fellowship recognizes practitioners at the top of their field and requires non-physicians to provide evidence of direct patient care, scholarship, service to local and national organizations, and recommendations from current fellows.  Supervisors and colleagues at ACPHS and CCA alike said they were not surprised that Dr. Cabral received the recognition.

“She is a leader in pharmacy and leader in the area of cardiology and represents ACPHS at the highest level,” said Dr. Darren W. Grabe, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the College.  

Dr. Cabral and her team have been fully integrated into the patient practice at CCA’s office in Albany since 2015. Her purview within CCA started relatively small eight years ago, helping the cardiology team with prescription anticoagulant treatments. It has grown to include smoking cessation, cholesterol management and pharmacological weight loss.

“I cannot put into words what having somebody with pharmacy expertise means to us as clinicians,” CCA Chief Operating Officer Dr. Lance Sullenberger said. “Many times we don't have time to go through all of the ways to administer the medication, to necessarily look for drug-drug interactions or to spend time with patients talking about side effects. She and her team do that. And I have heard from patients themselves how appreciative they are of this setup.”

Dr. Cabral also oversees a cardiology pharmacy residency program at CCA, the only accredited program of this type in New York State and one of six in the Northeast. She oversees a resident, as well as three ACPHS students doing IPPE and APPE rotations.

Dr. Erin Tersegno ’21 is the current resident working under Dr. Cabral. Tersegno, who aims to be board certified in cardiology pharmacy, said she has been pleased with CCA’s embrace of pharmacists’ involvement in patient care.

The two spent last weekend in New Orleans presenting research at the ACC Annual Scientific Session & Expo 2023 on using a class of drugs approved for diabetic patients on some patients with heart failure. New ACC fellows like Dr. Cabral were also recognized with a formal convocation ceremony on Monday evening.

“This achievement demonstrates outside recognition of my dedication to cardiovascular medicine and the care that I strive to bring to my patients and teach to my students and residents,” Dr. Cabral said, “which feels great!"