A Partnership of ABC and CRF


A New Beat is a joint educational initiative from the Association of Black Cardiologists and the Cardiovascular Research Foundation dedicated to advocating for women and minorities rising as leaders in the field of cardiology. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death and nearly half of U.S. adults have some form of the disease. Women and minorities bear a more substantial burden facing poorer outcomes because of underdiagnosis and undertreatment.

We believe more women and minorities in cardiology and ascending to leadership roles will have a tremendous impact on improving care and clinical outcomes not only for women and minorities, but for all patients. Our programs are aimed at increasing the knowledge base and fostering the careers of female and minority clinicians in cardiology so that they can provide better access to better care, especially for underserved populations. Healthcare providers will learn from the experiences and expertise of men and women who are at the pinnacle of their field about state-of-the-art treatment options for specific disease states within cardiology.

We are passionate about mentorship and its long-lasting effects on the mentor, the mentee, and all those whose lives are touched thereafter. We encourage male and female pillars in the field to reach out to the next generation to build mutual relationships rooted in growth, trust, humility, and respect.

A New Beat serves as a community and resource for women and minorities in the medical field who are interested in advancing their careers while improving patient outcomes. We are stronger working together and need input and participation from all groups to help provide the experience and expertise needed to inspire and support more women and minorities to rise as leaders in the field.

Medical Professionals


Nisha Jhalani, MD

Nisha Jhalani, MD, is Director of the CRF Women’s Heart Health Initiative and Director of Inpatient Clinical Services at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. She received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Her clinical interests include preventative cardiology, personalized cardiovascular risk assessment and women’s health.

Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH

Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH, is SVP, Health Care Services and Chief Medical Officer at Cambia Health Solutions and leads the strategy for Cambia’s enterprise and regional health plan business.

Prior to joining Cambia, she served as President of Caluent, a health care data analytics company. Dr. Pegus led the expansion of Walgreen Co.’s health care services, product launches and data analytics as their first Chief Medical Officer, served as Aetna’s Head of Clinical Products and as General Manager and Chief Medical Officer of SymCare Personalized Health Solutions, a diabetes care management company. Early in her career, she acted as Medical Director for the Cardiovascular Risk Factors Group at Pfizer.

Dr. Pegus serves as Board Chair for the Association of Black Cardiologists, and as a board member with Tactile Medical and US Acute Care Solutions, a Welsh-Carson portfolio company. She is a past President of the American Heart Association Founder’s Affiliate, past Chair of the PCORI’s Health Delivery and Disparities Research Advisory Panel, and past board member with the Care Continuum Alliance and Aetna Foundation.

She has published many peer-reviewed studies, presented at national and international conferences and has also published the healthy cookbook series, Everyone Eats. Dr. Pegus received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, her medical doctorate from Weill Cornell Medical College and her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In 2000 she established a scholarship at Weill Cornell Medical College for minority students. She’s recognized as a leader for her extensive work across health care domains in utilizing data-driven solutions to improve community health.


The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) is a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to helping doctors improve survival and quality of life for people suffering from heart and vascular disease. For over a quarter century, CRF has helped pioneer innovations in interventional cardiology and educated doctors on the latest treatments for heart disease.

Founded in 1974, the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., (ABC) is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of 1,700 health professionals, lay members of the community (Community Health Advocates), corporate members, and institutional members. The ABC is dedicated to eliminating the disparities related to cardiovascular disease in all people of color. Today, the ABC’s public and private partnerships continue to increase our impact in communities across the nation.

Our Partners

To learn more about becoming a partner, please contact info@crf.org.