Photo: Dr. Sophia Bampoh, VectorMine | Adobe Stock

Dr. Sophia Bampoh Confronts Socioeconomic Obstacles to Heart Health

Dr. Sophia Bampoh is committed to building meaningful relationships with patients while advocating for equitable access to nationwide cardiovascular healthcare.

Sophia Bampoh aims to improve American healthcare through empathetic and collaborative work in vascular medicine – a focus on the diagnosis and treatment of circulatory problems within the blood vessels, notably the arteries, veins, and lymphatic system.

Her interest in studying the socioeconomic impacts of heart health and providing medical care to those in underserved communities has led her to promote health equity initiatives, which she does through promoting equitable access to care and executing community-based interventions. As a doctor who prioritizes active listening and shared respect, she is able to give her patients meaningful interactions wherein they feel empowered about their own health.

Cardiovascular diseases are a major potential risk for many adults and promotion of a heart-healthy lifestyle in the early years of life can set the stage for healthy populations over time. It’s essential to nourish lifelong habits which foster a culture of wellness with domino effects impacting generations and various societal groups. Healthy lifestyle choices like working out regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, and abstaining from tobacco use can lead to larger socioeconomic impacts. Citizens who are healthy can contribute to the American workforce and minimizing the number of ill citizens can lower overall costs of national healthcare.

Fortunately, vascular medicine is advancing quickly through technological advancements such as AI-driven technologies, personalized treatment, and collaboration between medicinal disciplines. There has also been movement towards less invasive procedures, such as endovascular, that allow for briefer recovery periods and overall better outcomes. According to Sophia, “AI’s ability to analyze vast datasets facilitates the discovery of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets, paving the way for precision medicine approaches in vascular care.

Additionally, AI-powered telemedicine platforms are enhancing access to vascular expertise, particularly in underserved areas. As AI continues to evolve, we can expect further innovations in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and remote monitoring, shaping a future of vascular medicine that is patient-centered, data-driven, and accessible to all.” The overall success of the practice is contingent on equitable access to care across the globe, which Sophia is personally attentive to.

Sophia’s passion for providing equitable access to healthcare was inspired by her time in Ghana where she began to truly understand the countless healthcare inequities across the globe and how these imbalances led to deficient health outcomes for underprivileged individuals. “In a resource-limited setting, I learned the importance of culturally sensitive care and to adapt clinical practices to the available resources,” Sophia says.

“This experience reinforced the importance of patient-centered care, health equity, and improved care access to building a robust healthcare system. It also heightened my appreciation for the resilience and strength of patients facing adversity, inspiring me to approach patient care with humility and compassion.” She has carried these lessons with her to her current role, providing specialized impatient and outpatient vascular care with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Recent research shows that peripheral artery disease (PAD), a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries lower blood flow to the limbs and cause pain, ulcers, and potential amputations, has an increasing global presence in African Americans and lower socio-economic groups. In terms of impacted populations, this is a notable distinction from those with legitimate key risk factors (males, smokers, individuals who are diabetic, obese, or have high cholesterol or blood pressure). The growing negative impact of PAD on African Americans and lower socio-economic classes is due to gaps in access to healthcare due to social determinants of health.

Research has also narrowed in on efforts to improve access and reduce preventable amputations. The 2023 Vascular Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology found that endovascular repair may offer improvements over open surgical repair as has been the norm previously. This could mean less complications, minimalized hospital fees, and less deaths.

Sophia is committed to building meaningful relationships with her patients on an individual level as well as advocating for more equitable access to cardiovascular healthcare on a national level. Her well-rounded approach to achieving justice for patients in her field is improving the lives of many, and her influence continues to grow through each patient she cares for.


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