Karen Aspry, M.D., M.S., ABCL, FACC is the American Heart Association’s newest local Rhode Island Board of Directors member. Dr. Aspry’s education, training and clinical activities have been focused on preventive aspects of cardiovascular disease, especially in the area of diagnosis and management of cholesterol disorders. Needless to say, her joining of the board during Cholesterol Awareness Month is well timed! Dr. Aspry received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in human nutrition from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of California at Berkeley.
In medical school at an institution with an NIH Preventive Cardiology Academic Award, she helped design one of the first preventive cardiology electives for 4th year medical students, and authored research highlighting gaps in lipid treatment among peripheral vascular patients. In residency and fellowship she pursued research investigating the accuracy of exercise testing in women, and the effects of exogenous estrogens on platelet reactivity and vascular function. After fellowship, Dr. Aspry joined Kaiser Permanente in Northern California as an invasive cardiologist, where she became 1 of 10 physician champions for Kaiser’s regional cholesterol management program, Multi-Fit cardiac rehabilitation program, and PHASE (“Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday”) population management initiative. In 2005-06, she joined Memorial Hospital of RI where she established a Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Clinic and patient outreach program. Currently she is the Director of the Lipid and Prevention program, and Associate Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, for the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute, and a clinical faculty member of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. Aspry is board certified in cardiovascular medicine and clinical lipidology, and has an active practice treating lipoprotein disorders and cardiovascular risk. She is actively involved in the National Lipid Association as Co-Chair of the Practice Development Committee and board member for the Northeast Chapter, and is a member of the ACC’s new Prevention Section. She lectures regularly on topics related to clinical lipidology and cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention, is involved in community outreach activities aligned with the mission of the AHA, and engages in clinical research related to population management of lipid disorders. Her favorite motto is: “A clinician is only as good as the system he or she practices in.” Dr. Aspry is honored to join the American Heart Association’s local board members in their efforts to close gaps in awareness, detection and treatment of cardiovascular risk within healthcare systems and at the population level.