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Real Estate Bisnow
July 31, 2008

Local Hypertension
Society Goes Rogue


OK, that’s a bit overdramatic, but the DC/MD/VA chapter has developed its own playbook under new president Gilbert Eisner. He says while the national organization is stressing more hands-on activities like screenings, he’s for pushing more educational programs because treatment for people previously screened for high blood pressure is still inadequate. We stopped by his downtown nephrology practice to try and goad the local chapter into seceding just because it’d make a great story. (It didn’t work.)


While patients’ inability to afford visits, or not complying with prescriptions, is part of the reason for inadequate treatment, Gilbert puts much of the blame on physicians for not keeping up with shifting definitions of hypertension. Most recent example: the World Health Organization dropped its acceptable BP from 160/90 to 140/90. He cites doctor inertia and poor continuing education as reasons many physicians still become vigilant only when BP’s are dangerously high. They’re also failing to consider that even slightly elevated BP’s can lead to major cardiac events when combined with diabetes, kidney disease, or a history of heart disease. Gilbert says that adequate treatment of high blood pressure in DC’s African-American community could reduce by 45% deaths from stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.


To combat this deficiency, ASH is eager to partner with DC clinics to educate doctors and nurse practitioners on the latest guidelines. They’re also planning a February ’09 symposium on the topic in conjunction with the local National Kidney Foundation chapter (where Gilbert’s a past-chairman). To keep his own BP down, Gilbert favors travel. He’s just back from “summer camp for adults” at the Chautauqua Institution in northern NY, where he enjoyed attended a Winona Judd concert. He also recently visited China and Japan where he took day trips to see the cherry blossoms. We suspect he’ll be kicking himself when he realizes he could have just stayed home for that.

Lynt Johnson Bowling for Change

On Monday, we told you that G’town transplant chief Lynt Johnson, above, would be rubbing elbows with NBA stars at a fundraiser for the local National Kidney Foundation. Here’s the visual from Tuesday’s event. Not only was he there, he was the opening act; he introduced the host, former Washington Wizards guard Roger Mason (in background, to left). Roger, whose father died of kidney disease, says he’d like to continue to have similar events. We’ll spare you the visuals of Lynt in bowling shoes but not the pun that begins this sentence.

Story Ideas? Send them to medical reporter Curtis Raye, Curtis@Bisnow.com

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