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Susan Ehringhaus with Dr. Oludamilola Aladesanmi at Resident Research Day

This year, the UNC Internal Medicine Resident Research Day was held in person for the first time in three years. A special guest, Susan Ehringhaus, made an appearance to announce Oludamilola Aladesanmi, MD, MPH, as the recipient of the Bondurant-Ehringhaus Award.

The Bondurant-Ehringhaus Award recognizes either a current second year internal medicine resident, second year med-peds resident or third year med-preds resident for their research efforts. Along with the award the chosen doctor receives a stipend to support ongoing research. This highly sought-after achievement takes an immense amount of work.

On Thursday May 12, Dr. Aladesanmi presented his research titled, “Hypertension Treatment in Rural Uganda: The Bugoye Hypertension Improvement Project (BHIP).” He, along with other researchers, noted hypertension prevalence is increasing in low- and middle-income countries such as Uganda. However, many people remain undiagnosed and untreated. During the study they implemented a hypertension clinic at Bugoye Health Center (BHC) which is a level III health facility in Uganda. Adult patients with systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 140mmHg or who were taking a calcium channel blocker and/or thiazide diuretic therapy were enrolled. These participants came to BHC every three to four weeks for medication refills and blood pressure checks.

It was found that 78% of patients had stage one or higher hypertension and 9% presented with hypertensive crisis. Most of the patients were treated with Amlodipine and almost a quarter required a second medication. Overall, the researchers concluded caring for high blood pressure at a lower level III health facility in rural Uganda is feasible and effective but there are barriers. Medication supply interruptions and lack of access to labs are among the challenges.

Another of Dr. Aladesanmi’s projects focused on the implementation of an atrial fibrillation (AF) treatment pathway in the emergency department to reduce hospitalizations. His team evaluated the impact of an AF treatment pathway on hospitalizations across five hospitals in the UNC System compared to usual care. It was concluded that this treatment in the emergency department with expedited follow-up to an AF specialty clinic can reduce hospitalizations across multiple hospitals.

The Bondurant-Ehringhaus Award is made possible by Susan Ehringhaus and her late husband Stuart Bondurant, MD, dean emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine.