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UNC Professor Receives $1.7M Grant From Bristol-Myers Squibb

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista
The Old Well and flowers on the UNC- Chapel Hill campus.

A UNC cardiologist has received a $1.7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. It will fund the expansion of a care model Doctor Anil Gehi developed for patients with Atrial Fibrillation.In a 2014 presentation, Doctor Gehi explained the condition can slow blood flow.

“When you have a sluggish blood flow you're prone to forming blood clots,” Gehi said. “If one of those blood clots goes to the brain, you can have the most devastating consequence of Afib, which is a stroke.”

A UNC School of Medicine press release says Gehi's protocol streamlines triage for AFib patients. It reduced AFib hospitalizations from the emergency room by more than 30 percentage points in its first year.

“You have a very poorly-regulated heart rate and so, if your heart rate is very rapid for an extended period of time, you can develop heart failure,” Gehi said.

Gehi hopes this grant can improve access in areas in and around the Triangle, Rocky Mount and High Point through partnerships with local hospitals.


Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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