Physicians Awarded Title Of European Hypertension Specialists of the European Society of Hypertension

January 25, 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center hypertension specialists Carlos M. Ferrario, M.D, Ronald D. Smith, M.D. and Pavel J. Levy, M.D. have been awarded the title of European Hypertension Specialists of the European Society of Hypertension, a chapter of the International Society of Hypertension.

The award recognizes their international status as hypertension specialist. Ferrario, Smith and Levy are among only five Americans to be recognized by the organization. Diplomas will be presented at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the European Society of Hypertension meeting in Milan, Italy, in June.

Ferrario, professor of medicine, is director of the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest Baptist. Smith, professor of medicine, is director of clinical research at the center. Levy, associate professor of medicine is a vascular medicine and clinical hypertension specialist.

An internationally recognized center for the investigation of vascular disease and hypertension, the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center provides comprehensive care for hypertension and vascular disease, a mobile blood pressure clinic, early screening and management of peripheral artery disease.

The center’s clinical efforts have contributed to the introduction of novel treatments associated with reducing the risk of strokes, reversing of cardiac hypertrophy (enlarged heart) and slowing the progression of diabetes nephropathy (kidney disease). Its faculty has made major contributions to the understanding of hypertension mechanisms and the use of angiotensin receptor blockers in the management of cardiovascular disease, prevention of diabetes and restoration of sexual function.

Since it was established at Wake Forest, the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center has raised more than $23 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. In addition, more than $3 million in grants have been awarded by pharmaceutical companies. The center has been awarded grant revenues totaling $4.7 million dollars for the current fiscal year.
• The program is recognized as a primary center for the understanding of the biological causes of high blood pressure, having discovered new hormones and enzymes whose deficiency favors the progression of hypertension.
• Hypertension and Vascular Disease faculty have pioneered comprehensive approaches to effectively screen patients at risk for high blood pressure through the innovative, nationally recognized Health on Wheels™ screening and prevention program.
• In 2002, the center was awarded the prestigious designation as a national Enhanced Dissemination and Education Center (EDUC)—one of only 12 such programs in the United States. EDUCs bring the results of cardiovascular research to the public through educational programs and campaigns designed to promote heart-healthy behavior in the African-American community of Forsyth County.
• The center was awarded a grant by the Centers for Disease Control to establish a national
Hypertension Registry pilot project. The registry will document and track the magnitude of the problem of high blood pressure, its relation to cardiovascular disease and stroke, and its impact on emergency department resources in the United States.
• In 1994 the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center initiated an educational program to increase awareness of the higher than average number of deaths from cardiovascular disease in the Southeast region of the United States. From that program, the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC) was formed and the center was designated as one of 21 Cardiovascular Centers of Excellence.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele,, Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,298 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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