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Nakela L. Cook, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C., is the chief of staff in the Immediate Office of the Director at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Cook provides management support for activities initiated by the NHLBI director and deputy director, serves as their liaison to senior officials within and outside of the Institute, and provides oversight to the support operations of the IOD.
Prior to her appointment as chief of staff, Dr. Cook served as a medical officer in the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the NHLBI. Her work at the NHLBI involved outcomes research, epidemiology, and clinical trials. Dr. Cook’s research portfolio includes comparative effectiveness research, cardiovascular imaging, racial/ethnic and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular health services research.
Dr. Cook joined the NHLBI in 2008. Prior to working at the NHLBI, Dr. Cook’s research focused on access to secondary and tertiary levels of care for patients who were seen at community health centers; referral patterns for cardiovascular care based upon gender, race/ethnicity, insurance, and site of care; and appropriate use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators by gender and race/ethnicity. She remains clinically active in general clinical cardiology at Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia.
Dr. Cook attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering. She received a Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School, Boston, and completed her clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. She is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology. Dr. Cook completed a fellowship in Health Services Research at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is also an alumnus of the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy and completed her Masters of Public Health with a concentration in health care policy as part of this fellowship.
Areas of Expertise: Comparative effectiveness research, cardiovascular imaging, racial/ethnic and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular health services and outcomes research.
February 20, 2013
: FOX News
Bridging the gap for heart health disparities
The NHLBI's Dr. Nakela Cook talks about bridging the gap for heart health disparities on FOX News with Dr. Manny Alvarez.
February 19, 2013
: U.S. News & World Report
The truth about women's heart health
The NHLBI's Dr. Nakela Cook discusses "The Heart Truth" about women and heart disease in this article.