UK HealthCare

UK Cardiologist Selected for Mentoring Award

Dr. Gretchen Wells
Dr. Gretchen Wells, UKHC Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, receives mentoring award from American Heart Association

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2020) — Dr. Gretchen Wells, director of the UK HealthCare (UKHC) Women's Heart Program at the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, has been selected to receive the American Heart Association's Council on Clinical Cardiology 2020 Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award.

The award is designed to recognize individuals who have an outstanding record of effectively mentoring women cardiologists and underscores the importance of mentoring in the professional development of women.

Wells, who also is professor of medicine in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, was nominated by the UKHC cardiology fellows and internal medicine residents.

"As any of us in academic medicine can attest, we are only where we are because of our mentors, and I am fortunate to have had such a strong group of men and women mentoring me throughout the years," Wells said. "UKHC, in particular the Department of Medicine and the Division of Cardiology, has created a strong mentoring network."

Wells helps Kentucky women enjoy longer, fuller lives with healthy hearts. Wells says there are many issues to tackle and more research is needed to help women thrive. She's particularly interested in finding new ways of detection and treatment to address the differences in heart disease in men versus women.

She also focuses on treating women who are breast cancer survivors and develop heart problems from chemotherapy, and young women with pregnancy complications, like preeclampsia, who are at higher risk for heart disease later in life.

In addition to her work at the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, Wells is heavily involved in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a national health study that helped to identify a number of risk factors and courses of treatment for women for various diseases, including heart disease.

Wells will receive the award during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions Annual Conference in November.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.