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Daphne Pajeaud Ferdinand, PhD, RN

Executive Director

Daphne Pajeaud Ferdinand, PhD, RN is the co-founder of Heartbeats Life Center, formerly a cardiovascular diagnostic testing center and clinical cardiology consultation practice in New Orleans, located in the 9th ward prior to Hurricane Katrina. For over 21 years she served in multiple roles at Heartbeats as Practice Administrator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Clinical Trials Coordinator. Dr. Ferdinand is adjunct assistant professor at Southern University and A & M College School of Nursing and consultant to Project I.M.P.A.C.T., a program of the National Medical Association designed to increase African American physician and patient participation in biomedical research and clinical trials. She is actively involved with community program planning and development for the Association of Black Cardiologists’ Community Health Advocate Training Program and as a consultant for the Sankofa Community Development Corporation, Sankofa Market Place in the 9th ward in New Orleans. Dr. Ferdinand received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Dillard University of New Orleans, LA. She received her master of nursing degree from LSUHSC and PhD from Southern University and A&M College School of Nursing in Baton Rouge, LA.

Dr. Ferdinand has over 30 years of community service providing health promotion activities and cardiovascular health education in the greater New Orleans area, specifically with underserved populations. In 2002, she received the REACH 2010@ the Heart of New Orleans, and the National Black Women’s Health Imperative (NBWHI) Community Service Award. She served on the New Orleans REACH coalition, community advisory board and served as research coordinator for the duration of the project pre- and post-Katrina. Dr. Ferdinand has co-authored publications covering topics such as cardiovascular disparities, management of hypertension in diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, fast food consumption in the US, and community based cardiovascular strategies in faith-based institutions.

Dr Ferdinand is an active member in a number professional organizations such as the American Nurses Association, Louisiana State Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, lifetime member of the National Black Nurses Association, the Association of Black Cardiologists, the American Heart Association, and the American Evaluation Association.