As a young girl, Dr. Kare-Opaneye have always been intrigued by the concept of how the body is affected by diseases. Her early introduction was to the communicable ones - malaria and cholera, diseases prevalent in Nigeria, where she grew up; then in her early teens, yellow fever, to which her father succumbed to at a premature age. These were the reasons to explore the subject further, forcing a decision to embark on a medical career path, an unusual one compared to many others that saw her first graduate as a pharmacologist, before pursuing a degree in medicine.
Dr. Kare-Opaneye graduated as the best student in her ‘pre-med’ pharmacology class earning the “Vice Chancellor’s Award”, and she subsequently proceeded to attend one of the top medical schools in Nigeria where she consistently ranked in the top 5th percentile in her class of over 150 students. Due to her exceptional dedication and knack for taking initiative, she was appointed chief intern in various departments she rotated through during her internship year. Dr. Kare-Opaneye’ s time in the department of Pediatrics was particularly invigorating though she experienced daily, the reality of the data, which showed that Nigeria was the second largest contributor to under-five mortality globally. The alarming rates of death coupled with an innate love for children inspired an empathy for children and thus her interest in Pediatrics. She knew she wanted to be a part of the change required to reverse this trend.
To expand her horizon, Dr. Kare-Opaneye went on clinical rotation in neurology at the Newcastle Hospital, United Kingdom where she learnt the intricacies of applying patient-centered evidence-based medicine for better health outcome; an eye-opener for her into medical practice in a developed world.
Dr. Kare-Opaneye translated this knowledge on returning to Nigeria, and consistently throughout many clinical rotations and while working as a clinic assistant in a private orthopedic practice in Boston. These garnered experiences enhanced her understanding of the American healthcare system while affording her opportunities for hands-on patient interactions. Teaching medical students on their sub-internship rotations while under supervision also refined her communication and teaching skills as well as her sense of clinical reasoning and diagnostic synthesis.
In a bid to facilitate her long-term goal of having a combined career in both preventive and clinical medicine, she graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Health at Texas A&M University with which she intends to hone her skills of providing holistic and integrated services for better health outcomes within families as well as in communities.
Dr. Kare-Opaneye actively engages her passion of impacting her community by participating in various projects including serving as a volunteer in the triage unit at the Hope Family Health Center, a non-profit organization that provides health services to the uninsured resident of the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas.
She also participated in a combined Texas A&M School of Public Health/Methodist Healthcare Ministries/International Valley Health Institute funded project “Prevention Organized against Diabetes and Dialysis with Education and Resources”. This project provides diabetes prevention services to the medically underserved communities. The impact of this project, is notable, recruiting over 2332 high-risk people in 26 months and offering evidence-based diabetes prevention information, screening and referral services.
Dr. Kare-Opaneye joined the DHR Health Institute for Research & Development as a clinical research coordinator in 2020. She plays an instrumental role in the coordination of multiple studies, notable one, is a multicenter study– the Texas Hepatocellular Cancer Consortium (THCCC) funded by CPRIT with additional funding by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health (NIH), with an overarching goal of reducing the burden and mortality of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) in Texas. The tremendous progress and success of this study and other projects she oversees is a strong reflection of her diligence, excellent work ethics, and her ability to communicate effectively with the principal investigators, other research centers, the clinic staffs, and the patients. She will always go the extra mile to ensure that her patients were contacted around their own schedule, which sometimes meant calling in the evenings and outside of work hours.
Dr. Kare-Opaneye enjoys dancing and spending time with her family. She will be commencing her residency program in pediatrics at the Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Corpus Christi.
The PREVENTABLE Study will help researchers learn if statins can help older adults live well for longer.
Edinburg, TX (October 12, 2020) — DHR Health Institute for Research and Development and DHR Health announced today that enrollment is now open for a new clinical trial called PREVENTABLE. The study will investigate whether taking atorvastatin, a drug commonly used to lower cholesterol also called Lipitor®, can help adults aged 75 and over maintain health by preventing dementia, disability, and heart disease.
The study, which aims to be one of the largest ever conducted in older adults, will include more than 20,000 participants and 100 sites across the U.S. The study will randomize participants without heart disease or dementia to receive either atorvastatin or placebo. Researchers will follow participants for up to five years and test their memory, thinking, physical abilities, and monitor them for events such as heart attacks or strokes.
It is a pragmatic study, designed to make research participation easy and efficient. Researchers will follow participants using electronic health records, Medicare data, and with study visits over the telephone. Study drug will be shipped directly to participants’ homes every three months.
“PREVENTABLE is a remarkable study for a number of reasons,” said Sohail Rao, MD, MA, DPhil, President and CEO, DHR Health Institute for Research and Development. “Few studies have focused exclusively on individuals aged 75 or older. While statins have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events for some patients, PREVENTABLE will help us to learn whether they are helpful for older adults without heart disease.”
About one in three people in the U.S. over the age of 75 without heart disease are taking statins. So in addition to learning whether statins can prolong health in older adults, the PREVENTABLE study will help clarify which older adults should not be taking statins. Watch this video to learn key aspects of PREVENTABLE and why this study is important to older adults.
“Patients often ask me what they can do to stay healthy and prevent dementia.” said Karen Alexander, MD, a geriatric cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center and principal investigator for PREVENTABLE. “This study will help to clarify the benefit of statins for this population. This is important to do before adding one more medication to the list of medicines older adults are often already taking. Results from this study will help us provide valuable answers to improve how we age.”
The study will randomize participants without heart disease or dementia to receive either atorvastatin or placebo. The placebo looks like the study drug, but has no medicine in it. Researchers will follow participants for up to five years and test their memory, thinking, physical abilities, and monitor them for future events such as heart attacks or strokes.
PREVENTABLE is funded by the National Institute of Aging and the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number U19AG065188. To learn more about PREVENTABLE, visit www.preventabletrial.org. To find out who can take part in the study, or for more information, please contact 956-362- 2391 or email [email protected]