March 2, 2023

Team seeks to raise awareness of peripheral artery disease

A Vanderbilt outreach team is visiting churches to raise awareness about peripheral artery disease.


by Matt Batcheldor

A Vanderbilt outreach team is visiting churches to raise awareness about peripheral artery disease (PAD), which affects more than 8 million people in the United States. Due to health disparities, the disease disproportionately affects Black Americans and can lead to an increased risk of complications, including amputation and death.

PRAISE (PAD-Raise Awareness in Sacred Environments), aims to educate people in churches, particularly those 50 or older. The group is led by Victoria Thomas, MD, a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation candidate at Vanderbilt.

“Current methods of imparting medical information remain lacking, and new approaches are needed to reduce the incidence of PAD and its limb complications,” Thomas said. “Relationships between faith-based organizations and academic medical centers have existed for decades. The partnership between the two entities has been noted to help improve community health and reduce health disparities, particularly in the African-American community.”

Thomas and her PRAISE team hypothesize that partnerships with churches will increase overall knowledge of PAD, improve the diagnosis of previously undiagnosed PAD, and provide avenues to decrease the health disparity by bringing awareness to Black Americans.

Further, they hypothesize that familiarity with PAD in Black and white residents in Nashville is low, but lower in Black residents based on national samples of hospital presentation.

The public is invited to these upcoming events for the PRAISE team:

  • Sunday, March 19, West End United Methodist Church, 2200 West End Ave, Nashville, Tennessee 37203.
  • March (date to be determined), Woodmont Christian Church, 3601 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37215.

For more information, please contact Thomas at or