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Ask the doctor: Stretching before exercise

Research has found no advantage to stretching before exercise. A gradual, active warm-up period before exercise could loosen joints, get blood flowing to muscles, and allow the heart to adapt to the increased demands of exercise. More »

Ask the doctor: Understanding ejection fraction

A normal ejection fraction—the volume of blood pumped out of the heart’s left ventricle—is 55% to 65%. For people with a low ejection fraction, medications and exercise (under a doctor’s supervision) may help improve or stabilize the ejection fraction. More »

Can you eat your way to brain health?

The evidence is limited that specific foods help to enhance or protect brain function with aging or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence is better that leading an overall heart-healthy lifestyle can help. That includes controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, eating… (Locked) More »

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Meet the Harvard Health Experts

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH Featured Expert:

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH

Dr. JoAnn E. Manson is chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine and co-director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Manson's research has focused on several important areas: women's health, randomized clinical trials in cardiovascular disease prevention, biomarker studies, and translational research. She is the principal investigator on several grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), the Women's Health Initiative Vanguard Clinical Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Women's Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Trial, and the Biochemical and Genetic Risk Factors for CVD in Women, among others. She is also leading the largest research trial to date to investigate the heart health benefits of cocoa flavanols by administering the concentrated nutrients in capsule form.

Dr. Manson has received numerous awards and honors, including the Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women's Association, the Population Research Prize and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association, and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. She was also one of the physicians featured in the National Library of Medicine's exhibition, "History of American Women Physicians" in Bethesda, Maryland. She is a Past President of the North American Menopause Society.

Karen Carlson, MD

Karen Carlson, MD

Dr. Karen Carlson is Director of Women's Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her areas of interest include hysterectomy and alternative treatments for nonmalignant gynecologic conditions, ovarian cancer screening, breast cancer prevention and screening, and communication issues in the doctor-patient relationship. She is co-editor of a medical textbook, Primary Care of Women, and a comprehensive book on women's health, The Harvard Guide to Women's Health.

Kenneth Arndt, MD

Kenneth Arndt, MD

Dr. Kenneth Arndt is a dermatologist in the Boston area and Clinical Professor of Dermatology (emeritus) at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Arndt has had a strong impact on the practice and perception of dermatology, both nationally and internationally.

A fourth generation Californian, he attended the University of California at Berkeley and earned his medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine. He trained in dermatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School.

In addition to his affiliation with Harvard Medical School, Dr. Arndt is Adjunct Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) at Dartmouth Medical School, Adjunct Professor of Dermatology at Brown Medical School, and the president of SkinCare Physicians in Boston. He was Dermatologist-in-Chief at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for over two decades.

The Kenneth A. Arndt Professorship in Dermatology was established at Harvard Medical School in 2000 "in recognition of Dr. Arndt's many contributions to the field." The current and all future chairs of the Department of Dermatology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center carry the title of the Kenneth A. Arndt Professor.

Dr. Arndt has broad clinical and research interests, particularly regarding medical therapeutics and laser photomedicine. He is the author or editor of over 15 books and 300 scientific publications, and has been course director of many national and international meetings. He served as editor in chief of the Archives of Dermatology for two decades.

Martha K. Richardson, MD

Martha K. Richardson, MD

Dr. Martha Richardson is a general obstetrician/gynecologist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School.

She earned her medical degree at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, did her internship at Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, MA, and completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Richardson is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Richardson's strong interest in women's health extends beyond the office and the hospital. She has contributed to every version of Our Bodies Ourselves since its second edition, and has been on the Medical Advisory Board of the Harvard Women's Health Watch since its first issue. She has conceived and edited dozens of patient publications for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and the North American Menopause Society.

Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPH

Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPH

Dr. Paula A. Johnson is the executive director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology and Chief of the Division of Women's Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. An internationally recognized cardiologist, Johnson brings a broad range of experience as a physician, researcher, and expert in public health and health policy to bear in the effort to transform the health of women in the United States and around the world.

Over the last 15 years, Dr. Johnson has led initiatives to improve the health of the City of Boston, including leading the development of a roadmap to improve access to and the quality of primary care in Boston that included stakeholders from all sectors of healthcare. She recently co-chaired the Public Health and Healthcare Transition Team for the City of Boston, as the first new administration in 20 years assumed office.

Dr. Johnson attended Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and trained in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she lives in the Boston area with her husband and two children.