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The AHA named Penn Professor Kevin Volpp as a recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Scientist Award.

A professor in the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School has received one of the American Heart Association's 2022 Distinguished Scientist Awards

Kevin Volpp — who is a Founders President’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Medical School and professor of Health Care Management at Wharton — won the award for his research into how cardiovascular outcomes can be impacted by certain health policies.

The Distinguished Scientist Award is a distinction given to members who have conducted breakthrough research or have impacted the cardiovascular, stroke, and brain health fields of study.

AHA News added that Volpp has a distinctive outlook on his life as a cardiac arrest survivor, which adds depth to his work as a heart disease researcher. Volpp has spoken publicly on the importance of knowing life-saving interventions like CPR.

Volpp's work has examined the ways that price competition between hospitals can have an effect on cardiovascular health. He has also investigated how financial incentives can influence whether patients will quit smoking. Another study of his looks into whether monetary incentives can aid successful weight loss.

Volpp also helped to launch one of the firsts “Nudge Unit” systems. Nudges refer to a “behavioral economics concept that says a small adjustment in a person’s environment can enact a larger change in their behavior," according to Penn Medicine News. In a recent project published on Oct. 4, he investigated whether nudges delivered by text message would aid in increased administration of flu shots. 

Volpp has received other accolades, including the National Institute of Health's Matilda White Riley Award and the American College of Physicians Behavioral Medicine Award, according to Professional Heart Daily.

The last Penn professor to receive this distinction was Barbara J. Riegel, professor of gerontology at the School of Nursing in 2015. Her work has focused on chronic heart failure and multimorbidity in adults.

From Nov. 5 to 7, Volpp will be recognized at the Association's Scientific Sessions 2022 ceremony in Chicago among six other recipients. The event will be held both in person and virtually.