Lauren Gray Gilstrap, a renowned cardiologist and researcher, passed away on October 21, 2022, at the age of 38. Her death was announced by her hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, in a Twitter post. The cause of her death has not been officially confirmed, but some sources suggest that she met with an accident while traveling.
A Brilliant Career Cut Short
Gilstrap was a leader in the field of heart failure and transplant cardiology. She joined the heart and vascular center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in 2018 and became the head of the Advanced Heart Disease and Transplant Cardiology program in 2021. She was also a professor at the Geisel School of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
Gilstrap graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 as a Truman Scholar and attended Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and fellowships in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also obtained a master’s degree from Harvard’s School of Public Health.
Gilstrap worked to improve the quality of clinical care for individuals with heart failure. She conducted several studies on health services and outcomes research, using large databases and registries to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. She was also involved in clinical trials and innovation projects, such as developing a wearable device for monitoring heart failure patients.
A Compassionate Person and a Loving Mother
Gilstrap was not only a brilliant physician and researcher, but also a compassionate person and a loving mother. She is survived by her wife, Janet Milley, and children Katelyn and David. Gilstrap was a person of deep faith and cherished her children above all else, according to her obituary.
Gilstrap also enjoyed various outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, paddleboarding, mountain climbing, and traveling. She had a loud voice and a bright smile that lit up any room she entered. She was an inspiration to her fellow clinicians, students, patients, families, and friends.
A Tribute from the Cardiology Community
Gilstrap’s death has shocked and saddened the cardiology community, who have expressed their condolences and tributes on social media. Many of her colleagues and mentors have praised her achievements, contributions, and personality.
Malissa Wood, who served as her primary honors thesis mentor during medical school, said that Gilstrap was “immensely talented and truly dedicated to improving the way we deliver care.” Robert Yeh, who met Gilstrap when she was a medical resident, said that she was “a dynamo, a firecracker” who brought “so much energy and enthusiasm to the team.” Anu Lala, who worked with Gilstrap as a fellow, said that she defined what it meant to be “a team player” who had “a sense of altruism.” Donna Polk, who mentored Gilstrap as a program director at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said that she was “an amazing person” who had “a soft spot for patients.” Mark Creager, the director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, said that he jumped at the chance to recruit Gilstrap to join his team in New Hampshire.
The cardiology community has lost a valuable member who had so much more to offer to the field and to the world. Loren Gray Gilstrap’s cause of death may remain unknown, but her legacy will live on through her work and her family. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.