McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster alumnus takes endowed chair in nursing

Published: September 4, 2013
Michael McGillion
Michael McGillion, an assistant professor of the School of Nursing, has been appointed Heart and Stroke Foundation /Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing.

Connecting with people's lives and the challenges they faced is what inspired Michael McGillion to become a nurse.

"I'm strongly oriented to human interaction," said McGillion, who switched from natural sciences to the nursing program after his first semester at McMaster University. The 1996 alumnus has returned to McMaster to take the Heart and Stroke Foundation /Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing.  He is also an assistant professor of the School of Nursing.

The Chair was established in 2002 and is supported by a fund created the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF), philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote and several partners within the University.

"I'm so pleased to return to McMaster; McMaster has taught me to go beyond boundaries of what people might expect," he said.

In fact, McGillion chaired the Joint Canadian Cardiovascular Society-Canadian Pain Society Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Refractory Angina in 2012. He also chaired the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Position Statement on Advancing the Care of Canadians Living with Refractory Angina.

McGillion came to McMaster from the University of Toronto; he is recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in cardiac pain. The focus of his research is improving access to health care for patients suffering from persistent forms of cardiovascular pain and strategies for innovative approaches to cardiac pain knowledge synthesis and dissemination.

"The Heart and Stroke Foundation is delighted with the appointment of Dr. McGillion to this prestigious chair," said Vince Bowman, director of research for the HSF Ontario Provincial Office. "Dr. McGillion's program of research on promoting recovery and enhancing support for individuals with persistent chest pain will contribute greatly to patient care. We look forward to his progress in this critical area."

While working in hospital emergency rooms in southeast Texas and southern Ontario, McGillion said he became concerned with the huge volume of people living with chronic angina and their poor quality of life.

"I noticed that a lot of people with chronic chest pain revisited the emergency room over and over again," McGillion said.

His research program targets people with advanced coronary artery disease, and those with chronic chest pain without any clear evidence of coronary artery disease. McGillion is in the process of developing a tool to assist patients with advanced coronary disease and refractory angina make informed decisions about their treatment options.

In addition to his research, McGillion has also been recognized for his contributions to teaching and mentoring with the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing New Tenure Stream Contribution Award in 2009. In May, he was also the recipient of the early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society.

McGillion follows Dr. Heather Arthur, the inaugural holder of the Heart and Stroke Foundation/Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing, who held the position for 10 years. Her research focus is health behaviour and its relationship to the risk for, and recovery from, heart disease.

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