By Amanda Boundris
McMaster nursing professor Heather Arthur has won the 21st Annual Terry Kavanagh Prize from the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (CACR), making her the first female and first nurse to receive the award.
As this year’s recipient, she will deliver the keynote Terry Kavanagh Lecture at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Montreal on October 17.
According to the CACR, the purpose of the prize and lecture is "to acknowledge nationally and internationally well known researchers, program leaders, and leaders who embody the remarkable achievements of Dr. Terence Kavanagh as he led the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – now known as the Toronto Rehabilitation Centre – in research in exercise physiology that established the scientific basis for cardiac rehabilitation."
Each year an award winner is selected who has provided at least 10 years of leadership, experience and contribution to the field of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation; displayed a high level of research and other academic productivity; has a notable record of peer-reviewed grants, publications and presentations; and had a national and international impact.
"She is one of the leading scientists in the country in the area of cardiac rehabilitation, cardiovascular disease, and women’s cardiac health," said Dr. Paul Oh, medical director of the Cardiac Program at Toronto Rehab, who nominated Arthur for the award. "She has provided passionate leadership to the advancement of nurses and women in the academic realm, has mentored many professionals and students, and has been an exemplary role model for practitioners and researchers in cardiac rehab."
Arthur said: "This award is a generous recognition of my contributions to cardiac rehabilitation as both a scientist and an advocate. Being the first woman to receive the Terry Kavanagh Prize, I plan to focus my lecture on women as patients, providers and scientists. It seems fitting."
Arthur began her career at McMaster University in 1981. She currently holds the Heart and Stroke Foundation/Michael G. DeGroote Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing Research and is also the Chief Scientific Officer at Hamilton Health Sciences. Arthur is a past president of the CACR, as well as board member, and scientific and educational contributor.