Prof. Sherry Grace earns award for advancements in cardiac research

a stethescope and a heart

York University researcher Sherry Grace has been awarded the Michael L. Pollock Established Investigator Award for making advances in cardiac rehabilitation through her research.

Sherry Grace
Sherry Grace

A Kinesiology and Health Science professor in the Faculty of Health, Grace will receive the award from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) at its conference in September.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made significant advances in the field of cardiac rehabilitation through his/her research and scholarly contributions, and has earned national prominence in his/her field through contributions in contemporary research and/or education.

Grace is being recognized for this award primarily because she was instrumental in the development of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, serving on the executive board since its inception. Along with her colleagues, she formally brought together more than 35 national cardiac societies working in the area of prevention and rehabilitation. They recently undertook the first ever study of all cardiac rehab programs in the world. The work of this council, which is an official member of the World Heart Federation, has increased the availability of cardiac rehab for patients globally; this is particularly true in countries where it has been non-existent, yet the epidemic of heart disease is at its’ worst.

“I am incredibly honoured to be the recipient of this award,” said Grace. “I greatly admire the previous recipients, and hence am humbled by this recognition, and particularly more so as it is an American award and I am not even an American!

“I am proud to be the third-ever female recipient as well. Winning this award suggests my work has truly had international impact, which reflects York’s strengths in global health.”

Grace’s research centers on global cardiovascular rehabilitation access and delivery, as well as cardiac psychology. She has published more than 200 papers, and authored clinical practice guidelines. She led the development of the Canadian quality indicators for cardiac rehabilitation, and a national policy position on systematic inpatient referral.

She developed a scale to measure cardiac rehab barriers among patients, healthcare providers and also hospital administrators. The patient scale has been translated to eight languages, used in 20 countries, and counting. Through her service to major cardiac societies from a national to international level, she works to ensure gaps in cardiac rehabilitation care are recognized and addressed.

Grace is also appointed at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, as senior scientist with the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation & Prevention Program and is a member of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

During the awards presentation, which take place is Louisville, KY, there will be a video to recognize Grace’s accomplishments that will also feature some of her colleagues.