Nursing specialists advance heart disease research and care

Canada’s largest congregation of cardiovascular and allied health professionals have convened in Vancouver to network, collaborate and to learn from the best in the field. Providence Health Care’s St. Paul’s Hospital is pleased to be at the heart of this excitement, and wishes to recognize two outstanding cardiac nursing researchers who have made a profound difference on the care and recovery of heart disease patients in Vancouver.

Drs. Sandra Lauck and Martha Mackay, who are participating at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, have been bestowed the St. Paul’s Hospital and Heart & Stroke Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Nursing at UBC and the Katherine M. MacMillan Nursing Research Scholar Award, respectively. These two significant achievements not only recognize two outstanding nursing professionals in the field, but also signal provision of improved care for heart disease patients in the years to come.

For Dr. Sandra Lauck, this professorship will enable her time and resources to focus on improving cardiovascular nursing care at St. Paul’s Hospital and across Canada, and to further bridge nursing research between the university and hospital.

As a Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Clinical Nurse Specialist for the internationally known Centre for Heart Valve Innovation at St. Paul’s Hospital, Dr. Lauck is no stranger to leading multi-disciplinary care teams and conducting clinical research studies that directly impact heart patients. Her academic and clinical work with the Centre for Heart Valve Innovation has helped inform and transform the management and care for heart valve disease.

Dr. Lauck says, “This is a unique opportunity to combine my clinical expertise in cardiovascular nursing and my academic preparation to accelerate my program of practice-close research, foster research and clinical partnerships, and support improved patient outcomes and health services.”

Dr. Martha Mackay is a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, Clinical Nurse Specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital Heart Centre and a research scientist with the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences. She is one of the few clinician-scientists in Nursing in British Columbia who has successfully combined an advanced nursing practice role with an active and flourishing research program. Dr. Mackay has led  strong interdisciplinary teams in studies examining ethnicity/race-based differences in cardiac outcomes and an innovative, internet-based treatment for depression in cardiac patients, which is associated with increased mortality and morbidity.

For Dr. Mackay, the UBC’s Katherine M. MacMillan Nursing Research Scholar Award will further support her research program, focused on identifying the impact of important social and demographic factors on health behaviour and access to, and outcomes from, cardiovascular care during critical transition points.

“I’m very grateful for this award from the School of Nursing,” says Dr. Mackay. “I’m confident it will catalyze my research program, which aims to take a look at common, yet understudied issues in the care of heart patients and to find solutions that work for both patients and the health care system.”

Providence Health Care is committed to providing the best care for patients. We are grateful to the St. Paul's Foundation, Heart & Stroke Foundation, UBC and the UBC School of Nursing for their support and recognition of our outstanding staff.