Cardiovascular expert acknowledged in New Orleans

Published: Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Professor Simon Stewart, Institute Director at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, has been awarded the prestigious Katharine A. Lembright Award this week, recognising his extensive contribution to cardiovascular research at an international level.

The American Heart Association award was presented on Wednesday 16 November, at the Cardiovascular Nursing Clinical Symposium in New Orleans to leaders and experts in science from across the globe.

Professor Stewart is widely-regarded as a pioneer in the area of cardiovascular disease management and has been particularly influential in the area of cardiovascular disease in disadvantaged communities. Born in Adelaide, Professor Stewart began his career as a cardiac nurse, and completed his PhD before being appointed Chair of Cardiovascular Nursing at the National Heart Foundation Australia, and Head of Preventative Cardiology at the world-renowned Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Today, Professor Stewart is a leader in cardiovascular research around the world, particularly in Africa, where he has been heavily involved in the mentorship of emerging research leaders; was a chief researcher for the now internationally-renowned Heart of Soweto study; and co-author of the recently-published Heart of Africa (Wiley Press 2016), in conjunction with the Pan-African Cardiac Society.

Most recently, Professor Stewart launched the wide-reaching Hidden Hearts report about the deadly epidemic of cardiovascular disease in Australian women, which found it was contributing to more deaths than the most common forms of cancer and costing the health system $3 billion a year.

This is the second time this year Professor Stewart has been recognised for his work, having been selected as one of only two Australians inducted as a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in October.

Visiting Professor for the Mary MacKillop Institute, Professor Tiny Jaarsma was also recognised at the New Orleans event, taking home the honour of Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association. Professor Jaarsma's research aims at enhancing the quality of nursing care and strengthening the health care delivery system for chronically ill cardiac patients. Her contributions centre on promoting evidence-based nursing practice in the Netherlands and internationally, with a specific focus in patients with heart failure.