McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

New research chair honours Heather Arthur

Published: July 19, 2017
Heather Arthur
Heather Arthur – McMaster nurse scientist, professor and alumna

A legacy is being set for Heather Arthur, a McMaster University nurse scientist who pioneered cardiac rehabilitation research in Canada. An endowed research chair is being established in her name.

The Heather M. Arthur Population Health Research Institute/Hamilton Health Sciences Chair in Inter-Professional Health Research in the McMaster School of Nursing will further interdisciplinary health research. The chair goes for approval by the University's senate and board of governors this fall.

The position is a partnership between the Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton Health Sciences and the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI).

"This chair offers an inter-professional, collaborative opportunity for a new generation of trainees who can be brought together across disciplines to conduct research," said Sandra Carroll, acting associate dean and director of McMaster's School of Nursing.

Arthur retired in late 2013 as a professor emerita. A McMaster School of Nursing alumna, she had joined the faculty in 1981.

During her career she held the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario/Michael G. DeGroote Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Nursing Research, and she was the chief scientific officer at Hamilton Health Sciences. Arthur became the first woman and the first nursing professional to be awarded the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation Terry Kavanagh Prize in 2013.

"Research chairs offer a meaningful opportunity to invest in the advancement of heath care," said Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences. "To have this endowed chair named for McMaster professor and scientist Heather Arthur, who had a tremendous impact in her field, makes it particularly meaningful to everyone involved."

Salim Yusuf, director of the PHRI and professor of medicine at McMaster said: "This chair recognizes Heather's seminal contributions and the chair will facilitate attracting new talent to PHRI at McMaster University and at Hamilton Health Sciences. This will ensure that Heather's legacy will be passed on to future generations."

Arthur was overwhelmed with emotion when Paul O'Byrne informed her of the newly created chair, said Carroll, adding that in what is characteristic of Arthur's commitment to the school and her research, she had suggestions for the position.

"Knowing this chair was underway, Heather was involved in laying out some ideas she would love to see the chair produce," said Carroll. "We were able to bring her and her family incredible joy in the midst of her recent illness. This was important to her."

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