Drs. Van Spall, Gunderson, and Wenger

PHRI Scientist Harriette Van Spall was a recipient of the 2022 Dr. Nanette K. Wenger Research Goes Red Award presented by the American Heart Association (AHA), for her article, Sex-specific clinical outcomes of the PACT-HF randomized trial in Circulation: Heart Failure.

This second annual award recognizes the best article on cardiovascular disease and stroke in women published each year in an AHA journal. Van Spall tied with Erica Gunderson, senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

Van Spall presented her winning article at AHA Scientific Sessions 2022 in Chicago on November 6. #Cardiotwitter #AHA2022 blew up that night reporting on seeing her both get the award and make her presentation.

Van Spall led the trial, PACT-HF (JAMA, 2019) which tested the effectiveness of the patient-centered care transitions in heart failure transitional are model in patients hospitalized for HF. She says:

The PACT-HF trial was ahead of its time in engaging patients and healthcare decision-makers as research partners, using digital health technology for trial recruitment, and minimizing follow-up burden on patients through the use of remote data collection. These, along with pragmatic eligibility criteria ensured a trial population representative of disease distribution, including 50% women.
The sex-treatment interaction in this exploratory analysis suggest that women hospitalized for heart failure may benefit from structured transitional care services more than men do. The reasons for this are unclear, but may be related to sex or gender differences in support and healthcare typically received by patients following hospital discharge…
I am proud of the innovation and passion that went into this stepped wedge cluster randomized trial, the pilot phase of which had me return to research within two days of the C-section birth of my son.”

This year’s winners received top scores from a peer review panel of experts and tied for first place. Their articles were selected from more than 85 manuscripts submitted to the Association between June 1, 2021, and May 29, 2022. Van Spall’s co-authors for her winning publication include PHRI Senior Scientists Jeff Healey and Stuart Connolly, among others.

Van Spall was also recently named the 2022 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR-ICRH)/Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Mid-Career Lecturer Award in Cardiovascular Sciences. She received that award and gave that lecture October 27 at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Ottawa.

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