Photo by Luc Sirois

Bloomberg Nursing delivers solutions at Women’s Heart Health Hackathon

17 February 2017

In early February 2017, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC), the Institute Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICHR) and the Institute of Gender and Health held the first Women’s Heart Health Hackathon in Toronto. Held in conjunction with the inaugural meeting of the Women’s Heart Health Network, the Hackathon brought Canadian research trainees and experts from across disciplines together in a solutions-focused environment to spark innovation and maximize the impact of knowledge translation challenges facing women’s heart health.

Bloomberg Nursing’s Tom Kierans International Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Ann Kristin Bjørnnes received a 2017 Trainee Award in Women´s Heart Health. This award was given to an individual to address existing knowledge gaps between health research findings and clinical practice in the area of women’s heart and cardiovascular health.

Associate Professor Dr. Monica Parry and Dr. Bjørnnes jointly received the 2017 First Prize for Best Group Project entitled ‘Her Heart, Her Story’. As the Tom Kierans International Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Bjørnnes is supervised by Dr. Parry, and together they are developing and systematically evaluating an integrated smartphone and web-based intervention (HEARTPA♀N) to help women self-manage cardiac pain.

“The Hackathon provided a unique opportunity to learn and develop knowledge translation exchange (KTE) skills thorough interdisciplinary collaboration, and enabled us to develop our idea of multimedia-delivered personal stories of women with heart disease to disseminate knowledge about cardiac symptoms and risk in women,” Dr. Bjørnnes explained.

“Our project ‘Her Heart, Her Story’ will use personal stories of cardiac health to raise awareness among women about their own symptoms and risk factors.  Cardiovascular disease kills more women than men in Canada, in part because women minimize their symptoms and take longer to seek help. In fact, women are 32% more likely than men to die after a cardiovascular event,” says Dr. Monica Parry.

Ann-Kristin Bjornnes

 Dr. Ann Kristin Bjørnnes has an extensive practice background as a nurse (RN), midwife (CNM), and an Assistant Professor (MSc) at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health Science, Institute of Nursing and Health Promotion, Norway.

Her doctoral work has focused on establishing pain prevalence and related risk factors and the impact of an educational pain management booklet intervention on postoperative pain control after discharge from cardiac surgery. Dr. Bjørnnes doctoral work has so far resulted in three accepted manuscripts in highly ranked international nursing journals.

 Dr. Monica Parry is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Nurse Practitioner Programs at Bloomberg Nursing.  Monica is an active supervisor in the international visiting PhD program, where she has assisted students to publish on a broad range of areas including pain management and risk factors for coronary heart disease across various ethnic populations. Her program of research is focused to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and its complications. She is an investigator with the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative, an investigator at the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre, and is core faculty and an investigator in the Collaborative Program in Resuscitation Science in the Division of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

Congratulations to Drs. Bjørnnes and Parry on this well-earned recognition.