Heart Foundation Research grants top $78m

Heart Foundation volunteers. File photo/SunLive.

The Heart Foundation will put $4.2 million dollars of funding towards heart research and specialist training for New Zealand cardiologists. 

Today’s announcement has been made in line with World Heart Day.

This funding brings the total awarded by the charity since its formation in 1968, to more than $78 million dollars.

 “We have a long and proud record of research investment, which has improved the heart health of all New Zealanders for more than 50 years, but we still have much more work to do,” says Heart Foundation medical director Dr Gerry Devlin.

“Heart disease is New Zealand’s single biggest killer. With our ongoing commitment to supporting research, we can keep saving lives and improve the quality of life for the 170,000 New Zealanders living with heart disease.”

This year the Heart Foundation has awarded research grants across the bench-to-bedside spectrum, including new treatments, structural interventions and prevention.

“The Heart Foundation is supporting so much exciting research in 2020. Research that will make a real difference to so many Kiwi’s,” says Gerry.

The Heart Foundation is proud to support leaders across all areas of medicine in Aotearoa, such as neonatal paediatrician Dr Sarah Harris, whose work will investigate the link between premature babies and heart disease.

“Emerging evidence shows adults who were born prematurely, and mothers who give birth to a premature baby, are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease but neither are included in our national guidelines for cardiovascular risk screening,” says Sarah.

“The birth of a premature baby may be an opportunity to review cardiovascular risk for both mother and baby and to initiate an earlier programme of risk surveillance, health education and preventative care that could have intergenerational benefit.”

This year a new grant to support nurses in the field of cardiology has also been introduced.

The new Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease, has been awarded to Edel Schick, enabling her to develop patient education and focus on disease prevention in the community.

The 2020 awards include six project grants, two overseas training and research fellowships, six Research Fellowships, two Māori Cardiovascular Research Fellowships, four Small Project Grants and three Summer Studentships.

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