Dec. 21, 2009 | Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., R.N., internationally respected associate dean for research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Nursing, has collected a pair of national honors.
McSweeney was awarded the highest honor given by the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and she became the first faculty member from UAMS to serve on the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils.
At the annual AHA Scientific Sessions conference held Nov. 15 in Orlando, Fla., McSweeney was presented the Katharine A. Lambright Award to acknowledge her many contributions and achievements in cardiovascular nursing research.
“This is a tremendous honor to be selected for this award and have my name appear alongside those of previous recipients who are outstanding cardiovascular nurse scientists. I am truly humbled to receive this award,” McSweeney said. “It’s wonderful to represent the UAMS College of Nursing among some of the most respected colleagues and peers in the field of cardiovascular nursing.”
The award was established in 1987 in honor of Lembright, an AHA staff member who played a significant role in developing and expanding the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing. As part of its 40th anniversary celebration, the AHA released a list of the “Top 10 Scientific or Clinical Advancements in Cardiovascular Nursing.” McSweeney made the list based on an article she published in Circulation in 2003 that was the first major study to identify the most frequent symptoms reported by women with heart disease. McSweeney’s groundbreaking findings garnered worldwide media attention and still provide the most complete description of symptoms to assist women and health care providers in identifying potential cardiac symptoms.
McSweeney began serving a three-year term on the NIH Council of Councils that began Nov. 1.
“It’s a great honor to have been invited to serve on this Council alongside some of the most brilliant and respected health professionals in the world,” McSweeney said. “I look forward to contributing any expertise I can share.”
McSweeney was nominated for this position by the director of the National Institute of Nursing Research.
The NIH Council of Councils advises the NIH director on research efforts regarding major intertwining NIH priorities and on matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives. The Council also makes recommendations for supporting research that deals with important areas of emerging scientific opportunities and public health challenges, and gaps in knowledge that would benefit from additional research involving collaboration between two or more institutes or centers.
One of the Council’s major charges is to make recommendations on research proposals that would potentially be funded through the NIH director’s Common Fund that is used to support trans-NIH research.