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2018 Distinguished Scientist -
Kathleen L. Grady, PhD, RN, FAHA

Kathleen L. Grady, PhD, RN, FAHAKathleen L. Grady, PhD, RN, FAHA
Professor of Surgery and Medicine, Fienberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Administrative Director, Center for Heart Failure, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Kathleen L. Grady is Professor of Surgery and Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Administrative Director, Center for Heart Failure of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Ill. As a long-standing volunteer with the American Heart Association (AHA), she has served as chair of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN) and Council Operations Committee. Dr. Grady has received many awards, including the prestigious CVSN Katherine A. Lembright Award in recognition of her lifetime research achievements.

Dr. Grady, an internationally recognized researcher, has focused on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of advanced heart failure patients who undergo heart transplantation (HT) and mechanical circulatory support (MCS) implantation. Her passion for understanding HRQOL began in the 1970s, while working as a staff nurse with HT patients in the ICU at Stanford University. Dr. Grady’s research has advanced our scientific understanding of HRQOL in this patient population. She has one of the largest databases on HRQOL long-term after HT and was one of the first investigators to report on HRQOL in patients undergoing first generation MCS. Dr. Grady demonstrated that HRQOL improves from before to long-term after HT and early after MCS, but also determined that post-surgical factors, including adverse events, contribute to decreased HRQOL. Dr. Grady’s research has been supported by the AHA and NIH. She currently has two multi-site R01 grants to (1) compare HRQOL outcomes in older advanced heart failure patients who undergo HT or destination therapy MCS and their caregivers, and (2) develop a measurement system to assess adjustment to MCS and HRQOL from before to after surgery, funded by the NIA and NHLBI, respectively. She also collaborates with the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (Intermacs), having published multiple MCS HRQOL articles from this rigorous outcomes-focused database.