Dr. Amy McPherson has been awarded the Health Promotion Canada 2019 Mid-career Academic Recognition Award.
“It is exceptionally clear that Dr. McPherson’s health promotion efforts in the areas of obesity, physical activity and nutrition for children with long-term conditions and disabilities are making a positive impact on health-related behaviours of children and their families,” said Dr. Tom Chau, Vice-President of Research. “She is a trailblazer working to systematically address health promotion in this underserved population.”
The academic award recognizes individuals working within post-secondary educational settings who have an exceptional track record of academic achievements related to health promotion, a demonstrated history of involvement with health-focused initiatives outside of the classroom, and a strong commitment to advancing the promotion of health in Canada and globally.
A senior scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute as well as a faculty member at the University of Toronto, Dr. McPherson is a leading expert in health promotion for children with disabilities. She has published over 80 manuscripts in high-quality journals, has been awarded more than three million dollars in public and private funding for her research and has launched an evidence-based resource, The ‘Fostering positive weight-related conversations’ Casebook, to support health care professionals and families in having positive weight-related and wellness conversations. The award-winning scientist is a highly sought-after research collaborator across North America and Europe and is a member of several international expert committees and groups.
Dr. McPherson’s research has not only impacted the lives of children with disabilities, but also the professional lives of those who she has mentored. She has provided leadership to over 35 trainees and more than 40 research staff, many of whom have been inspired to pursue careers in health care and physical activity promotion.
“This award is a great honour. It recognises over 20 years of research addressing the health promotion needs of children with disabilities and long-term conditions conducted not only by myself, but also by the many trainees and staff that I have been fortunate to supervise,” said Dr. McPherson.
The researcher also sees health promotion as an important social justice issue. “My research attempts to address the social inequalities often experienced by individuals with disabilities. This award from Health Promotion Canada provides visibility and recognition of this overlooked population.”