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Renowned leader in women's heart health honored with national award

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Jennifer Johnson McEwen
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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Nanette K. Wenger, MD, was presented the inaugural 2015 Bernadine Healy Leadership in Women’s Cardiovascular Disease Award at this week’s 64th Annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Session. Wenger is a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, and former chief of cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital.

For more than 50 years, Wenger's steadfast dedication to reducing women's disability and death from cardiovascular disease has made her one of the world's most respected experts on coronary heart disease in women.

The Bernadine Healy Award was created in honor of the work and memory of Bernadine Healy, MD, the first woman to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the first physician to lead the American Red Cross. She was the founding editor of Journal of Women's Health, and a champion of women’s health throughout her academic and government career.

"This award is an outstanding way to honor Dr. Wenger’s many contributions to the field of cardiology," says W. Robert Taylor, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine. "She is a visionary leader who has advanced women's health immeasurably."

Wenger graduated from Harvard Medical School and received her medical and cardiology training at Mount Sinai Hospital before coming to Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital in 1958. Since then Wenger has been honored with dozens of prestigious awards throughout her career.

Wenger's greatest legacy is changing the face of cardiology. In 1993, the New York native coauthored a landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine that aggressively debunked the common belief that heart disease was a man's disease. Today, as a result of Wenger’s pioneering clinical and research efforts, cardiovascular disease is recognized as the number one killer of women in the United States causing one in three deaths each year.

Wenger helped write the 2011 Guidelines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women. In 2009, her 50th year at Emory, Wenger’s extraordinary career achievements were celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology.

Wenger serves on the editorial boards of numerous professional journals and is a sought after lecturer for issues related to heart disease in women, heart disease in the elderly, cardiac rehabilitation, coronary prevention and contemporary cardiac care. She is listed in Best Doctors in America.

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