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Rehabilitation medicine expert named UT Arlington Moritz Chair of Geriatric Nursing Research

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: faculty, medicine, nursing, science

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The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation has appointed Mark Haykowsky, a nurse and an internationally renowned researcher in exercise physiology and rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta, Canada, as Moritz Chair of Geriatric Nursing Research.

Dr. Mark Haykowsky

Dr. Haykowsky is a professor of physical therapy in Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, one of the world’s preeminent rehabilitation medicine programs, and an adjunct professor in the university’s Faculty of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. Dr. Haykowsky also is the exercise physiology team lead for Alberta Heart, which is funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, and the Multidisciplinary Team Intervention in Cardio-oncology, funded by the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.

He joins UT Arlington on Aug. 1.

“I am honored to be named the inaugural Moritz Chair of Geriatric Nursing Research in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at The University of Texas at Arlington,” Dr. Haykowsky said. “The generous funding from this prestigious chair position will allow us to conduct cutting-edge research as well as educate the next generation of cardiovascular health outcome researchers.”

The endowed chair was established through a gift from the Moritz family, founders of Moritz Dealerships in automotive sales. The 2011 gift was made in honor of the college’s achievements and will enable the University to advance research in the field of elder care.

John David Moritz, president of Moritz Dealerships, commended the appointment and expressed appreciation for the work the College of Nursing and Health Innovation is doing to further research in the area of health and the human condition.

“My family has long been committed to improving health outcomes, especially initiatives that help us all live healthier, longer lives,” Moritz said. “We are pleased to see that our support has brought Dr. Haykowsky, a leading researcher from the world of rehabilitation medicine, to UT Arlington. We know his work will elevate opportunities for students and will continue to have a lasting impact on society overall.”

Anne Bavier, dean of the UT Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation, said the Moritz family’s generosity has made it possible for the University to attract a prominent scholar who will advance its mission of academic and research excellence. Dr. Haykowsky will inspire students to see themselves as scientists and scholars of the future, Bavier said.

“Dr. Haykowsky's focus on early predictors of heart failure brings significant science to this major killer of older women,” Dean Bavier said. “His keen awareness of how such science guides nursing care makes his contributions distinctive. We are honored to have him at UT Arlington.”

Dr. Haykowsky’s appointment is supported in part by the University of Texas System Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention, or STARS, program. The program provides additional startup funding needed to attract scholars with exceptional records of research, teaching, and creative activity.

UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari said Dr. Haykowsky’s recruitment is part of the planned strategy to significantly enhance the health sciences focus in line with the University’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

“Under Dean Bavier’s leadership the College of Nursing and Health Innovation is making rapid strides to develop an inter and trans-disciplinary focus to meet the needs of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area under our theme of Health and Human Condition,” Karbhari said. “Dr. Haykowsky’s international reputation and leadership in rehabilitation science and cardio-oncology adds another facet to the new College’s development as a leading center of research and teaching, and it provides an additional area of collaboration between our distinguished faculty across multiple colleges and with the health care community.”

The overarching focus of Dr. Haykowsky’s research is an examination of the biological mechanisms for the decline in aerobic capacity across the heart failure continuum and the role of exercise training to restore cardiovascular and skeletal muscle function, physical functional performance and quality of life. Better understanding of these factors is critical in both the treatment and rehabilitation of the older adult.

His secondary research focus is in the cardio-oncology field with specific emphasis on the role that exercise training can play to prevent anti-cancer therapy mediated cardiovascular dysfunction. Another research emphasis is in sport cardiology and cardiac mechanics in athletes. Heart function data from elite athletes helps inform new treatments across the functional spectrum.

Dr. Haykowsky said: “An important goal of my research is to improve overall health, physical function and quality of life in older individuals at risk for or with cardiovascular disease.”

During his career, Dr. Haykowsky has received funding as a primary or co-investigator from the NASA Johnson Space Center, St. Jude Medical, the American College of Gastroenterology, the Alberta Cancer Foundation and many other prominent Canadian funding agencies.

About The College of Nursing and Health Innovation

The UT Arlington College of Nursing and Health innovation provides world-class education to almost 19,000 nursing and kinesiology students, emphasizing scientific research, evidence-based practice and hands-on learning in the internationally recognized Smart Hospital, as well as at clinical partner facilities. Students in campus-based and online programs pass licensure exams at rates that exceed the national average and go on to become leaders in education, clinical care and health care administration. Visit www.uta.edu/nursing for more information.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 50,600 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times magazine. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.