Boston –Gary Balady, MD, director of Preventive Cardiology and the Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Laboratories at Boston Medical Center (BMC), will receive the American Heart Association's (AHA) most prestigious tribute, the Paul Dudley White Award, at the group's annual Heart Ball on May 3.
Balady, also professor of medicine and assistant dean of admissions at Boston University School of Medicine, is being honored for his outstanding work in the field of preventive cardiology. "Dr. Balady has made significant contributions to the American Heart Association and the field of cardiology," said event Co-Chair, Dr. Lawrence H. Cohn, Hubbard Professor Emeritus of Cardiac Surgery at Harvard Medical School and a cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "We are pleased to recognize his achievements with this year's Paul Dudley White Award."
The award is named for Dr. Paul Dudley White, one of Boston's most revered cardiologists considered the father of preventive cardiology who founded the AHA and was instrumental in developing the Framingham Heart Study and establishing the National Heart Institute and the National Institutes of Health. The award is bestowed annually to a Massachusetts medical professional physician.
One of his nominators noted, "Dr. Balady has numerous personal qualities and a career path that is remarkably similar to that of Dr. White. He has been interested in preventive cardiology as founded by Dr. White and has extended this into the arena of cardiac rehabilitation as one would anticipate Dr. White would have done. Both have been advocates for this mission on the local and national levels and are recognized for their efforts. Both are widely regarded as excellent teachers and mentors to many. Dr. Balady is personally committed to keeping physically fit with regular exercise. He, too, lives by the principles that he preaches!"
A superb clinician who was recognized by previously being named the Physician of the Year by the AHA in 2010, Balady established the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Program at BMC. Now one of the leading programs in the region and in the country, it was considered pioneering two decades ago when most programs focused primarily on exercise alone. At BMC, Balady instituted a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to preventive and rehabilitation cardiac care combining exercise training, nutrition and weight management, smoking cessation, and cholesterol management. The program has served more than 4,000 patients.
"Dr. Balady is a compassionate doctor with a meticulous approach to care," said Boston Medical Center President and CEO Kate Walsh. "He always takes the time to listen to our patients' concerns, many of whom have suffered a recent cardiac event. He is able to guide them back to health with more awareness and a greater sense of well-being."
Recognized nationally and internationally for his contributions to exercise physiology and preventive and rehabilitation cardiology, Balady's research focuses on exercise testing and training of cardiac patients. With nearly 150 publications to his credit, he is particularly interested in the physiologic changes that occur in the cardiovascular system with regular exercise, as well as the assessment of outcomes after cardiac rehabilitation. As chair and member of several AHA and American College of Cardiology writing groups, Balady has been instrumental in generating guidelines for exercise testing, training and preventive cardiology.
"Dr. Balady also is an outstanding educator," says Boston University School of Medicine Dean Karen Antman. "He teaches his patients, trainees, colleagues and the community at large about cardiovascular health and disease, as well as echocardiography. He is an excellent mentor to our trainees and junior faculty – guiding them on clinical research projects, providing opportunities within the AHA, such as committees and writing groups, and offering sage career advice."
Balady is a fellow of the AHA, American College of Cardiology, and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. He serves the AHA both nationally and locally by leading and participating on key committees involved with exercise, physical activity and preventive cardiology. He is past chair of the AHA's Council on Clinical Cardiology, past president of the AHA Greater Boston Division, and presently serves as immediate past president of the Board of Directors of the AHA Founders Affiliate.