TCTMD’s Shelley Wood Wins 2022 Wenger Award for Excellence in Media
The award from WomenHeart honored Wood’s efforts to amplify the research and voices of women working in cardiology.
TCTMD Managing Editor Shelley Wood is the 2022 winner of WomenHeart’s Wenger Award for Excellence in Media. The 22nd Annual Wenger Awards were held earlier this week at a ceremony in Washington, DC.
According to WomenHeart, the award honors her “thought-provoking and clinically relevant reporting” that, over the course of her career, has helped ensure “women are front and center—both the voices of women clinicians and women’s heart health. She is a uniting force in the field of cardiology, covering all the new research and every important meeting, as well as hard topics.”
Martha Gulati, MD, in presenting the award, described the breadth and impact of Wood’s work.
“Her voice is a respected voice in the cardiology community and wide-reaching. . . . What she writes matters,” Gulati said, adding, “[Wood] probes us for more information and raises questions on a public platform that is needed within our cardiology community.
She continued: “Her journalism skills are unparalleled. Her work may target the medical community more than the lay community, but the challenges, the questions, [and] the gaps she notes are really needed for [us] to address if we are ever going to be able to properly care for women and their hearts. We need the voices of journalists like Shelley Wood to create change in our medical community, where women’s hearts and their health have taken a back seat to men.”
Wood said she was struck early on by the lack of women cardiologists and how this seemed to mirror the underrepresentation and undertreatment of women more broadly.
“I’ve always thought that for heart disease in women to be properly studied and for women’s symptoms and women’s disease to be seen and heard—then the people paying the closest attention to this need to be interviewed and their work needs to be ‘news.’ Many times those are female physicians and leaders,” said Wood. “It’s been my great honor to see them and hear them, to help to amplify their voices and their work through my own.”
She recalls the night as an emotional one, in part thanks to hearing so many WomenHeart “champions” speak of their experiences with delayed or missed diagnoses. “It was a reminder to me,” Wood said, “that the work towards better health equity in cardiology is far from done.”
During this year’s ceremony, a new award was announced for “Champion Excellence,” honoring exceptional volunteers that are the backbone of the organization, named after longtime WomenHeart member, 2002 Wenger-award winner, and champion mentor Sharonne Hayes, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN).
We need the voices of journalists like Shelley Wood to create change in our medical community, where women’s hearts and their health have taken a back seat to men. Martha Gulati
Named after Nanette Kass Wenger, MD, the annual event recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions to women’s heart health. Other recipients this year include Rachel Bond, MD (Dignity Health, Gilbert, AZ), for Excellence in Medical Advocacy; Harmony Reynolds, MD (NYU Langone Health, New York, NY), for Excellence in Medical Leadership); and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL) for Excellence in Public Policy.
Wood is an award-winning medical journalist who leads the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF)’s editorial services department and the news team at TCTMD, which has become one of the top online resources for cutting-edge news and information in cardiovascular medicine.
Prior to joining CRF in 2015, she was a long-time editor at theheart.org, which merged with WebMD's Medscape Cardiology in 2013. Wood started at the theheart.org as a journalist in 2000 and became the site's managing editor in 2009. Three years later, she was named news director for the newly launched Medscape Deutschland, and in 2013 was promoted to senior director of global news, a role that included oversight of Medscape France. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she earned her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal and her graduate degree in journalism at the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in medical reporting.