McMaster University

McMaster University

Holly Tschirhart faces dragons and takes top prize at Endochrine Awards

By Guylaine Spencer
Published: Feb. 23, 2017

Holly Tschirhart

& Dr. Diana Sherifali

Holly Tschirhart, a Masters student in the School of Nursing at McMaster University, faced the “Dragons” and took  the top prize of $10,000 for the Diabetes Educator Award at the 3rd Annual Endocrine Awards  in Toronto in December.


Tschirhart competed in a peer-reviewed proposal vetting, followed by a Dragon’s Den-like presentation in which she spoke about her research before the ‘Dragons’ and the rest of the audience peppered her with questions about it.  


Tschirhart ’s research is titled: “Establishing the prevalence and correlates of diabetes-related distress in women with pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy”.


“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in the 3rd Annual Endocrine Awards as a finalist,” says Tschirhart. “It was a unique awards process, and through it I gained the valuable experience of presenting to and taking questions from well-respected health care professionals in our diabetes community. I'm extremely passionate about my thesis and my population of interest, so winning this award was a positive validation that my topic on distress and depressive symptoms in women with diabetes in pregnancy is an important subject to research. I feel privileged to represent my supervisor, Dr. Diana Sherifali, the McMaster School of Nursing, and other diabetes nurse educators with this award.”


Sherifali reports that Tschirhart did a masterful job of pitching her research idea to the Dragons. “Holly’s research is important as it will assess the prevalence of diabetes-related distress and depressive symptoms in a cohort of women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes during pregnancy (i.e. pre-existing diabetes).  This study will highlight how big of a problem distress/depression is in pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy, as well as help us understand what factors are associated with distress/depression, such as the type of diabetes, education, age,  support systems, etc.”


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