"I hope more people will support the exciting, empowering research on women's health and sex differences at the CWHR."Feb 10, 2020
Raising her twin daughters was always Mary's focus, but she was committed to carving out time to give back to the community by volunteering at the Colorado Bar Association's legal services programs for the indigent and serving on a number of community boards, including the Legal Aid Foundation and St. Joseph Hospital Foundation. Through her leadership with the Women's Foundation of Colorado, Mary met former Ludeman Center advisory board chair Mary Sissel who urged her to learn more about the Ludeman Center. As Mary astutely stated, "If Mary Sissel supports something, it must be good!" Her first introduction to the Ludeman Center was at the third Annual Luncheon (2020 will mark the 18th Annual Luncheon), where her colleague Karen Leaffer shared the moving story about her journey with peripartum cardiomyopathy and the heartbreaking loss of her infant daughter, Jacqueline. Excited and intrigued by the cutting-edge research by Ludeman Center researchers, Mary attended many educational events, such as the Let's Talk series offered by the Ludeman Center, and was extremely impressed by the quality and caliber of the research projects and researchers supported by the Ludeman CEnter. "The variety of learnings about important health topics is what drew me in," Mary pointed out.
Eager to help the Ludeman Center, Mary joined the board in 2011. Through the "adopt a researcher program" for board member, Mary experienced first-hand how shared research findings can positively impact lives. Meeting frequently with the Ludeman Center lead scientists for community outreach, Amy Huebschmann, MD, Mary learned in more detail about why exercise is critical in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Today, she is a strong advocate for exercise, frequently sharing with others both her personal experience and the research behind it. Mary shared, "I hope more people will support the exciting, empowering research on women's health and sex differences at the Ludeman Center. We need more attention on this important, historically ignored area of research."
Mary's practical leadership style and strategic vision were tremendous assets throughout her tenure as Advisory Board chair from 2013-15. Ludeman Center Director and co-founder Judy Regensteiner, PhD, emphasized that she relied on Mary for "sound advice and wisdom" especially with the Ludeman Center's decision to host a National Conference on Women's Health and Sex Differences, which was a bold undertaking at the time but one that would elevate the awareness and importance of women's health and sex differences research. As preparation is underway for the third National Conference on October 12-14 2022, the Ludeman Center's and its supporters are extremely grateful to Mary Stuart for her unwavering support, vision, and encouragement during a critical time of expansion and growth.