Heather Wallace, Ph.D.
Dr. Wallace is an Assistant Professor for the Public Health program at Grand Valley State University where she advises and teaches students in Health Promotion. Dr. Wallace is an interdisciplinary scholar having received degrees in Sociology, Public Health and Gerontology. Her areas of expertise include rural aging, rural cancer control and prevention, and health behavior. As a National Cancer Institute pre-doctoral fellow in rural cancer control and prevention at the University of Kentucky, she conducted a qualitative study of treatment decision making among older, Appalachian head and neck cancer patients.
Dr. Wallace comes to GVSU with a range of experience related to human health and aging. She has worked in the acute and long term clinical health care settings, the pharmaceutical industry, and has contributed to the development of public health and nursing curriculum in higher education. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in health science, kinesiology, nursing, gerontology, and public health programs.
The contribution of her research is to examine how vulnerable older persons with multiple co-morbid diseases, including cancer, may pursue, achieve and maintain a meaningful life in the community. Additionally, Dr. Wallace’s recent work has included the development and examination of contemplative pedagogies that engage inter-generational learners to cultivate deeper learning, awareness, and critical thinking across the lifecourse, while also promoting health and wellness.
Dr. Wallace served as the President Elect of the Alberta Public Health Association, in Alberta Canada and has continued to serve the public health and aging community in West Michigan. She serves on various local boards and committees, including the Michigan Cancer Consortium Cancer Plan Diagnosis and Treatment Workgroup, the Cancer Quality of Life Workgroup, and the Oakridge Community School District's School Wellness Center Advisory Committee.