Associate Professor

Ruth Heisey



Women's College Hospital
77 Grenville St., Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1B2
Research Interests
Health Promotion, Women's Health, Systematic Reviews, Qualitative Data Analysis, Cancer Care

Dr. Ruth Heisey is Chief of the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Primary Care and the Medical Director of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers at Women’s College Hospital. She is an Associate Professor and Clinician Investigator in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Research Synopsis


Her research interests include breast cancer prevention, screening and diagnosis. She strives to help family physicians better identify, manage and support women with breast concerns and to ensure that women across Canada have better access to quality cancer care. She also supports educational scholarship.

Honours and Awards



She received the distinction of Academic Family Physician of the Year in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto in 2009 and she has received numerous teaching, course development and research awards.




2017 Sep – 2019 Aug Co-Knowledge User. Automated screening, triage, and follow-up to facilitate proactive, personalized postpartum mental health treatment for new parents. CIHR Personalized Health Catalyst Grants: PI: Ivers Noah. Collaborator(s): Agarwal P, Dennis CL, Vigod S. 20,000 CAD. [Grants]

2017 Jun – 2018 Jul Collaborator. Building education scholarship capacity concepts to application in a hospital-based family medicine teaching unity. Department of Family and Community Medicine. Art of Possible Grant. PI: Chen Betty. Collaborator(s): Fernando O, Freeman R. 5,000 CAD. [Grants]

2017 Jun – 2018 Jul Collaborator. Understanding clinician teacher's self-perception of their academic roles: A pilot study. UTOPIAN Idea to Proposal Small Grant. PI: Chen Betty. Collaborator(s) Nyhof-Young J, Freeman R. 7,900 CAD. [Grants]

2013 Sep - 2018 Sep Co-Investigator. Canadian Team to Improve Community-Based Cancer Care along the Continuum (Can IMPACT). CIHR Community-based Primary Health Care Team Grant. PI: Grunfeld, Eva. Collaborator(s): M Aubin, J Carroll, M Elwood, L Fillion, M Fitch, P Groome, R Heisey, A Hussain, A Katz, P Kreuger, A Lofters, D Manca, J Maxted, B Miedema, R Moinedded, M O’Brien, J Sisler, J Sussman, F Webster, M Winget. 2,476,364. [Grants]

2013 Jan - 2014 Apr Co-Investigator. Identification of Women with a Family History of Breast Cancer in electronic Medical Records: a Feasibility Study. University of Toronto Dept. of Family and Community Medicine. Utopian Feasibility Grant. Collaborator(s): M. Murara, M. Griever, K. Wintemute, M. Moeinedin, J.C. Carroll, D. Telner, R. Heisey, W. Meschino, J. 25,000 CAD. [Grants]

2009 Mar - 2014 Oct Principal Investigator. Improving Breast Cancer care with a Rapid Diagnostic Clinic. Canada’s Academic Health Sciences Centres (AHSC). Alternate Funding Plan (AFP). Collaborator(s): C Lo, B Lord, T Cil, J Semple, J Escallon, D McCready. 30,000 CAD. [Grants]

2008 Apr - 2010 Sep Co-Principal Investigator. Identifying Strategies to Promote Earlier Presentation of Breast Cancer: Perspectives From Patients and Family Physicians. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). Collaborator(s): R Heisey, B Fitzgerald, K Fergus, B Lord, D McCready, M Clemons. 48,096 CAD. [Grants]

2004 Apr Co-Applicant. Disclosure of BRCA1/2 Mutations to Offspring: Impact on Wellbeing of Adolescent and Adult Daughters. Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance. Collaborator(s): MJ Esplen, I Ambus, S Messner, A Eisen, W Meschino, J Furnival, R Heisey, and C Adams. 48,945 CAD. [Grants]

2003 Apr - 2005 Apr Principal Investigator. Women’s Views of Chemoprevention: A Qualitative Study. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). Ontario Chapter. Collaborator(s): N Pimlott, M Clemons, S Cummings, N Drummond. 31,000 CAD. [Grants]

1998 Nov - 1999 Nov Co-Investigator. Community Pilot Study of an Informational Aid for Women with a Family History of Breast Cancer. Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC). Collaborator(s): E Warner, J Carroll, R Heisey, V Goel, W Meschino, L Lickley, B Doan, P Chart, V Orr, S Lothian. 38,293 CAD. [Grants]

1998 Oct - 2006 Collaborator. A randomized double blind trial comparing tamoxifen to raloxifene in postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer. Collaborator in STAR Trial. National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC). Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project. 797,000 CAD. [Grants]

1998 Sep - 1999 Sep Co-Investigator. Evaluating Standardized Patient Generated OSCE Measures. Medical Council of Canada. Collaborator(s): Regehr G, Freeman R, Hodges B, Robb A, Missiha N, Heisey R. 10,908 CAD. [Grants]