Each year, AACVPR recognizes the best, brightest and most innovative individuals in the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation industry with the prestigious AACVPR Awards. This year, AACVPR will host a virtual awards showcase on Thursday, October 1 at 11:00 a.m. CT to honor the winners. Congratulations to all!


L. Kent Smith Award of Excellence

AACVPR presents its most prestigious award to an individual whose significant and unique professional contributions have had a major impact on the delivery of cardiovascular and/or pulmonary rehabilitation.

Bonnie K. Sanderson, PhD, RN, MAACVPR

Session: Is Balance Overrated? 

Many of us feel off balance in today’s world, with competing priorities from work, family, friends, hobbies and other inputs. Join Dr. Sanderson for her presentation “Is Balance Overrated?” to dive into the topic of seeking balance in one’s life, and why it can be helpful to embrace imbalance and uncertainty, and why you should focus more on your current priorities instead of balance to allow for a more fulfilling life. 

Michael L. Pollock Established Investigator 

AACVPR presents this award to an individual who has made significant research contributions to the field of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation


Session: Expanding the Reach of Health Living Medicine

During Dr. Arena’s presentation, “Expanding the Reach of Health Living Medicine”, attendees will learn about the importance of a healthy living, preventative approach when working to improve cardiovascular health. The presentation will provide attendees with details about AHA’s My Life Check and Life’s Simple 7 approach to educating patients, and learn about the HL-PIVOT project, the Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection network, a project aimed at promoting resilience and quality of life by increasing healthy living behaviors.

Thomas L. Petty Distinguished Pulmonary Scholar

AACVPR presents this award to an individual who has made outstanding clinical contributions to the field of pulmonary rehabilitation


Barry J. Make, MD

Session: Charting New Horizons in Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Join Dr. Make during his presentation “Charting New Horizons in Pulmonary Rehabilitation” to cover the history of pulmonary rehabilitation up through the present, and learn about the research that will need to be done to help increase adoption of pulmonary rehabilitation. Dr. Make will discuss the new study he is leading to address this research need – the PROPEL study that will focus on the impact of Pulmonary Rehabilitation for COPD, and will provide attendees with information on how they can support this important endeavor.

Presidential Recognition Award Recipient

The Presidential Recognition Award is an opportunity for the outgoing AACVPR President to formally recognize and thank individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the president’s term and the association as a whole.




Distinguished Service Award Winners

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to individual(s) whose leadership, ideas, and committee work have significantly benefited AACVPR as an organization.

Ellen Aberegg, MA, LD, RDN, FAACVPR 

Amy Knight, PhD, ABPP



Outstanding Affiliate Award

This award recognizes an affiliate that supports and encourages the mission and goals of AACVPR through member activities, educational opportunities and professional development


Minnesota Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation


Dr. Linda K. Hall Innovation Award

The purpose of the Innovation Award is to acknowledge those programs that have enhanced their delivery of care for a patient population in a unique and creative way.


Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla – Cardiopulmonary Treatment Center


Fellow of AACVPR Winners

The criteria for becoming a Fellow is indeed stringent and demanding. These individuals represent your fellow professionals who have contributed substantially to the cardiac and pulmonary rehab fields with their service, research, or both.

William Goodenkauf, MS, FAACVPR
Carly M. Goldstein, PhD, FAACVPR
Eva R. Serber, PhD, FAACVPR
Shawn E. Leth, M.Ed., CEP, FAACVPR

Master of AACVPR Winner

The Master distinction is AACVPR’s highest level of prestigious accomplishment. An AACVPR Master has previously earned Fellow status, and their continued contributions to the field distinguishes them as the most elite class of members of AACVPR. These colleagues have advanced our organization, our profession, and the rehab fields in general.

Kate Traynor, RN, MS, MAACVPR