Professor McKay’s research program investigates health promotion and chronic disease prevention strategies to enhance health at key time points: childhood, adolescence and later life.
Her research evaluates the positive role of physical activity, other lifestyle factors and the built environment on children’s health and older adult physical health, mobility and social connectedness. Through an implementation science lens, she also evaluates scale-up of effective interventions as a means to improve health on a population level. Her work has directly influenced government policy.
Professor McKay is well known for building interdisciplinary teams and connecting with community partners to move research findings into action (knowledge mobilization). She has been in receipt of grants to support these teams, valued at more than $70M. She led the team that was awarded $40M from Canada Foundation for Innovations, donors and government to build the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (inaugural Director; 2006-16). Professor McKay was recently inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Her ability to meaningfully engage stakeholders, including government, to take upstream action to improve health was acknowledged through a Knowledge Translation Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a BC Woman of Distinction Award for Health & Active Living.