Dr. Reut Gruber is a tenured associate professor at McGill University’s faculty of Medicine, a licensed psychologist, a certified Diplomat of the American Academy of Cognitive Therapy and an internationally recognized pediatric sleep expert, whose work has focused on deepening our understanding on how sleep in youth affects their mood, attention, memory and health.
In today’s society, sleep is a highly neglected yet important area of healthy lifestyle behaviours and Dr. Gruber has dedicated her life to not only researching it but to also ensuring that her findings reach people to whom it matters. Her research follows a community-based participatory approach, which involves the collaboration of relevant stakeholders such as educators, pediatricians and parents to conceive ideas on how to translate research findings into evidence-based tools to promote children’s sleep health.
For instance, through this community-based participatory approach, she led the creation of the first school-based health programs aimed at improving children’s physical and mental health and academic performance by extending their sleep.
Dr. Gruber has also organized several international conferences, which brought together health care practitioners, policy makers and education specialists to discuss how to better integrate sleep within health and education systems. These conferences have a direct impact on our society, by helping to close the knowledge gap amongst health care and education professionals regarding sleep, and improve training and treatment for pediatric sleep disorders.
Because of her expertise, she was invited to contribute her expertise to the sleep disorders section of the DSM-V Casebook and Treatment Guide for Child Mental Health. This book serves as a universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses and treatment recommendations. Her contribution has directly influenced the outcome for thousands of patients.
Dr. Gruber is the recipient of multiple career awards from provincial and federal funding agencies in Canada. She has assumed a variety of leadership roles in professional organizations and societies at both national and international levels.
Throughout her career, Dr. Gruber has made a conscientious effort to not only publish in scientific, academic journals but also in popular media outlets, so as to make her findings more accessible to the public, in order to raise awareness on the importance of sleep to children’s health.
Dr. Gruber’s collaboration with families, schools and health practitioners has helped link various communities together and build solidarity around the mission of healthy sleep habits and overall healthy lifestyle behaviours. Through her work, she is helping youth to lead healthier, happier lives so that they can more fully participate in society and reach their utmost potential. Through her work Dr. Gruber has proved to be a role model for how to tackle public health issues in a realistic and feasible way. She has lead by example that change is possible, by creating training programs for pediatricians, educators and psychologists, and has integrated sleep and treating sleep problems within university curriculum to better educate the next generation.
A woman of action, she doesn’t simply advocate for better acknowledgement and integration of healthy sleep habits, but actually creates projects that do just this, which in turn lead to a positive and lasting impact on the well-being and health of the population, in particular that of children.
Dr. Gruber demonstrates perfectly that hard work, vision, creativity, innovativeness and excellent community collaboration can make a measurable difference in our children’s lives.