Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Cardiovascular disease and strokes are two of the most prevalent medical issues in developed countries. It is estimated that in Canada alone, there are around 1.6 million individuals dealing with heart disease or the consequences of a stroke. Each year, about 350,000 people continue to be hospitalized due to heart conditions or after experiencing a stroke. In an effort to diminish these numbers, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada was formed. Here is their story:

History of the Foundation

The precursor to the present foundation was started over sixty years ago. The National Heart Foundation of Canada encompassed a group of doctors and researchers dedicated to overcoming the statistics of heart disease. In 1952, the Ottawa branch of the Foundation was opened. This was followed by the launch of the British Columbia institution in 1955. The following year saw the emergence of the Quebec and the Saskatchewan Foundations as well. In 1961, the institution underwent rebranding and titled themselves the Canadian Heart Foundation.

Some years later, the Foundation grew to take on the plight of strokes as well, renaming themselves the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Since shortly after its inception, the Foundation has been responsible for raising over 1.39 billion dollars for research on strokes and cardiovascular diseases. This is particularly impressive considering that the Foundation receives no governmental support, and instead relies on independent donors.

The Goals

The aim of the Foundation is based on three separate sections: prevention, treatment, and recovery. One of the main goals of the Foundation is to prevent the occurrence of heart disease and stroke in the younger generations. This is being done by encouraging individuals, particularly younger people, to start living healthier lives. The Foundation encourages families and individuals alike to change their diets and lifestyles to ensure that they are at lower risk for being diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases. It also decreases the possibility of experiencing a stroke. The second aim involves treating those who are already victims of heart disease or stroke. In part, this is about getting the public as well as medical personnel to respond to heart problems and strokes in a timelier manner. The Foundation is striving to improve the emergency responses regarding these medical conditions. This is in order to improve the outcome of those afflicted with cardiovascular diseases or strokes. Finally, the Foundation focuses on recovery. There are often residual effects associated with heart problems and stroke. This can make it quite difficult for the afflicted to lead normal lives. The Foundation is concerned with making sure that these survivors receive the best care possible. They also want to ensure that family members and caretakers alike are also receiving the necessary support.

The Strategies

There are several ways that the Foundation is proposing to reduce the onset of heart problems and stroke among Canadians. One of these programs targets school-age children. The Foundation is involved with over 4000 schools around the country in order to alter the way that people are living their lives. The "Jump Rope for Heart" is one such endeavour. For adults, the Foundation is using Health Check in tandem with restaurants and grocers to help people to identify healthy food. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is also concerned with reducing the number of people smoking.

The Foundation is also involved in better treatment. The institution is managing this by helping people to identify the symptoms of a stroke, cardiac arrests, and heart attacks. They are also encouraging people to act quickly and efficiently when faced with such circumstances. This also includes educating the public about the necessary steps to take when encountering someone in this condition. Finally, they are also attempting to standardize healthcare for stroke and heart disease patients across the country.

The Foundation's final goal is to cater to the survivors. First and foremost, the Foundation is concerned with providing those affected, as well as their families, with the appropriate information. They should also be supplied with materials that will help them to overcome their ailments. These individuals, furthermore, should be presented with guidance regarding the healthcare system. It would also help to allow the afflicted individuals to unite with others in similar circumstances. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has been serving the citizens of the country for over six decades. Under their care, the rates of stroke and heart disease have significantly subsided. These individuals continue their work in the hopes that these statistics reduce even further.