I delivered a few remarks after a very successful golf day and dinner at Cherry Hills Golf Club on Tuesday October 7th. I thanked Claude Pilato and his family for their hard work and long standing contribution to the event. And Karen Stearne and the Heart Niagara Staff and Volunteers for their commitment to Heart Niagara’s goals. I went on to review the list of Heart Niagara’s past success stories over 37 years but pointed out that the funds derived from today’s event were targeted to the Niagara Healthy Heart Schools program. I pointed out the uniqueness of this Project. All over the world there is an agreement that Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular and Metabolic disease begins in childhood and measures should be adopted to minimize future risk factors such as Obesity, High Blood Pressure, High blood cholesterols, Smoking, Inactivity, poor nutrition and lack of fitness. Yet Heart Niagara is the only agency, certainly in North America, which engages in all the Schools in its Region on a one-to-one basis with adolescents and their families. And addressing these issues by direct personal assessment of individual lifestyle and metabolic measurement with the involvement of their Primary Care Providers. I reminded those present of the very few people available to Heart Niagara in delivering this project and of the very few political and public health administrators that we have been able to convince of the portability of its ideals. I pointed out to those present at the Golf Tournament that they were in the minority of individuals who make up Heart Niagara’s Supporters. But if it turns out in years to come that Heart Niagara’s 25 year commitment to this strategy was right they would have the satisfaction of being in a small army of Pioneers in the Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke. I compared them to the English army alluded to in Shakespeare’s speech by Henry Vth before the battle of Agincourt.
WESTMORELAND: O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those Niagarians
That do no work today!
KING: What’s he that wishes so?…….
If we are marked to lose we are enow
To do Heart Niagara loss; and if to win
The fewer of us, the greater share of honour……..
He that shall play this day and see old age
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours
And say ‘To-morrow is Heart Niagara golf
Then will he strip his golfbag and reveal his scores
And say ‘These rounds I had on Heart Niagara Day…….
…..Then shall our names
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Stearne, Pilato, Carter, and Campbell,
Cunnane, Munkley and Dobbin,
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red
This story shall the good man teach his son
And Heart Niagara Golf shall ne’er go by
But we in it shall be remembered
We happy few, we band of brothers…….
And people in Niagara now abed
Shall think themselves accurs’d…….
…….while any speaks
That played with us on Heart Niagara Day.”
I finished, (to a very mixed reception!!), by reminding those present that they could join an even more elite group by going on the Heart Niagara website www.heartniagara.com and making a further donation.
By Dr. Stafford W. Dobbin
A graduate of Queens University Belfast, Dr. Dobbin founded Heart Niagara in 1977. He established the first Department of Emergency Services in Niagara at the Greater Niagara General Hospital in 1976. Through Heart Niagara he initiated the teaching of Citizen Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation in Niagara and of Advanced Cardiac Life Support for Critical care personnel prior to the establishment of the Regional Paramedic programme. His initial design for Heart Niagara included a Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme for survivors of Cardiac events staffed by qualified Physicians and Nurses for which he was the Medical Director to 2002. And through Heart Niagara he started the Niagara Schools’ Healthy Heart Programme in 1987 and is the Medical Director. His EMS system for coverage of Mass Participation events was first used at the US Olympic Marathon trials in 1980 and he served on the first Executive of the International Marathon Directors Association. He is presently a partner in the Niagara Medical Group, a Family Health Team, in Niagara Falls.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.