About Us - Don edits

Heart Niagara is a registered charitable, not for profit, corporation founded in 1977 by Dr. Stafford Dobbin. His vision was to improve heart health services in all 12 Niagara municipalities including pre-hospital cardiac care and heart disease prevention program development and delivery.

Our focus is sudden cardiac arrest and heart disease as they remain leading causes of death among adults in Niagara. Heart disease often requires hospitalization and aggressive medical treatment, which directly impacts health care costs, families and productivity.

For the past few decades research is showing that most heart disease starts in childhood and in most cases is preventable. When you look at heart disease you can trace the cause backwards to it’s beginning. Heart disease starts after you have it’s risk factors develop. Some of the risk factors that cause heart disease are health behaviours, specifically smoking and physical inactivity. Some of the risk factors for heart disease are diseases, specifically diabetes, hypertension, cholesterolemia and obesity. When you look at these diseases and look at their causes you will find health behaviours again, specifically physical inactivity, how much you eat and what foods you eat. So ultimately heart disease and it’s risk factors are essentially caused by four health behaviours starting early in life;

  1. Smoking,
  2. Physical inactivity,
  3. Eating too much, and,
  4. Eating unhealthy foods

With that said your genetics can accelerate or help hinder heart disease and it’s risk factor diseases.

Since 1977 Heart Niagara has worked hard in our focus areas of heart disease prevention and pre-hospital care.

Heart Niagara established the Healthy Heart Schools’ Program in 1987. The program works with local schools to deliver CPR/AED training and disease prevention education to students in Grades 5, 7 and 9. More than 100,000 students have participated through a partnership between Heart Niagara, Niagara Regional Public Health and each of the school boards.

Heart Niagara also funds and partners in heart disease prevention research and has contributed to 39 studies utilizing the Healthy Heart Schools' Program's data.

Heart Niagara helped establish the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program for the region, in conjunction with Niagara EMS. Since the program began, Heart Niagara has helped to place approximately 680 AEDs in buildings and public locations across the region, including all secondary schools.

In October 2015, Heart Niagara launched an innovative strength training program and facility called, HeartCORE. Age and ability friendly, HeartCORE’s membership has steadily increased due to its unique high-intensity, low-frequency weight training, and professionally coached sessions. Daily physical fitness classes, yoga sessions, and monthly workshops have also been added to the HeartCORE program menu.

Heart Niagara is also able to reach multi-generational people through the community preparedness, diagnostic services, smoke cessation, kid’s programming, cooking for a healthier you and corporate health, safety and wellness initiatives.