University of Calgary

Heart health

Feb. 25, 2009

Road map to improving heart health

The University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine figures prominently in Canada’s first comprehensive Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan. The plan will help Canadians prevent and care for cardiovascular diseases, this country’s No.1 public health threat.

Eldon Smith

Eldon Smith
The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP): Building a Heart Healthy Canada and Realizing our Vision, was released Tuesday Feb. 24 by Dr. Eldon R. Smith, Chair of the CHHS-AP Steering Committee.

Smith is currently the Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. A cardiologist by training, he has also held numerous positions over his career including Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary.  Dr. Norm Campbell also of the Libin Insitute and a professor in the faculty sits on the steering committee.

The working group also includes Dr. William Ghali, Dr. Merril Knudtson and Dr. Jonathan Howlett from the faculty of medicine. 

"Canada is heart sick—and we urgently need to do something about it. As a nation we already have a strategy for cancer, diabetes, and lung disease, but until now, did not have a comprehensive strategy for the number one killer and public health threat in the country—heart disease and stroke," said Smith. "The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan is a road map for improving the heart health of Canadians from prevention to patient care. Our recommendations are relevant to all sectors of society, individuals, governments and the private sector. We have developed a whole-of-Canada approach to engage Canadians where they learn, live, work, and play. It's time to act."

Nine out of 10 Canadians over the age of 20 have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease—and the likelihood that members of our Aboriginal and indigenous communities will develop heart disease or stroke is nearly double that of other Canadians.