Putting the Heart into the Community

 

It’s a partnership that in one year has already gotten more than 140 cardiovascular patients on track to better heart health — literally on track.

Every Monday afternoon, participants from the Central East Regional Cardiovascular Rehab program hit the 200-metre indoor track at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC) for fitness training and walking. Classes have been happening since fall 2018 when the rehab service expanded to be offered at the world-class sport and recreation facility.

On Monday, November 25, a community event was held on site to celebrate the partnership between the regional program and TPASC. Patients, family members, staff, and guests — including the Honourable John McKay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood — walked together along a stretch of the track and broke through a ceremonial ribbon to mark the first year of many of this important partnership.

“Through our collaboration with TPASC, we are improving access to life-changing cardiovascular rehabilitation services for residents and patients in Scarborough,” says Dr. Bert Lauwers, Executive Vice President, Medical Administration and Clinical Programs, Scarborough Health Network. “We thank all of our partners, staff, volunteers and patients who have helped to bring this partnership to life and support this incredible initiative right here in the Scarborough community.”

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre joined to become one of 16 community-based sites from Scarborough to Bowmanville and north to Kawartha Lakes, bringing the promise of improved health close to where patients work and live.

“Being able to use our facility to help increase access to cardiovascular rehab for the patients and residents of Scarborough is something we are extremely proud to be a part of,” notes Robert Singleton, Managing Director, TPASC. “This partnership allows us to give back to our community in a positive way.”

The Central East Cardiovascular Rehab service is a six-month program for patients and residents who have or are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. A team of rehab specialists helps patients learn to manage their condition and improve their quality of life through supervised exercise, education, and guided lifestyle change.

“Our community-based approach and region wide infrastructure provides a consistent, rigorous standard of care at every location. We have the largest program of its kind in the country — serving 4,000 patients every year,” highlights Dr. Ricci, Medical Director of SHN’s regional Central East Cardiovascular Rehab service. “Our research studies have shown participants have fewer hospitalizations and emergency visits and improved survival rates, emphasizing how important this service is for our communities.”

The regional program is for those with a vascular condition or who have experienced a vascular event. This includes patients with cardiac disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and vascular disease, most of whom have multiple risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

For information on how the program works and how to join, visit gethearthealthy.ca.

Learn more about SHN’s leading cardiac care services.

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