GoodLife Fitness collaborates with Peter Munk Cardiac Centre to improve Canadians' heart health

$5 million donation to establish GoodLife Fitness Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Medicine

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadians suffering from heart disease will have greater access to cardiovascular rehabilitation thanks to a $5 million donation by GoodLife Fitness to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. The GoodLife Fitness Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Medicine marks the beginning of an innovative and first of its kind, private/public collaboration between GoodLife Fitness and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN.

Heart disease is the number one cause of hospitalization in Canada, affecting more than 1.3 million Canadians. Many risk factors for heart disease - poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress - are on the rise. The new Centre will drive care and research in post-acute cardiovascular health and secondary prevention, and will be internationally recognized for excellence in heart health and exercise.

"At GoodLife, we are excited to enter into this collaboration with UHN and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre," said Founder & CEO, David Patchell-Evans. "As a leader in the health and fitness industry in Canada and global advocate for exercise as an important contributor to overall health, this collaboration is an excellent opportunity to venture into new areas of care. Knowing our donation will make a direct impact on patients and their families while also positively impacting the health care system as a whole, means that we are one step closer to fulfilling our vision to give Canadians the opportunity to live fit and healthy lives. We are united with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in the belief that activity and exercise are of vital importance as a main component of any treatment plan."

The collaboration brings together two leading health and wellness organizations in Canada to further enhance the world-class care provided to Peter Munk Cardiac Centre cardiac rehabilitation patients, as well as the development of an innovative approach to the continuum of care for patients with cardiac disease. For Peter Munk Cardiac Centre patients, this means greater access to the latest cardiac rehabilitation and preventative techniques and equipment; a supportive environment to strive for their rehabilitation goals; an enhanced continuum of care extending into the community, and, as a result, overall improved health and wellness and a significantly decreased likelihood of another cardiac episode.

In addition to creating the Centre of Excellence, GoodLife's donation will also fund the GoodLife Fitness Chair in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention. This individual will lead a comprehensive research program that will include investigations into best practices in cardiac rehabilitation and analysis of cardiovascular databases to better understand long-term patient outcomes. In addition, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre cardiac rehabilitation experts along with fitness experts from GoodLife Fitness will work together to build a program to help patients transition into the community and achieve life-long success in their cardiac rehabilitation and health.

"The GoodLife Fitness Chair will build upon a proud history of cardiac achievement at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, including completing the first aortic valve replacement using the Toronto Heart Valve in 1987 and most recently, Ontario's first cardiac stem cell transplant earlier this year," said Dr. Barry Rubin, Program Medical Director of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. "Across the country, Canadians will benefit from the knowledge developed in the GoodLife Fitness Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Medicine, which will be translated to GoodLife Fitness Clubs and cardiac rehabilitation clinics coast-to-coast. We envision that patients will seamlessly transition from in-patient and then out-patient cardiac rehabilitation to a sustained exercise program at GoodLife Fitness Clubs designed to meet each individual's needs."

Funds will also help revitalize the existing rehabilitation facilities throughout UHN to better match the standard of care offered by the cardiovascular rehabilitation services in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Toronto Rehab's Rumsey Centre. In addition to growing and revitalizing the current space, GoodLife is providing state-of-the-art cardiovascular exercise and monitoring equipment, along with providing new technology such as tablets.

"Today marks a significant day in cardiac care, here at UHN and at centres around the world," said Dr. Robert Bell, President and CEO at UHN. "The GoodLife Fitness Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Medicine will foster knowledge and innovation in cardiac health, reduce re-admissions of current patients and prevent cardiac episodes from the outset. This will save lives and help to reduce the cost of care in Ontario. This was a natural collaboration for us because it marries the cardiac rehabilitation focus for inpatients and our ability to involve the cardiac rehabilitation program and research in Toronto Rehab's Rumsey Centre. The research program at Toronto Rehab has demonstrated that individuals who complete cardiac rehabilitation following a major heart event cut their risk of dying from another cardiac event by as much as 50 per cent."

This is an important contribution to Building the Future - from the heart Campaign that launched in November 2011 and is raising $100 million to support cardiac care at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

GoodLife Fitness

Founded in 1979, GoodLife Fitness is the largest fitness company in Canada with approximately 300 clubs from coast-to-coast. With over 750,000 members, GoodLife is helping to transform the health and wellness of 1 in 45 Canadians every day. With the vision of giving every Canadian the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life, David Patchell-Evans, Founder & CEO, strives to develop innovative partnerships and collaborations in all areas of health, fitness and wellness and continues to play a significant role in the healthcare system in Canada. GoodLife has achieved Platinum Status Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, as well as Platinum Level Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures. Patch was the recipient of the Canadian Medical Medal of Honour in 2007 for his significant investment in Autism Research through the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group at Western University. www.goodlifefitness.com

Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is the premier cardiac centre in Canada. Since it opened in 1997, the Centre has saved and improved the lives of cardiac and vascular patients from around the world. Each year, approximately 55,000 patients receive innovative and compassionate care from multidisciplinary teams in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and the Centre trains more cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons than any other hospital in Canada. The Centre is based at the Toronto General Hospital and the Toronto Western Hospital - members of University Health Network. www.petermunkcardiaccentre.ca

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. www.tgwhf.ca


SOURCE: Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Krista Maling
GoodLife Fitness
519-661-0190, ext. 302
kmaling@goodlifefitness.com

Nadine Hubert
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
416-340-4293
nadine.hubert@uhn.ca

Holly Dunn
Dunn & Associates Communications and Public Affairs Inc.
W:902-422-6014
C:902-266-3866
holly.dunn@dunnassociates.ca