BMO Financial Group donates $2 million to the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation's Heart Beat for the Future campaign



    Preventing cardiovascular diseases: for a healthy heart!

    MONTREAL, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation is
pleased to announce that BMO Financial Group has donated $2 million to the
Heart Beat for the Future Capital Campaign. More specifically, this gift will
go toward funding the activities of the Montreal Heart Institute's (MHI)
Prevention Division.
    In today's world, it is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of cardiovascular
accidents could be avoided through significant lifestyle changes (exercise,
nutrition, smoking cessation). It is also believed that second-line prevention
(preventive treatments after a cardiovascular event) could reduce the risk of
relapse by 30 to 40 percent. For that reason, prevention is now, more than
ever, one of the cornerstones of the MHI's mission.
    "I am particularly proud to support an institution dear to my heart and
renowned in North America and throughout the world in terms of cardiovascular
disease research, treatment and prevention," said L. Jacques Ménard, President
of BMO Financial Group, Quebec, upon presenting his company's $2 million
contribution to the MHI Foundation.
    Here is an overview of the five areas of prevention development at the
MHI:

    
    1.  Development of current first-line and second-line prevention services

        Significantly improve our first-line and second-line prevention
        services. More specifically, we would like to ensure that each
        patient receives systematic and intensive follow-up care according to
        his or her risk factors. We also plan on offering these services to
        patients referred by doctors working in medical clinics and CLSCs.

    2.  Community involvement of the MHI and EPIC Centre

        Influence the population and decision makers in the area of
        prevention. Through a strategic partnership with the Acti-Menu group,
        we will organize prevention activities for schools, businesses, the
        media and the general public.

    3.  Support for the development of prevention centres in Montreal and
        outlying regions

        Continue to develop a unique and practical training model in heart
        disease prevention to be taught then applied across all regions of
        the Province of Quebec.

    4.  Teaching prevention to the health professionals of today and tomorrow

        In partnership with the Université de Montréal, pursue the
        development of a specific and comprehensive teaching program on
        prevention intended for all health professionals, including doctors.

    5.  Research development and partnership

        Significantly increase research efforts in terms of lifestyle
        changes. Prevention research is, in fact, an integral part of the
        three main research areas at the MHI (vascular axis, myocardial axis
        and electrophysiology).
    

    "When I talk to my patients about prevention, they answer 'We must all
die sometime'," says Dr. Martin Juneau, Director of Prevention at the Montreal
Heart Institute. "And who wants to live even an extra year when disease is
eating away at you? Recently, however, we've learned that a healthy lifestyle
can make those senior days much more pleasant. The real question to ask
ourselves should be: In what state of health do I want to be between 60 and
85?
    "The same trend has been observed across all Western countries; lack of
physical exercise and junk food will not only kill our young people
prematurely compared to previous generations but will also ruin their final
days," explained Dr. Juneau. "Cardiovascular diseases do not just mean a heart
attack followed by death. They also mean strokes and heart failure, which
sabotage a person's last years of life."

    The MHI Foundation

    The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation supports research and
technological development at the Montreal Heart Institute, thereby promoting
the excellence of a world-renowned institution dedicated to serving the
population of Quebec.

    Montreal Heart Institute

    Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute strives
constantly for the highest standards of excellence in the area of
cardiovascular health through its leadership role in prevention,
ultra-specialized care, professional training, clinical and basic research and
new technologies evaluation. Affiliated with the Université de Montréal, its
clinical results rank among the best in the world.

    BMO Financial Group

    Founded in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group has a long
history of community involvement and contributed more than $50 million in
corporate donations and sponsorships in 2007, supporting numerous universities
and health-care facilities in Quebec. BMO's gift of two million dollars to the
Foundation of the Montreal Heart Institute is the second largest ever gift by
BMO in Quebec.





For further information:

For further information: Carl Julien, Montreal Heart Institute
Foundation, Phone: (514) 376-3330 ext. 2205, Cell: (514) 910-1208, Email:
carl.julien@icm-mhi.org; Ronald Monet, BMO Financial Group, Phone: (514)
877-1873, Cell: (514) 594-2501, Email: ronald.monet@bmo.com


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