Health experts unite to make residents of Ontario's Champlain District the most heart healthy and stroke-free in Canada

    OTTAWA, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - In an effort to close the regional gap in
heart and stroke health, a network of more than 14 health and community
partners and experts in heart disease and stroke prevention officially
launched its five-year strategy today. The Champlain Cardiovascular Disease
Prevention Strategy is designed to address the prevalence of risk factors and
the gaps in heart and stroke health in the residents of the Champlain District
- an area home to about 1.2 million residents in the City of Ottawa, Renfrew
County, Eastern Counties and parts of Lanark and Grenville.
    The Prevention Strategy
( includes six major
initiatives to address the prevention and management of risk factors for heart
disease and stroke, including: smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating
habits, obesity/overweight, diabetes/blood glucose, abnormal blood
cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
    "Every day that we treat heart disease and stroke we're reminded that
more and more of our residents are simply not adopting and maintaining a
healthy lifestyle," says Dr. Andrew Pipe, Chair of the Prevention Network, and
Medical Director of the Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre at the University
of Ottawa Heart Institute. "As a result, each year more than 2,400 residents
in the Champlain District die of heart disease and stroke. We can prevent 80%
of premature deaths if we identify and begin to manage those important risk
factors early," says Dr. Pipe. (See Table 1 and map image  with this story - and
    Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death, disability, and
hospitalization in the Champlain District, which are known as cardiovascular
disease (CVD) hot spots. The burden of cardiovascular disease is also felt
Canada-wide. It is the leading cause of death in Canada and the single leading
cause of death, disability and hospitalization in Ontario where it accounts
for the largest proportion of health care spending. Innovative approaches like
the CCPN which include cost-effective evidence-based strategies for the
prevention and management of heart disease and stroke could become a model for
other communities across Canada.
    The Prevention Network includes 14 partners representing all health
sectors - public health, cardiac and stroke care, primary care, hospitals,
community health, academia and industry. Health leaders from across the region
have come together to build a comprehensive strategy to prevent and manage
heart disease and stroke.
    "We have two choices," says Dr. Robert Cushman, CEO of the Champlain
Local Health Integration Network. "We can continue to dump money into our
hospital system or we can work together to prevent heart disease and stroke
from happening in the first place."
    The private sector is playing an important role in successfully moving
the Prevention Network strategy forward.
    "Pfizer Canada Inc. is proud to enter into this public-private
partnership with the CCPN," says Dr. Bernard Prigent, Vice President and
Medical Director, Pfizer Canada. "Together we will fight cardiovascular
disease by improving the way medicines are used and by working on manageable
risk factors. We believe this is a great investment in Champlain residents'
heart and stroke health and it could be used as a model for the rest of
    Pfizer Canada Inc. has a long history of investments in chronic disease
management programs around the world, in Canada and locally within the
Champlain District. As the Founding Industry Partner and sole industry project
sponsor for two of the six priority initiatives, Pfizer Canada Inc. has
contributed $2.5 million over five years to the Prevention Network.
    The advantage of a model like the CCPN is that it brings people together
as a community and builds on each organization's expertise and strengths to
meet the needs of its citizens. This way we stand a much better chance of
helping our residents prevent and manage heart disease and stroke for the long

    Launch of priority initiatives

    As outlined in its strategic plan, the CCPN is intervening in six key
areas: primary care, specialty care, hospitals, schools, workplaces and
    It has six priority initiatives:

    - Improved Delivery of Cardiovascular Care (IDOCC) through Outreach
      Facilitation: to improve how family physicians work with their patients
      to prevent and manage CVD risk factors.
    - Champlain Hospital CVD Prevention Network (Get with the Guidelines): to
      ensure that heart attack patients are sent home from hospital with
      appropriate medication and information on lifestyle modification, and
      that they can manage their condition effectively.
    - Champlain Hospital-based Smoking Cessation Network: to identify and
      offer cessation treatment to all hospitalized smokers.
    - Champlain Healthy Living and Risk Factor Management Program: to help
      residents gain the knowledge and skills to better understand and manage
      their risk factors for CVD.
    - Champlain Healthy School-aged Children Initiative: to address the
      rising trend in childhood obesity and enable school-aged children to
      live a healthy and active lifestyle.
    - Champlain Sentinel CVD Surveillance Program: to ensure relevant,
      timely, and ongoing data in support of CVD prevention and management
      activities in the Champlain District.

    Collectively, these initiatives will address the prevention continuum from
healthy persons to those with diagnosed heart disease and stroke. They will
form the basis for a system of excellence in CVD prevention that can act as a
model for other communities in Ontario and Canada.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Danielle Côté, RN,
APR, Communications Specialist, Champlain CVD Prevention Network, (613)
565-5600,; More information about the Prevention Network
is available at

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