Innovative partnership aims to reduce cardiovascular disease in Nova Scotia

             ~ An additional $412,000 commitment by Pfizer Canada
       to the ANCHOR project to support heart health in the province ~

      ~ Pfizer's total commitment now stands at more than $2 million to
             the QEII Foundation and its health care partners ~

    HALIFAX, April 23 /CNW/ - The QEII Foundation announced today additional
funding from Pfizer Canada in the fight against cardiovascular disease. Pfizer
Canada will contribute an additional $412,000 to a unique cardiovascular
program that will explore avenues for patients to sustain health gains. The
ANCHOR (A Novel approach to Cardiovascular Health by Optimizing Risk
management) project is a community-applied research study and is a
collaborative effort between public and private stakeholders. ANCHOR was first
launched in October 2005, and was made possible through an initial $1.5
million contribution by Pfizer Canada.
    "The ANCHOR project is an example of collaboration among government,
private industry and community groups to help find important answers to build
innovative models for cardiovascular and primary health care that includes
prevention, treatment and rehabilitation interventions," said Dr. Brendan
Carr, Vice President of Medicine at Capital Health. "Pfizer's additional
pledge of support to the ANCHOR project is an important and continued step
forward in the fight against cardiovascular disease and its huge burden on our
national and provincial health care systems."
    Since its inception in 2005 as a funded program of the QEII Foundation's
Working Miracles capital campaign for health, the ANCHOR project has utilized
a community-based health team approach to managing patients' cardiovascular
risk through behaviour change counseling. Now, with the additional support of
Pfizer Canada, the project will move to its next stage: investigating the
necessary course of action to help ANCHOR patients maintain their heart health
    Atlantic Canadians continue to have the highest rate of cardiovascular
risk factors and the highest risk of dying of heart disease. Residents of the
Atlantic provinces are positioned above the national average for all key risk
factors associated with heart disease that include smoking, high blood
pressure, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity. ANCHOR provides the
opportunity for a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals to work
with patients who are at risk for developing cardiovascular and other chronic
    For ANCHOR participant Michelle MacDonald, the program has awakened her
awareness and engagement on the road to better heart health. "The ANCHOR
program has had nothing but a positive impact on my life. By helping me
identify what my health risks were as well as providing me resources and
support, I now feel confident about my health and better equipped in what I
need to do to make changes for a healthy active lifestyle."
    "It's for people like Michelle that the next stage of ANCHOR is
important," said Dr. Michael Vallis. Along with Drs. Brendan Carr, Jafna Cox,
and Blair O'Neil, Vallis is a principal investigator with ANCHOR. "Most people
drift away from healthcare behaviours once clinical intervention stops. We
need to know what minimal interventions will help keep individuals like
Michelle on the road to excellent heart health. Pfizer Canada's commitment to
the heart health of Atlantic Canadians is going to allow us to find this out."
    Finding out what it takes to keep individuals on the track to better
heart health has implications beyond the 1500 patients who have participated
in ANCHOR. As the key successful elements of the project are applied to health
system as a whole, , the beneficial impact on population health both from a
prevention and disease management perspective, could be far-reaching. "We are
witnessing an evolutionary change in the way we look at our own health," added
Dr. Carr. "Utilizing a community-based approach to inform and empower patients
represents success and the future. We just need to get there."
    "We are very pleased to continue our involvement in this innovative and
collaborative project whose goal is to improve the prevention and management
of cardiovascular disease," said Paul Lévesque, President of Pfizer Canada.
"For health innovation to come about it requires an environment which supports
research, collaborative partners and a desire to focus on improving health
outcomes. In Nova Scotia, we know this environment exists and it is the reason
we continue to support this important project."

    About Pfizer Canada:

    Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's
leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and
markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer is a leader in
Canadian healthcare research, investing more than $1 billion in R&D since
2000. Pfizer Canada's commitment to helping Canadians live healthier and
happier lives extends beyond medication. To learn more about Pfizer Canada's
philosophy that to be truly healthy, it takes more than medication, visit

    About the QEII Foundation:

    The QEII Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization established
to strengthen health care for Atlantic Canadians at the QEII Health Sciences
Centre. The QEII Foundation raises funds to support excellence in patient care
through the purchase of state-of-the-art patient technology, promotion of
professional education, advancement of medical research, and involvement with
community-based disease prevention initiatives.
    The QEII Foundation receives over 41,000 gifts each year from
individuals, corporations, organizations and community groups. The Foundation
consults with the health sciences centre administration annually to determine
the areas of greatest need within the QEII.
    In 2007, the QEII Foundation celebrated the successful completion of its
Working Miracles capital campaign which raised $43.8 million and serves as the
region's most successful capital campaign for health.

For further information:

For further information: Steve Jennex, QEII Foundation, (902) 473-5591,; Rhonda O'Gallagher, Pfizer Canada Inc., (514)

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