Sixty-year-old Heart & Stroke gets in shape to fight for the lives of Canadians


Bold new look signals transformation in the face of increasing challenges

TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada today announced its most significant change in more than six decades, to more aggressively tackle what stubbornly remains a leading cause of death and hospitalization for Canadians. Heart & Stroke, as it will now simply be known, has unveiled a new visual identity that is emblematic of a larger transformation to connect more deeply with Canadians and reignite passion for the cause.

Why change

"For more than 60 years, Heart & Stroke has worked tirelessly to produce medical breakthroughs, raise awareness and improve prevention and treatment," says Diego Marchese, Interim CEO and Executive Vice President of Heart & Stroke. "Our efforts have helped to greatly reduce the mortality rate, but it's not enough. One Canadian still dies from heart disease or stroke every seven minutes, and we're now losing ground in the face of new challenges. To meet these challenges we have a responsibility to evolve."

"Our transformation is based on a unifying belief - 'Life. We don't want you to miss it'. That belief is why we're leading the fight against heart disease and stroke," adds Marchese. "Through this transformation, Heart & Stroke is making a renewed commitment to improve outcomes and ensure fewer Canadians miss out on life."

Transformational changes

"We are not the same Heart & Stroke our parents knew," Marchese stresses. That becomes clear when people hear about some of the exciting new initiatives underway at Heart & Stroke, including things like:

  • A new research strategy that will foster innovative thinking, enable responsiveness to emerging opportunities and open up natural partnerships that together will fuel research success.
  • A commitment to new areas of focus including advocating for bold children's health policies, erasing the gender bias in heart health and closing the gap in Indigenous health.
  • Innovative fundraising opportunities such as a just-announced Social Impact Bond, a pioneering collaboration between government, investors and donors that provides a 'pay-for-success' funding model that in this case will tackle hypertension, the number one risk factor for stroke and a leading risk factor for heart disease. This is a first for the Canadian health charity sector.
  • A new website that will customize and serve up personally relevant information to make it easy for people to manage their own health and recovery, and connect them in groups for emotional support and information.

"The bold, modern logo captures the essence of the organization," says Geoff Craig, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Heart & Stroke. "It presents our many mission and fundraising programs, such as Jump Rope for Heart, with a consistent look – Canadians all across the country will know who we are and what we do. It will help us to rally Canadians to solve the problem of heart disease and stroke."

"The strength of Heart & Stroke and every Canadian is interconnected. Communities across the country depend on us and we depend on them. Our mission is to save lives, and failing is not an option," added Marchese. "Today we are making a pledge to re-engage our supporters, volunteers, donors and corporate partners. We are making a commitment to reignite all Canadians' passion for our cause to address our shared health challenges."

Dr. Andrew Krahn, cardiologist

 "Canadians don't realize that heart disease and stroke are still leading causes of death and hospitalization, and while much progress has been made, today we face new challenges with an aging population, sedentary lifestyles and an increase in processed foods," says Dr. Andrew Krahn, Chief, UBC Division of Cardiology. "Heart failure for example, which has no cure, is on the rise with 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year. We need to accelerate medical breakthroughs and advance heart and stroke research to make significant headway."

William Jones, 29,  cardiac arrest survivor

"When I was an active 17 year old I suffered cardiac arrest during class. A teacher who knew CPR (cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation) saved my life," says William Jones, now 29 and a longtime Heart & Stroke spokesperson. "If it wasn't for the work that Heart & Stroke has conducted in advocating for, and organizing CPR training and the placement of AEDs (automated external defibrillators), as well as research into cardiac technology which keeps my heart beating properly, countless people like me wouldn't be alive today. I applaud Heart & Stroke on their tireless pursuit to better engage Canadians to save more lives from heart disease and stroke."

For more information, please visit

About the Refreshed Visual Identity

Heart & Stroke has been working to create one consistent brand identity across the organization. The new identity captures the essence of our transformation with a modern, bolder appeal to the hearts and minds of Canadians. The new visual identity helps create an exciting jumping off point for our many mission and fundraising programs to ensure a consistent look, sound and purpose across these channels.

About Heart & Stroke's Novel Research Strategy

The new research strategy, being co-created with the research community, will foster innovative thinking, enable responsiveness to emerging opportunities and open up natural partnerships. It will be inclusive, forward-looking, interdisciplinary – all the ingredients to enable medical breakthroughs, a vibrant Canadian cardiovascular research community and continued better health for Canadians.

About the Social Impact Bond

The Community Hypertension Prevention Initiative (CHPI), announced in October, is a pioneering collaboration between government, investors and donors. This is the first health-focused pay-for-success contract in Canada. CHPI is a community prevention approach that leverages pharmacy, local partnerships and digital technology to increase awareness of high blood pressure and cardiovascular/cerebrovascular (CCVD) risk, and to support healthier lifestyles in order to reduce the onset and prevalence of hypertension.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don't want you to miss it. That's why Heart & Stroke works to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don't miss out on precious moments.

Over the last 60 years, we have invested more than $1.45 billion in heart and stroke research, making us the largest contributor in Canada after the federal government. In that time, the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75 per cent.

Twitter Content

@TheHSF is changing to meet new charity challenges and tackle persistent and urgent issue of heart disease and stroke #MoreMoments.

Celebrating @TheHSF's evolution, a recommitment to fight #heartdisease & #stroke. See the change: #MoreMoments.


SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation

Image with caption: "New logo: Heart and Stroke Foundation (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)". Image available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Campaign video Heart & Stroke". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Campaign video Heart & Stroke". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Campaign video Heart & Stroke". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Campaign video Heart & Stroke". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Heart & Stroke survivor testimonial video". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Heart & Stroke survivor testimonial video". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Rally video Heart & Stroke". Video available at:

For further information: Teresa Roncon, Senior Manager, Communications, Heart & Stroke, 647-943-3060,


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890