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Growing services at heart of Niagara Health System cardiac program

Posted Feb 24th, 2014

Since the Heart Investigation Unit (HIU) at the Niagara Health System opened last year, more than 1, 000 patients were able to receive cardiac care closer to home and did not need to leave the region as they would have in the past. The HIU opened in April of 2013, introducing diagnostic cardiac catheterization services to Niagara for first time.

Media Release Attachment NHS Heart Month 2014

“We are on track to provide 1268 diagnostic procedures for the 2013/2014 year,” says Angela Coxe, Director of the Cardiology Program. “And our future plans include the introduction of interventional care, such as the insertion of stents to open the arteries.”

The leading cause of hospitalization in Canada continues to be heart disease and stroke with more than one million Canadians reporting to have heart disease. During Heart Month, the cardiac care team at the Niagara Health System wants the community to know they are here to help with the Cardiology Program continuing to grow to meet the needs in Niagara.

“Heart disease is a top health concern. Everyone in the region stands to benefit from the expansion of our cardiology services. Our clinical expertise and access to the latest technology enhances the cardiac care that we have to offer.” Dr. Sven Pallie, Chief of Cardiology.

Aimed at providing the best possible care for cardiac patients, the evolution of the regional cardiology program has meant the successful recruitment of five additional Cardiologists and the development of a variety of specialized services including: the Coronary Care Unit; a Cardiac Rapid Assessment Clinic; the Heart Function Clinic; and the Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Program. Services are offered by a specialized care team via inpatient, outpatient, and community setting with a focus on improving quality of life including health teaching and chronic disease management.

“The exercise rehab program was a life-saver,” says former patient Garwin Cockhead. “When I began I could barely walk from one side of the room to the next. Now I can do 25 minutes of cardio and some strength training in a session. The program is also a place to be with people that are experiencing the same challenges you are; it’s a great support.”

Cardiac care at the NHS by the numbers:
(year-to-date: April 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014)
Heart Investigation Unit: 1, 009 procedures
Cardiac Rapid Assessment Clinic: 1169
(fiscal year 2012/13)
Heart Function Clinic: 937 visits
Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Program: 12,002 exercise visits
Inpatient cardiac admissions: 3542

Media contact: Rebecca Slavik, Communications Specialist, 905-378-4647, ext. 43879,

Niagara Health System