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The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s mission is to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. Our vision is a world where Canadians live healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke.

We are committed to have the greatest tangible impact in improving the health of Canadian families every day.

Together with our volunteers, donors, researchers and partners, we create survivors.

The organization:

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is a volunteer-based health charity active in communities across the country. We are sustained by the commitment and generosity of more than 125,000 volunteers and more than 1.4 million donors.

The need:

  • Every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke.
  • This year in Canada, there will be an estimated
    • 70,000 heart attacks.
    • 40,000 cardiac arrests.
    • 62,000 strokes.
  • More than 1.6 million survivors, and their families and caregivers, are living with the devastating after effects of heart disease and stroke.
  • Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in this country, costing our economy more than $20.9 billion every year.
  • Nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • Almost one in three Canadian children is overweight or obese – setting them on course for increased risk of these diseases.
  • 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented.

How we work toward our mission:

  • Preventing disease
    • by giving children and youth the best start for long, healthy lives.
    • by empowering Canadians to live healthy lives.
  • Saving lives
    • by enabling faster, better cardiac emergency response and treatment.
    • by enabling faster, better stroke response and treatment.
  • Promoting recovery
    • by enhancing support for survivors, families and caregivers.

What we do:

  • We invest in life-saving research, directing tens of millions of donor dollars each year to fund discoveries that improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke.
  • We empower and support Canadians to take control of their health, providing information, motivation and tools to help adults, children and youth adopt healthy habits and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • We advocate to governments to invest in programs, public awareness campaigns and healthy public policies – policies that can help create an environment where healthy choices become easy choices.

Our track record:

Since the Foundation’s beginnings in 1952, the death rate from cardiovascular disease has declined by more than 75 per cent. The Foundation – together with our volunteers, donors, researchers and partners – has contributed every step of the way. Here are some examples.

Foundation-funded research milestones:

    • The first heart transplant surgery in Canada.
    • Identification of the risk factors accounting for 90 per cent of all strokes and heart attacks.
    • Pioneering access to the clot-busting drug tPA to treat stroke.

Empowering Canadians to take control of their health through:

    • Free online eTools that have been used by more than 1.2 million Canadians to assess and manage their risks.
    • Fun, interactive healthy living activities that engage children in thousands of Canadian schools each year.
    • Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid that gives almost 450,000 people each year the skills and confidence to respond to a cardiac emergency.

Advocating for healthy public policies such as:

    • Release of the first Canadian proposal calling for a threshold on added sugar consumption, along with other calls for action to government and the food industry.
    • Ongoing advocacy and partnerships resulting in an all-time low smoking rate in Canada.
Join us!

Despite great progress against heart disease and stroke, so much remains to be done. Only with your support will we achieve our vision of healthy lives, free of heart disease and stroke.

Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.

Learn more about how the Foundation is tangibly improving the health of Canadians.