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Media Advisory

February 14, 2005


London Health Sciences Centre committed to Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program

London, Ontario - London Health Sciences Centre currently provides a strong cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention program under the leadership of Dr. Neville Suskin, Medical Director. This program, which receives $800,000 from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care annually, provides cardiac rehabilitation services to approximately 800 new patients annually at the London Health Sciences Centre and its four satellite cardiac rehabilitation programs at Ingersol, Owen Sound, Chatham and Sarnia.

"The prevention of recurrent cardiac events, which is the cornerstone of cardiac rehabilitation, is more important today than ever before given that the increase in prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity within today' s society and advancements in diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease has led to a greater number of Canadians living with cardiac disease," says Dr. Suskin.

LHSC's program differs from the Cardiac Fitness Institute's model of care in two significant ways:

  • The CFI requires on-site physician coverage be provided during all exercise sessions. The Clinical and Emergency Management guidelines for the hospital's model of care do not require such physician coverage.
  • CFI offers its patients the option of continuing the exercise component of their rehabilitation at CFI for an indefinite period of time. Patients in the hospital's program complete a six-month comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program after which they are graduated to a maintenance program in the community. This approach is supported by the provincial protocol for cardiac rehabilitation.

"Given today's resources, the model of care currently being used by the hospital is in keeping with the Cardiac Care Network's recommendations for Cardiac Rehabilitation and is fiscally responsible," says Margaret Nish, Executive Vice-President Clinical Care at LHSC.

"More than a year ago, we offered Dr. Larry Patrick the opportunity to accept our chosen model of care and move the Cardiac Fitness Institute into our cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention program under the leadership of Dr. Suskin. It was certainly our hope that he would agree to this offer. At that time, we also stated that should he choose not to accept the offer, we would investigate what opportunity there might be to have CFI continue operating in its current space, independent from LHSC, with CFI assuming all operating costs including rent for the space and benefits for the staff," adds Nish.

"We value the work being done by Dr. Patrick and the role of CFI in promoting cardiac health. Should he wish to revisit our offer and integrate the Cardiac Fitness Institute into our Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program, we would welcome the opportunity to do so," says Nish.

For further information, please contact:

Nancy Lawrence
Communications Consultant
London Health Sciences Centre
(519) 685-8500, ext. 77642