Heart Institute Facts

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada’s largest and foremost heart health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease.

We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community and are pioneering a new era in heart health.

Quick Facts

  • We employ 1,400 physicians, nurses, researchers, technicians, allied health professionals and others.
  • We handle more than 220,000 patient visits a year. Many patients come from across Canada.
  • We are renowned for outstanding patient care with patient satisfaction among the highest in Ontario.
  • We operate Canada’s largest comprehensive cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program.
  • Our more than 65 principle investigators and 250 research staff are dedicated to better understanding heart disease and finding new ways to treat and prevent it.


  • We rank in the top 3% of worldwide research institutions based on the quality and impact of our scientific publications, according to SCIMAGO Institutions Rankings 2014, the most comprehensive ranking in this area. 
  • The Institute is a Canadian leader in telemedicine/telehealth. We have cut hospital readmission by 54% for heart failure patients saving up to $20,000 for each patient safely diverted from an ER visit, re-admission, and hospital stay.
  • We developed and implemented an internationally recognized region-wide protocol that has cut STEMI heart attack deaths by half.
  • Our smoking cessation program is in use in more than 350 sites across Canada and is being adopted internationally.

Delivering Care

  • We are the principal referring centre for 40 hospitals throughout Ontario.
  • We are a world leader in minimally-invasive surgical techniques.
  • Our Cardiology Division has one of the lowest patient mortality rates and largest patient volumes in North America.
  • We are officially designated under the Ontario French Language Services Act. The majority of our services are offered in both official languages.
  • The National Cardiac PET Centre is a designated provincial resource and a core facility for national imaging networks.
  • We regularly have more than 100 clinical trials underway, giving our patients access to new methods of care that may not be otherwise available.

Selected Research Highlights

The Heart Institute’s internationally recognized research program has:

  • Identified the strongest genetic risk factor for coronary artery disease and heart attack to date (the 9p21 gene)—the first major risk factor discovered since cholesterol. Presence of this gene increases the risk of heart disease by 40%.
  • Developed RAPID GENE, the world’s first bedside genetic test.
  • Discovered the genetic basis for atrial fibrillation, the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia, affecting 250,000 Canadians.
  • Established cardiac re-synchronization therapy as a standard of care for mild and moderate heart failure.
  • Discovered a new mechanism for the mobilization and export of cholesterol from cells.

Education Highlights

  • We train more than 280 medical, graduate, and post-graduate students each year.
  • The Heart Institute provides continuing education and best practice training for nurses, technicians and other health care professionals and institutions.
  • Heart Institute patient education tools and programs are used as models by health care organizations across Canada.

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