Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation

Prevention and Rehabilitation provides state-of-the-art approaches to the prevention of cardiac disease: preventing patients from having additional cardiac events and helping patients return to their lives following cardiac events and procedures. We are involved in “primary” prevention (preventing the development of heart disease) and “secondary” prevention (minimizing the progression or complications of established heart disease). 

Our cardiovascular rehabilitation programs ensure that those who have had a recent cardiac event or procedure are assisted in their recovery and develop new levels of fitness and health. All of our programs are headquartered in the Minto Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre on the 2nd floor of the Heart Institute.

Our programs are informed and enhanced by our ongoing research activities which address an array of issues pertinent to the prevention of heart disease.

The Prevention & Wellness Centre provides a variety of resources and programs to our patients and their families. 

The Quit Smoking Program is an internationally recognized centre devoted to the treatment of nicotine addiction and is the home of "The Ottawa Model"—a unique program for the systematic identification and treatment of smokers admitted to the hospital. The Ottawa Model has been introduced into more than 70 hospitals across Canada.

Prevention and Rehabilitation is also home to the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network, a unique collaboration of organizations, institutions, and professionals drawn from the Champlain region. The aim of CCPN is to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular risk factors and disease throughout our region.

We have one of the most comprehensive teams of cardiac prevention and rehabilitation professionals in Canada, including:

  • Dietitians
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Health promotion specialists
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physicians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Registered nurses
  • Researchers
  • Smoking cessation counsellors
  • Social workers
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Vocational counsellor


On this page


Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation offers educational opportunities to medical residents, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and interns. For more information, see Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Educational Programs.

Programs and Units

Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Patients are eligible to take part in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation programs following significant cardiac events and procedures. Three types of programs are offered:

Inpatient Program

The Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Inpatient Program provides hospitalized patients with specialized care, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition counselling, smoking cessation guidance, discharge planning, emotional support, and speech therapy. The program is an important link in the rehabilitation continuum, offering home exercise programs and facilitating referrals to the outpatient program.

Outpatient Program

After discharge from the hospital, patients are referred to the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Outpatient Program. This program assists participants in acquiring the skills needed to get back to everyday life after a cardiac event and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Community and Regional Programs

In addition to the programs offered at the Heart Institute, there are a number of options available to residents living in the Ottawa-Carleton area and surrounding regions. Participants must have diagnosed heart disease or valve disease, and they must be referred by a physician.

Prevention & Wellness Centre

The Prevention & Wellness Centre is devoted to empowering patients, families, and friends with the skills and knowledge needed to prevent or manage heart disease and lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. Educational materials on a variety of topics related to heart health are provided here.

Our multimedia Education Centre, located on the second floor of the Heart Institute, is open to patients, family members, and the public. The centre maintains a library of heart health resources, including books, videos, and computer terminals. A variety of topics related to heart health can be found at the centre. Some of these are:

  • Heart disease
  • Medications
  • Tests and procedures
  • Preparing for surgery
  • Healthy living
  • Community resources

The centre also conducts regular workshops and talks that focus on various aspects of living a heart-healthy life.

Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation and Quit Smoking Program

Quitting smoking is the single most important habit people can change to improve their health. Cigarette smoking can be a difficult addictive behaviour to break and many smokers try to quit several times before they succeed. The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is a recognized leader in helping Canadians quit smoking.

Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of chronic disease in Canada. It exacts a high toll on the health of Canadians and places a heavy financial burden on the health care system. Many of the negative health effects of smoking can be reversed if smokers are able to successfully quit, making it the single most powerful preventive intervention in clinical practice.

The Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC), pioneered at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, is a simple, systematic, clinical smoking cessation program designed to help hospitalized smokers quit smoking and stay smoke-free. The OMSC has been implemented in more than 350 medical institutions across Canada.

Quit Smoking Program

The Quit Smoking Program is available to all smokers who are interested in quitting. Our program uses a variety of proven techniques to assist people in successfully kicking the habit. The program has been designed to address three areas: physical dependence, behavioural conditioning, and the social aspects of smoking.

This individualized program is staffed by a physician and a nurse with specialized expertise in smoking cessation. Our programs are open to both patients and the public and are covered through our provincial health care plan. We offer three program formats to support individual needs.

To register for the Quit Smoking Program, please call 613-696-7069.

Champlain CVD Prevention Network (CCPN)

The Champlain CVD Prevention Network (CCPN) is a group of health and community partners from across the Champlain District of Ontario.

Initiated by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the CCPN provides leadership in the implementation of a five-year Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Strategy. This strategy seeks to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke and ensure that the residents of the Champlain District are the most heart healthy and stroke-free in Canada.


Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation conducts an active research program addressing several broad themes in the prevention and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease (CVD):

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Effectiveness of Approaches to Alternative Models in Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Behavioural Factors in CVD Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • CVD Prevention and Health Promotion
  • CVD Risk Factors
  • Effectiveness of Medications

For more information, see Behavioural and Environmental Interventions.


Dr. Jennifer Reed
Program Chair, Cardiac Rehabilitation 
Scientist, Director Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Lab

Bonnie Quinlan, RN MScN
Director, Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation

Jennifer Harris, PT
Manager, Outpatient Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Regional Outreach Programs

Quit Smoking Program
Emilie Serano, RN CTE
Advanced Practice Nurse, Smoking Cessation

Hypertension/Women’s Heart Health Clinic