Appendix 1 - Where to Go for More Information

Prevention and Wellness Centre

The role of the Prevention & Wellness Centre (PWC) is to provide patients, families, providers, and the public with education, programs and services for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease risk factors.

The PWC is also home to the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre initiative. The Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre initiatives target prevention and management strategies to improve women’s cardiovascular health in an effort to reduce sex disparities in the identification, treatment and outcomes of cardiovascular disease in women.

Location: 2nd Floor of the Heart Institute, H-2342
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 613-696-7000 x 14753 or 1-866-399-4432

Our heart health education series can be found online.

CardioPrevent® Program

Cardiovascular risk reduction program to empower patients take control of their health CardioPrevent is a global cardiovascular risk reduction program for individuals who have not suffered a cardiac event but are at an increased risk of developing heart disease due to elevated lifestyle and medical risk factors. Over a 12-month period, patients undergo a full risk factor screening; receive tailored education and programming supported by behavioral-based counseling, follow-ups, and referral to community resources when required. The program includes results and follow-up feedback; goal setting; problem solving; skills building; relapse prevention; feedback and reinforcement; and the communication of reports and recommendations to the primary care provider and referring physician. Call 613-696-7071 or visit the website.

Virtual Care Program

Activating patients to proactively manage their heart health

The Virtual Care Program is an online cardiovascular health management system that provides best practice strategies for the control and management of risk factors for those at risk of heart disease. The features of the platform include: assessments and preferences, personal wellness plan, trackers and progress reports, integration with wellness devices and cellular application push messaging, health library and content tagging, reminders, circle of care invitations, online social forums/support groups, and wellness challenges. The platform is designed to raise awareness about an individual’s heart health status and motivate them to manage and improve their health and well being. Email or visit the website.


Pick up your Workshops Schedule or check our calendar online.

Nutrition Workshops

Workshops on a variety of nutrition topics are available.

Weekday options
Free workshops are 60 minutes in length, days and evenings.

  • Nutrition 101: Learn how to read food labels and get the facts on fat, cholesterol, fibre and salt.
  • Nutrition 201: Learn about trends in nutrition including super foods, supplements and the Mediterranean diet
  • Nutrition Tips for Weight Management: Learn to set realistic goals and plan meals for weightmanagement

University of Ottawa Heart Institute Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre

  • Heart Healthy Eating Resources

Nutrition Workshops:

The dietitian at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute offers a series of interactive workshop series

  • The workshops can be attended by patients, families, and members of the public who are interested in learning about heart healthy eating.
  • Workshops are 60 minutes in length and daytime and evening options are available.
  • The workshops are free of charge.
  • Pick up your Workshops Schedule at the Heart Institute or check our Calendar at: for dates and times.
    • Nutrition 101: Learn how to read food labels and get the facts on fat, cholesterol, fibre and salt.
    • Nutrition 201: Learn about trends in nutrition including super foods, supplements and the Mediterranean diet
    • Nutrition Tips for Weight Management: Learn to set realistic goals and plan meals for weight management



  • Hold the Salt: Tilley, Maureen 2009
  • Hold the Hidden Salt: Tilley, Maureen 2011
  • Nourish: Whole food recipes featuring seeds, nuts, and beans: Nettie Cronish, Cara Rosenbloom, 2016
  • Dietitians of Canada! 275 Recipes: Weisman, Mary Sue, 2012
  • 15 Minute Meals: Oliver, Jamie 2016

Heart Disease Support Groups


Appendix 2

Some health problems associated with body weight:

Overweight (BMI 25 - 29.9) and Obesity (BMI 30 or more): Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)*:
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol
  • coronary heart disease
  • gallbladder disease
  • sleep problems
  • certain cancers (breast, colon, prostate, kidney, endometrial)
  • under nutrition
  • osteoporosis
  • infertility
  • weakened immune system

*May indicate an eating disorder or other underlying illness


Image showing placement of tape for measuring waist circumferenceWaist Circumference (WC):

Waist circumference is used to measure the amount of fat around your waist. It indicates health risk associated with the amount of body fat and its location. Use WC only when BMI is between 18.5 to 34.9.

How to Measure WC:
Using a tape measure, measure waist circumference at the smallest area below the rib cage and above the belly button.

Waist Circumference Risk of developing health problems  Health problems associated with increased WC

Men 102cm (40 in) or more
​Women 88cm (35 in ) or more


  • type 2 diabetes
  • coronary heart disease
  • high blood pressure


What Now?

Make permanent lifestyle changes to help you achieve a healthy body weight in the long term. Start with healthy and balanced eating, and increasing physical activity.

  • Aim to achieve a healthy weight gradually.
  • Use Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating to plan all your meals and snacks.
  • Use Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to make wise choices about physical activity.
  • Consult your doctor or dietitian for advice about your overall health risks and the weight management options best for you.

All rights reserved by Ottawa Public Health, City of Ottawa. Permission is granted to print and copy this document for educational and non-commercial purposes. No part of this information may be reproduced for any other purpose without the prior written permission of Ottawa Public Health, City of Ottawa. 

We'll be in Touch

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Information for Patients Discharged Following a Heart Attack or Unstable Angina

What is Interactive Voice Response (IVR)?
Automated telephone calls from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute are made to patients in their home as a way to remain connected to patients after their discharge from hospital.

What is the purpose and what are the benefits?The purpose is to obtain & provide information on your progress during the year following your discharge. The system will ask questions but will also provide you with the opportunity to hear information so that you remain on the established standards of care for an Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) patient.

How does it work?The system will call you by name and ask you a series of questions. You can answer by saying yes or no or by pressing 1 for Yes or 3 for No on your phone pound keys. Information & health care tips will also be delivered by the system. A nurse will review the answers on a database from Monday to Friday and will call you if further assessment is required. The system will call you at day 2 and 1, 3,6, 9 & 12 months after your discharge. You do not have to stay by your phone. The system will try to reach you 3 times at each scheduled time.

Who to contact if you have questions?
For any cardiac concerns at any time please call 613-696-7000 press “0” and ask to page the Cardiology Nursing Coordinator.

For any information related to IVR please contact the Cardiac Telehealth department Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm at 613-696-7050 or toll free at 1-877-303-9877.

Women's Heart Health

What Makes Women Different?

Men and women can be very different when it comes to matters of the heart, and that’s just as true for matters of heart health. Heart disease is RISING among women. The good news is that the majority of risk factors that cause heart disease such as smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high stress levels and high cholesterol can be controlled or treated.

If you are receiving this booklet from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and have been diagnosed with heart disease, we highly recommend that you participate in one of our cardiac rehabilitation program options, including our Women at Heart Program, after your discharge from hospital. This simple step can significantly decrease the chances of a future cardiac event and improve your chances of leading a healthy life in your future. This includes women who have had a heart attack, had a stent inserted, had heart surgery or a heart disease diagnosis, such as SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection). Even if you have had a treatment for your heart disease, you still have heart disease and would greatly benefit from attending our rehabilitation program after your treatment.

DID YOU KNOW? After a heart attack, heart surgery or a heart disease diagnosis, attendance in a cardiac rehab program can reduce the chances of you being re-admitted to hospital by 31%! It also lowers your mortality by 25% (Cdn. Guidelines for Cardiac Rehabilitation and CVD Prevention, March 2009). Despite this clear benefit, women are only half as likely as men to attend and adhere to the program. Many women don’t know they are at risk after an event or even after a treatment they received. That can change beginning right now, with you.

Key Messages:

  • Know your risk factors. It’s never too late to start making healthy changes.
  • When in doubt, check it out! Call 911 or seek immediate medical care if you think you are having any possible heart related symptoms.
  • Attend a free cardiac rehabilitation program (on-site and home program options available)
  • Join the Women at Heart Program: led by women with heart disease for women with heart disease

The Heart Institute’s Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre aims to provide leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of cardiovascular prevention and management strategies to improve women’s cardiovascular health.

For more information or to enrol in a program right now please call: 613-696-7068

You can also visit our website for more information:
Visit or to learn more about the programs we offer for heart disease prevention and support!


Heart Institute Patient Alumni

 Patient Alumni logo

We Can Help, We Have Been There

The Patient Alumni are a diverse community of current and former University of Ottawa Heart Institute patients and their families, friends and caregivers. We gratefully support the Institute by sharing information on advancements in the prevention and treatment of heart disease and by designating funds for projects and services that improve patient comfort and care.

By joining the Alumni, you will become part of a very unique community!

The Heart Institute is the only hospital in Canada that has formed an alumni group to stay in contact with discharged patients and their families. For over 40 years, the Heart Institute has delivered worldclass care to thousands of patients. As Alumni members, we wish to stay in touch, stay informed, and contribute to the Institute’s quality of care and future success.


Why Join the Alumni?

Alumni membership is free of charge, thanks to the partnership and financial support of the Heart Institute and its fundraising Foundation.

As an Alumni member, you’ll get up-to-date information through our:

  • e-letters
  • Websites
  • Lectures, courses and special events

For more information and access to free membership, visit our website.

Or contact us at:
Telephone: 613-696-7241