RVH and YMCA working together | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
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RVH and YMCA work together to improve care for residents who experience a cardiac episode


Heart patients from throughout North Simcoe Muskoka will now have access to rehabilitation services in the community thanks to a partnership between Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) and the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.

As a first step the newly established program, YMCA Healthy Hearts, will be located at both the Barrie YMCA and Innisfil YMCA providing rehabilitation services to both low- and high-risk cardiac patients.

“Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised program that typically includes an exercise plan, nutrition counselling, smoking cessation, and stress management. These programs reduce both the risk of death and of a subsequent cardiac episode,” says Dr. Mohammed Haqqi, cardiologist and cardiac rehabilitation lead, RVH.

YMCA Healthy Hearts

RVH currently provides an intensive 12-week rehabilitation program for moderate to high-risk heart patients. The YMCA program will focus on low-risk patients who do not need to participate in a hospital-based program and patients who are transitioned from RVH.

“The YMCA’s vision is to inspire people to reach their full potential. This collaboration between RVH and the YMCA achieves that goal,” says Karen Pulla, vice-president, Health, Fitness and Aquatics, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. “By providing cardiac patients with a smooth transition of care from hospital to community rehabilitation, we are helping them regain strength, prevent their condition from worsening, reduce their risk of future heart problems, and improve their health and quality of life.  And ultimately, we’re helping these patients achieve sustainable wellness.”

This arrangement is just the latest building block in the foundation RVH is building for a strong comprehensive cardiovascular program which includes an Advanced Cardiac Centre. Currently, North Simcoe Muskoka is the only region in the province without an Advanced Cardiac Centre. That means most heart patients in North Simcoe Muskoka must travel to centres outside the region for lifesaving heart procedures. RVH’s Advanced Cardiac Centre, expected to open in early 2017, will provide diagnostics and interventions such as angiograms and angioplasty, giving patients access to faster treatment, a shorter hospital stay and less travel time.

2 Responses to “RVH and YMCA work together to improve care for residents who experience a cardiac episode”

  1. January 02, 2016 at 8:05 pm, Heather said:

    So I have been diagnosed with afib and arrhythmia. I have been dealing with southlake and had heart surgery 4 weeks ago. Are you willing to help me in this program as this is where most people are being sent to as it is the top local hospital for all heart procedures. I am 43 yrs old and and would like to get back to a healthier life style again and have energy. I have children that need their mom around. Please I would like.more info in this program. Will it cost me? Who is going to be supervising.
    Thank you


    • January 07, 2016 at 9:23 am, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka said:

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Could you email lindsay_harrison@ymca.ca with how you prefer to be contacted (either email or phone number)? We can then connect you with Joel, the person who oversees this program and he can better answer your questions!


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