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Cardiovascular charity partnership first

The Christchurch Heart Institute is working alongside the Heart Foundation as part of an innovative approach to cardiovascular disease (CVD) research, following a significant donation of $330,000 from Ryman Healthcare.

ryman ceo presents cheque

Ryman Healthcare Chief Executive Designate Gordon MacLeod and Ryman Healthcare residents at cheque presentation 31 May, 2017.

The 2016-17 charity partnership between Ryman Healthcare and the Heart Foundation, which has funded the Heart Foundation Clinical Fellowship, will support a clinical research study, looking into the scope and make-up of cardiovascular disease in residents of Ryman Healthcare facilities.

Associate Professor, Chris Pemberton, of the Christchurch Heart Institute, based at the University of Otago, Christchurch, is behind the idea to run the study which will provide a clearer picture about the CVD risk in New Zealand’s retirement healthcare sector. 

“It is exciting to be working with the Heart Foundation, who have informed residents of Ryman Healthcare facilities about the study, laying the foundation for the project to proceed. Ryman residents who volunteer to take part in the study, will benefit from increased awareness of their overall health and any cardiovascular risk. The information we gather at the Christchurch villages and others around the country will be used to raise the standard of cardiovascular care in New Zealand,” he said.

The study will begin at Ryman retirement villages in Christchurch, and gradually roll-out across the country, which is something Pemberton is looking forward to.

“We want to get going in 2017, firstly putting systems in place, with a view to starting the first of the studies later this year.”

Global recognition

The Christchurch Heart Institute, a University of Otago Research Centre, is renowned globally for their contribution to CVD research. In particular, the discoveries of blood hormones associated with heart disease, which have led to specific blood tests for heart issues now being used routinely in clinics all around the world.

“This project is aimed at taking what we know in a hospital setting and applying that knowledge in the primary health sector, leading to better management of cardiovascular disease before hospital admission becomes necessary.”

Heart Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Duncan, is delighted to have been part of the Ryman Healthcare charity partnership for 2016-17. He believes Ryman’s donation will undoubtedly support many people in the aged care sector who are impacted by heart disease, which is New Zealand’s single biggest killer.

“Given the high incidences of heart disease in the aged care sector, this will make a significant contribution to the management of heart disease among the aged.”