News • Cardiovascular Network of Canada — CANet



Why Promoting Representation is Critical to Advancing Cardiac Care for Canadian Patients

This non-profit is leading the way when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, not only within its direct network, but with patients. Women’s visibility for their contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has gradually improved over the years as governments, academic institutions, and businesses put funding into their equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives. For years, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have been predominantly male-dominated fields. It’s a trend that organizations like CANet — the Cardiovascular Network of Canada — are working to change, recognizing the significant barriers to entry that underrepresented groups not only face when joining these industries, but the role representation and equity must have in critical research and moving the fields forward. This vision isn’t new for CANet, who have been working to embed equity into their network for many years. “We want to turn the tides in what has been historically, a male-dominated field,” says Dr. Anthony Tang, Cardiologist and CEO, Scientific Director of CANet. We want to see equal, patient-oriented care, at the highest level, for everyone. Dr. Anthony Tang CANet, a non-profit, was established nearly a decade ago, built with the aim of promoting research and development in the cardiovascular...
Meet Leighton

Meet Leighton

"Working in the military, you get to a breaking point from time to time, and so I had taken up hockey to get my mind in check. I told people how much it was helping, and then on January 10th, 2016, I had my heart attack at 38 years old."
Cardiovascular Network of Canada enhances its digital health platform VIRTUES, optimizing the delivery of cardiac care to patients in all regions across Canada

Cardiovascular Network of Canada enhances its digital health platform VIRTUES, optimizing the delivery of cardiac care to patients in all regions across Canada

Eighteen inches. Dr. Kenneth Gin vividly recalls that number. “I recently attended a conference talk given by a General Physician (GP), who had brought a stack of papers with him on stage and measured it – 18 inches,” says Dr. Gin, Professor of Medicine and Head of Cardiology Division at Vancouver General Hospital. ” That was the stack of papers just from the last two years that he was expected to read up to stay current as a GP.” The growth of medical information currently outpaces doctors’ abilities to keep up with it. Patients, too, are living longer – encouraging news but also challenging, as they accrue more chronic medical conditions, which tend to interact with one another, but so do their treatments. “We are treating very complicated medical cases that require advanced knowledge that we can barely keep up with,” says Dr. Pavel Antiperovitch, Medical Development Lead for VIRTUES and an early career cardiologist at the London Health Science Centre. To help alleviate these specific problems, the Cardiovascular Network of Canada (CANet) has evolved its proven-successful digital health platform, VIRTUES. “With recent enhancements incorporated into VIRTUES, we have a platform designed to provide patients with the most relevant medical...
CANet Patient Partner Vince

Meet Vince

It was the year 2000 when Vince, a CANet Patient Partner supporting our VIRTUES Patient Working Group initiatives, experienced his first episode of Atrial Fibrillation, commonly termed AFib or AF. “I fainted dead away the first time I felt my heart go into AFib. I was 29, and I thought I was having a heart attack. Six years later, in 2006, I started cycling to work. I minded my diet and gradually shed 90 pounds to a healthy weight which I maintained for years. But despite being fit and in the best shape I had ever known, in 2019, my AFib episodes increased in frequency, intensity, and length. We quickly learned I had valvular heart disease, my mitral and aortic valves were failing, and my heart was enlarging. I needed surgery, and we began planning for early 2020.

Congratulations CANet Network Investigators!

We are happy to announce that 2 of the 3 CANet-supported projects have successfully received funding from the Accelerating Clinical Trials Canada Consortium (ACT). ACT consists of hundreds of investigators, stakeholders, and highly qualified research personnel from 11 trial units and 28 research networks across Canada. The central guiding principle of the ACT Consortium is that its activities will accelerate, optimize, and facilitate the conduct, implementation, and results translation from high-quality, high-impact randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to improve health in Canada and around the world. They were among 11 funded projects from 43 high-quality applications submitted in the Request For Application (RFA #1 — Supporting the Completion of High-Impact Randomized Controlled Trials). Congratulations to the research teams, investigators and staff involved with these 2 projects. Other successful applications for the RFA #1 are: ACT Call for Proposals RFA #2 — Advances in the Conduct of Randomized Controlled Trials CANet received 3 applications in total. We will support all 3 for this RFA. Applications for the next RFA #3 — Evaluate Canadian Biotechnologies with Randomized Controlled Trials due June 19, 2023. Details below: RFA #3 — Evaluate Canadian Biotechnologies with Randomized Controlled Trials A total of $2.0 million is available for this RFA. The maximum requested budget...
CANet Patient Partner Jennifer Porter

Meet Jennifer

"I came from a culture where you don't talk about your health; I was raised to believe that this was complaining, and it was especially true for women." Around 2006, she started to experience changes in her heart's rhythm.
CANet Patient Partner Ann Marie

Meet Ann-Marie

Ann-Marie began experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib) symptoms at a young age. "I was 42 years old, and I happened to be at my family doctor's office for an appointment for one of my daughters who was sick. I had previously talked to the doctor about something funny with my heart rhythm, but it was episodic. Because it wasn't happening while I was there, she didn't want to send me for an ECG. While at my daughter's appointment, I said, "Remember when I talked to you about this heart rhythm thing? It's off now." She sent me downstairs in the building for an ECG right away, and sure enough, I was in AFib. That's where it began, and it was real.
CANet Patient Partner Kevin Barry

Meet Kevin

“I became fascinated by the heart when I was 13 years old as a volunteer with the Red Cross. When I began to look for paid employment, nursing was big, so I went that route… and that’s where it led me for 30 years until my heart attack.” From cardiac nurse to cardiac patient, Kevin could predict that he, like his patients, would forge his path through cardiac care. “My journey started in March 2007 with a heart attack at age 47. I was fairly young, but it wasn’t unexpected because of my family’s genetics. I look like the men on my mum’s side of the family. I’ve got an uncle and a cousin, who, when we were together, people used to think we were father and sons. My mum had three brothers, two of which died of cardiac-related illnesses. One died of a massive heart attack at 52, and the second died of cardiac disease after a long battle that included several stents and a couple of bypass surgeries. The same weekend I had my heart attack; my father was dying in England from his battle with cardiac disease. He had his first heart attack at age 52 and...
CANet Dr Jason Andrade - Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

CANet funding lays foundation for pioneering treatment for atrial fibrillation

Critical research funded by CANet is the foundational basis of a breakthrough treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF). CANet investigator Dr. Jason Andrade, including researchers across the country, found that freezing and removing faulty heart tissues, a procedure known as cryoablation, is more likely to prevent long-term progression AF compared to taking anti-arrhythmic drugs (AADs). This breakthrough research builds on an initial CANet-funded project which showed that cryoablation was more effective than AADs at reducing the short-term recurrence of AF. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia affecting Canadians. Faulty heart tissues cause rapid, irregular heartbeats and increase the risk for stroke, hospitalizations, and death. In fact, a significant portion of AF-related healthcare costs are due to hospitalization and acute care. Current AF-associated costs are estimated at two and a half percent of Canada’s annual healthcare expenditures. These costs are expected to rise to four percent within the next two decades. Both studies will help reduce the burden of AF in Canada. They fulfil a critical need for minimally invasive cardiac procedures that improve patient outcomes without increasing healthcare costs and treatment time. Dr. Andrade’s pioneering treatment – catheter ablation with a cryothermy balloon or cryoablation – freezes faulty heart tissues...
CANet Name Change — Cardiovascular Network of Canada

It’s official; we’ve changed names!

Today, we proudly announce our organization’s official name change to the Cardiovascular Network of Canada (CANet). This change reflects our accomplishments, impacts, and progression as we create, test, evaluate, and implement innovative solutions for better cardiac care and managing complex health conditions for all Canadians. Our goal is to empower Canadians to utilize innovative digital health transformative tools for co-management of their health at home in their communities while maintaining patient-provider relationships and honouring the Canadian culture of our publicly funded healthcare system. Previously recognized as the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada, since 2014, we have focused on patient-led cardiac arrhythmia research discovery, innovation, and engagement. Our Network brought together Canada’s globally recognized experts, harnessing the talents of the best researchers, engineers, and social scientists, in a wide array of related disciplines to share ideas and advance the field of arrhythmia research and treatment. We recognize patients with arrhythmia also have related cardiovascular conditions. To make a real impact on improving the lives of our patients, we’ve broadened the scope of the Network to focus on cardiovascular health. Federally funded, we partnered with academic institutions, globally recognized industries, not-for-profit organizations, and federal and provincial government agencies to improve the lives...
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