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Major Donation of $800,000 from Canada Life for Cardiovascular Health Prevention to the Montreal Heart Institute

May 30, 2019

Montreal, May 30, 2019 – The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation is pleased to announce an $800,000 financial contribution from Canada Life. This donation will be dedicated to the construction of the final phase of the Montreal Heart Institute's EPIC Center, currently one of the largest cardiology prevention and cardiovascular disease rehabilitation centers in North America. With this generous contribution, Canada Life confirms its active support and leadership in the field of health and well-being in the community.

A Donation with a Major Impact on Cardiovascular Health Prevention

Canada Life's donation will allow the creation of a new research unit at the EPIC Center that is unique in Canada. This unit will bring together researchers and students interested in factors that can modulate the cognitive changes frequently observed in older people. Dr. Louis Bherer, neuropsychologist, a researcher recognized worldwide for his research work, and Scientific Assistant Director at the EPIC Center, will lead the research unit alongside Drs. Mathieu Gayda and Daniel Gagnon.

As part of the expansion and modernization of the EPIC Center, a research gymnasium and laboratories will be dedicated to the study of the prevention of cognitive disorders and dementia. These will be operational by the fall of 2019.

“The construction of this new research unit will promote the Montreal Heart Institute and our local expertise. Our foundation is proud to be able to support this project and reaffirm the Institute's leadership in the field of cardiovascular health prevention. We are extremely grateful to have Canada Life make a real difference in our community,” says Lino A. Saputo, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.

“Our association with the Montreal Heart Institute and the EPIC Center is a natural fit. Canada Life has been proud to contribute to the physical, mental and financial health of Quebecers and Canadians for decades. We are particularly enthusiastic about supporting the creation of an innovative research unit that will have a positive impact on the lives of people here; they are at the heart of our daily actions,” says Monique Maynard, President, Quebec Affairs, Canada Life.

“We are privileged that Canada Life believes in our project. With the installation of the research gymnasium, our team will pursue innovative research that has the potential to change the lives of thousands of people by preventing brain decline associated with cardiovascular disease or dementia. Our projects will also allow us to offer more services to patients at the Montreal Heart Institute and to members of the EPIC Center,” says Dr. Louis Bherer.

Prevention Research: a Must at the Montreal Heart Institute

After demonstrating a link between physical activity and cognitive health, Dr. Bherer will focus on the cognitive changes associated with cardiovascular disease, including factors that can modulate cognitive loss in the elderly. An important part of his work will focus on the effect of cognitive and physical training in the laboratory on attention control mechanisms, as well as on the cognitive vitality of the elderly. The EPIC Center's team of researchers, composed of cardiologists, kinesiologists and an exercise physiologist, will also continue its promising work in dementia, cardio-oncology, depression and at-risk populations.

The results of the prevention research program have the potential to improve the quality of life and save the lives of thousands of patients. Through primary prevention, patients at the Montreal Heart Institute and the EPIC Center can prevent cardiovascular disease. Through secondary prevention, patients can avoid the recurrence of cardiovascular events, improve their daily lives and reduce medication use.

About Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life are leading insurance, wealth management and benefits specialists, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. Under the new Canada Life brand, we help Canadians achieve their potential, every day. Our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together, we serve the financial security needs of more than 13 million people across Canada and provide a wide range of products and services for individuals, families and business owners.

As an Imagine Caring Company, we support the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada. Our companies contribute at least one per cent of pre-tax profit in support of the communities where our employees and customers live and work. This includes $13.3 million in contributions to non-profit, charitable and community organizations in 2018.

About the Montreal Heart Institute and the EPIC Center

Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and basic research, ultra-specialized care, professional training and prevention. The Montreal Heart Institute is one of the three best cardiology centres in the world. It has the first Prevention Branch in Canada, a cardiovascular genetics centre, and Canada’s first simulation-based education program focused on cardiology. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 225 CMDP doctors and more than 80 researchers. We practise more than 2,300 surgeries each year.

The Montreal Heart Institute's EPIC Center is the largest centre for cardiovascular disease prevention in Canada, with more than 5,500 registered members. The Center has a bit more than 80 employees and is part of the Prevention Branch of the Montreal Heart Institute. The centre is for healthy people who wish to keep it that way (primary prevention) as well as for patients who had a cardiac accident (readaptation and secondary prevention). The staff includes physicians, cardiologists, internists, emergency physicians, a physiologist, visiting professors, nurses, nutritionists, kinesiologists and rescuers.

About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation

Founded in 1977, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation raises and administers funds to support the Institute's priority and innovative projects and fight cardiovascular diseases, the world's number one cause of mortality. Its philanthropic events and the contributions of its donors have enabled this leading cardiovascular health care organization to become the largest cardiac research centre in the country. Since its creation, the Foundation has raised nearly $260 million in donations. Its 27,350 donors helped make important discoveries and support specialists, professionals and researchers of the Institute to provide care at the cutting edge of technology to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.

Source:
Montreal Heart Institute Foundation

Media relations:
Isabelle Pelletier
514 238-4178
Ipelletier.pr@gmail.com

Canada Life:
Élise Bilodeau
514 350-4640
elise.bilodeau@gwl.ca

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