The Heart and Stroke Foundation is putting up half a million dollars to support research into indigenous heart health.
The $500,000 donation is being made to the First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Foundation Health Promotions Director Jeff Sommers says the money will help with the goal of improving the health of Aboriginal people.
“We’re going to have a better insight into how to go about improving access to treatment and rehabilitation for indigenous people. Access to the health care system is a big issue. And culturally appropriate access to the health care system is a big issue for indigenous people.”
He says one key to create a database of patients to get a larger picture of the health risks for indigenous people.
“There’s a massive health gap in Canada. There’s a health crisis among indigenous people. Diabetes rates are sky high in some communities. 20 to 25 per cent of adults have type two diabetes and indigenous people are two to three times more likely to experience heart disease or stroke.”
Sommers says something like this has never been done in Canada.
Dr. Jeff Reading was named the First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul’s Hospital last year.