The Heart and Stroke Foundation

Heart disease and stroke are 2 of the 3 leading causes of death in Canada = and 70,000 people die every year from these cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is 80% preventable

Our mission is to impact heart disease and stroke in 3 ways:

  1. Prevent disease
    Give children and youth the best start for a long, healthy life – through programs like HeartSmart Kids™!
    Increase healthy weights among children and youth
    Increase vegetable and fruit consumption as a measure of healthy nutrition
    Increase physical activity
    Decrease tobacco use
  2. Save lives
    Enable faster, better cardiac and stroke emergency response and treatment
    Install Automatic External Defibrillators in public facilities and provide training to staff
  3. Promote recovery
    Enhance support for survivors, families and caregivers
    Increase survivor risk factor management to prevent further incidents

The HeartSmart Kids™ Program

Education programming for children and youth that teaches how to build a healthy lifestyle are the key to future prevention. The HeartSmart Kids™ program was launched in 1995/96 and since then has trained over 10,000 educators to deliver health education to elementary school students. It is a curriculum-based program designed to help educators teach children and families how to lead healthy lifestyles. The program is directed to health educators including school teachers, nurses, dietitians after-school program facilitators, etc.

The program has been designed in such a way that it is tied to the BC Ministry of Education’s learning outcomes and uses a fun and effective approach to help students learn to make healthy choices that will guide them throughout their lives.

HeartSmart Kids™ originally focused on three lifestyle components, healthy eating, active living and being smoke free to encourage children and families to build healthy behaviours and lead heart-healthy lifestyles. After an extensive evaluation completed in 2013, we decided to do some major updates for our 20th anniversary and 2015-16 school year launch. Educators spoke and we listened!