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Heart and Stroke foundation makes funding commitment

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The Heart and Stroke Foundation recently selected the University of Calgary to be part of its Research Leadership Circle. This partnership guarantees that in the next 10 years, the U of C will receive financial assistance from the Heart and Stroke Foundation if the university can’t raise $25 million to fund heart and stroke related research programs.

According to U of C clinical researcher Todd Anderson, no money is yet flowing directly from the Heart and Stroke foundation.

“The researchers in Calgary will continue to apply for research grants as they have done in the past to be competitive in the research level,” Anderson said. “If they do not achieve the $25 million threshold in the next decade, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is then guaranteed to help provide us with that money.”

The U of C joins 19 other research institutions in Canada that have a relationship with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“These institutions have a long history of partnership with us. Their researchers have shown commitment to cardiovascular and stroke research over the years,” said Heart and Stroke Foundation vice-president health and research Kate Chidester. “We decided that we wanted to really help these institutions with long-term research planning.”

The Research Leadership Circle is a strategy set forth by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to achieve its 2020 goal of reducing the rate at which Canadians die from heart disease and stroke by 25 per cent.

“It’s a very ambitious goal and we know that research is key in meeting this goal so we believe that this 10-year commitment from the Heart and Stroke Foundation will help us,” Chidester said.

Anderson explained that the U of C already has programs in place helping to reduce heart and stroke disease.

“We’re identifying individuals who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes to try and reduce the burden of those risk factors. If you can reduce the number of people with the risk factors, or if you can get them to early therapy, then that will help,” Anderson said.

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