I am
Heart Foundation reconnects with ACT cardiovascular research community
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart Foundation reconnects with ACT cardiovascular research community

The Heart Foundation yesterday hosted a seminar for Canberra’s cardiovascular research community, reconnecting face-to-face with local academics and health professionals for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra attended the event at the National Portrait Gallery, along with cardiologists, cardiac nurses, pharmacists, policy makers, businesspeople and heart disease survivors.

ACT Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, opened the seminar, which explored the theme of “Saving Australian Hearts: the journey so far and what is next”.

The event included an overview of the Heart Foundation’s work nationally and in the ACT, including its research program.

“The Heart Foundation is Australia’s biggest non-government funder of world-class cardiovascular research,” said the Heart Foundation’s Senior Coordinator – Support and Care, Meg Ryan, who presented at yesterday’s seminar.

“Over the past 60 years, we have invested more than $670 million into research, leading to significant advances in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care,” Ms Ryan said.

“Here in the ACT, we have many innovative researchers and exceptional health professionals. It was terrific to be able to meet face-to-face with them yesterday for the first time in 18 months, and to hear the latest updates on their important work.

“The Heart Foundation is committed to lessening the impact of heart disease on the community, and we take pride in working alongside these local experts to make this mission a reality. We will continue to foster relationships within this network, and to celebrate their expertise and passion.”

Attendees also heard from Professor Walter Abhayaratna, Clinical Director of Canberra Health Services and professor of cardiovascular medicine at ANU, who spoke about current challenges in health care for people with heart disease.

“Treatments for heart disease are improving, and high-quality research is undoubtedly the reason for the progress we have made. However, nearly 6000 patients are hospitalised for cardiovascular disease each year in the ACT and almost 500 will die,” Professor Abhayaratna said.

“We still need to see a stronger focus on patient-centred care, where we are truly putting the needs of the patient at the heart of the health system.

“This means working together across all areas of the health system, building the connections between acute hospital staff through to better community care. This will ensure people avoid unnecessary admissions and also get home sooner to recover with the right supports.”

Professor Emily Banks, a Heart Foundation-funded researcher and professor of epidemiology and public health at ANU, outlined current challenges in the prevention of heart disease.

“Coronary heart disease remains our biggest killer, largely because we are not implementing what we know to prevent it,” Professor Banks said.

“We need to go harder against smoking – especially in priority groups – and make sure people are getting Heart Health Checks to see if they are at risk. If someone is at risk, they need to continue with blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications.

“It’s that simple, and research needs to focus on how to effectively implement what we know, in the clinic and community. It’s harder than a heart transplant – we haven’t cracked it yet.”  

Click here to learn more about the Heart Foundation Research Program.

Research Directory

Research Directory

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Find heart healthy Asian recipes....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia is a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm....

Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD or AICD)

Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD or AICD)

This is a device inserted into your chest to return abnormal heart rhythms to normal using electrical impulses. ...

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

A new nanodrug to protect the heart from damage after heart attack...

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests can measure the levels of substances such as blood fat to show if, and how much of, your heart has been damaged....

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Sharing your story could help another Australian just like you to overcome their heart challenges...

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

What does a heart-friendly diet look like?...

Italian veggie fritters with tomato salad

Italian veggie fritters with tomato salad

Italian veggie fritters with tomato salad

20 minutes
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Discover key information on heart-healthy eating and drinking....

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

What are the best sources of protein when it come to your heart health...

Nutrition Evidence Summaries and Reviews

Nutrition Evidence Summaries and Reviews

Nutrition Evidence Summaries and Reviews

Mighty mango smoothie

Mighty mango smoothie

Mighty mango smoothie

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

35 minutes
Serves 4

Q&A with Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Q&A with Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Q&A with Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Policies for creating healthier food environments: increasing evidence and accountability for action ...

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Every dollar that you donate will help fund research, support and programs that help save lives....

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

10 minutes

How your heart works

How your heart works

How your heart works

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of your body. The blood gives your body the oxygen and nourishment it needs to work properly. ...

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

One of the most powerful ways to help support a future without heart disease is to include a gift to the Heart Foundation in your Will...

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Physical activity resources for school staff....

WEBINAR | Pressure rising: Clinical controversies and updates in hypertension

WEBINAR | Pressure rising: Clinical controversies and updates in hypertension

WEBINAR | Pressure rising: Clinical controversies and updates in hypertension

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Clinical guidelines and position statements

Clinical guidelines and position statements

Clinical guidelines and position statements

We have developed a range of resources for you to use as part of routine care. ...