"Achieving a heart healthy community through partnership".

 

The Bermuda Heart Foundation was first established by the late Ramona Anderson and Dr Shane Marshall in 1993 to help the hospital fundraise for heart equipment essential in detecting and managing heart disease.  The Foundation established a history of supporting the heart patient community by raising nearly $2M for the KingEdwardMemorialHospital's cardiac diagnostic unit. Along with purchasing equipment and helping with hospital renovations, the Foundation also began to include periodic education and awareness programs for the community.  The Foundation also provided support to local professionals going abroad for continuing education, as well as to young Bermudians pursuing a career in heart health through the Edna & Frank Gamble Scholarship.

Recently, the scholarship has helped to support the studies of one Bermudian who now works at our hospital as a heart technician. 

 

Present - With heart disease being recognized as Bermuda's number one killer, and with the alarming increase in heart disease risk factors in our children, the Bermuda Heart Foundation recently undertook a comprehensive strategic review of its current platform to better align its efforts with the needs of the community.  With staggering statistics that tell us that: 60% of our population is overweight, and nearly  25% is obese, 35% of our 5-10 year olds considered overweight, it is predicted that this generation of children will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. 

                  The Foundation needs to expand its community presence, by addressing the needs of not only of heart patients and their families but also those at risk, and the general public.  And with a renewed focus on prevention education, schools, the workplace, and where the general public shops are key venues that will be explored.  And as important is a need to partner with other like minded organizations to effect change.  Already, the BHF has partnered with the Bermuda Diabetes Association, and the Department of health on a number of initiatives aimed at addressing obesity . 

 

Future - The Foundation's vision is to realize a Bermuda that understands the causes and symptoms of heart disease and knows how to prevent and manage the disease through lifestyle changes.  Only then will we realize a decrease in heart disease incidence, and heart-related disabilities.

            It will take a village, each of us doing our part to realize a heart healthy community-and it will take partnerships with the widest range of community groups and individuals who can help take and deliver the message:  To the streets To the workplace, To the schools, To everywhere people meet, greet, and eat and play and pray

 

Finally , imagine the possibility of a Bermuda with no heart disease.  What is it going to take to get us there?  And we  welcome any corporate, any organization, any individuals to help us realize a Bermuda: where children are not developing the chronic illness as a result of their lifestyle, where people are not dying prematurely from heart disease, where healthy living is the norm.

 

The BHF looks forward to moving ahead with its initiatives with your support in our quest to realize a heart healthy Bermuda together.  Visit the Bermuda Heart Foundation website at www.bermudaheart.org  for more information.