In light of recent events, all Women@Heart community groups are cancelled until further notice.
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute's highest priority is the health and well-being of all our patients and volunteers. As we are currently unable to determine when we'll be able to start new community groups, we've launched our Virtual Women@Heart Support Groups:
Support is important in these unprecedented times of social isolation and the Women@Heart is here for you!
Please visit pwc.ottawaheart.ca/covid-19 for more resources on COVID-19.
Quality of life is significantly lower for women than men after a cardiac event, and women who lack social support have a higher risk of fatal heart disease. The Women@Heart program is a peer support program led by women with heart disease, for women with heart disease that aims to create a caring environment for women to learn from each other and support one another on the road to recovery.
The program provides women with heart disease, in every community, with access to emotional support, education support and a caring environment for a better recovery.
How Women@Heart Works
Women@Heart lasts six months and consists of 12 two-hour sessions held bi-weekly in community settings across the region. It is free and a physician referral is not required.
The sessions are run by Peer Leaders who are women who have had a successful recovery from heart disease and have a strong passion for supporting and helping other women on their road to recovery. Through a three-day training workshop, Women@Heart Peer Leaders are trained to become support network leaders within their local communities.
"Yeah, the group becomes your family because they understand what you’re going through for the particular situation. They understand better than anybody else.”
Submit testimonial (coming soon)
Are You Eligible?
To be eligible for Women@Heart, you must:
- Be a woman with heart disease (heart attack, angina, stent, bypass surgery, valve disorder, pacemaker)
- Have not been hospitalized or experienced significant cardiac symptoms within the last 6 weeks.
- Geographically available for attending local group sessions.
- Understand English or French.
How to Register
How can you get involved?
People who provide peer support experience higher rates of physical health and life satisfaction, lower rates of distress and are more optimistic about their health1. Discover the benefits that Peer Leaders and In-Patient Volunteers can gain by becoming involved.
How Can Healthcare Providers Get Involved?
Health care providers can encourage their female patients with heart disease to join Women@Heart. People living with chronic conditions need more than medical treatment from their health care providers; they need support in mastering and sustaining self-care behaviours that are necessary to enable them to live as healthy as possible.
The primary rehabilitative need for women may be that of support, particularly from women with similar experiences. We know that people are more likely to hear and personalize messages, and consequently to change their attitudes and behaviours, if they believe the peer is similar to them and faced the same concerns and pressures.
For more information call the Prevention and Wellness Centre at
Prevention and Wellness Centre
University of Ottawa Heart institute
40 Ruskin Street, Room H2353