Today, the Ministry of Health and CIHR announced the launch of a new Canadian Heart Function Alliance – in which the Ted Rogers Centre and our partner hospital SickKids play a key role. 

This network of researchers, cardiologists, patients, caregivers, Indigenous elders, policymakers and institutions collectively is taking aim at one of Canada’s deepest chronic health problems: heart failure. The “CHF Alliance” spans eight provinces and one territory, and is underway with 23 connected research projects.

The Alliance reflects the Ted Rogers Centre’s mission of addressing heart failure across the lifespan, from newborns to aging adults. 

Bringing precision medicine to children 

At SickKids, Dr. Seema Mital and Dr. Aamir Jeewa, scientific lead and member of our Cardiac Precision Medicine Program respectively, are leading the Alliance’s pediatric focus. 

This begins with a new national network called PRIORITY (precision medicine for heart failure in the young) that will develop biological, technological, and social solutions for early diagnosis, closer monitoring and tailored management of young patients. 

“The CHF Alliance represents a truly unique partnership that will help patients with heart failure from infancy to adulthood. We will leverage advances in digital technology to monitor children remotely using smart textiles and cloud-based platforms. Keeping patients out of hospitals will greatly improve quality of life for families across Canada. The CIHR award will help us build on our strengths and explore uncharted areas in pediatric heart failure research.”

Dr. Aamir Jeewa, Section Head for Cardiomyopathy & Heart Function, SickKids

“Using a precision medicine strategy, we will leverage the power of genomics and artificial intelligence to develop tests for timely diagnosis of heart failure and targeted therapies. We are particularly excited at the opportunity to train the next generation of clinicians and scientists in finding biological and AI solutions to childhood heart failure.”

Dr. Seema Mital, Head of Cardiovascular Research, SickKids 

“The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a very challenging and vulnerable period. A peer support program, in which young adults mentor adolescent patients, is a timely and strategic intervention that meets the unique developmental, self-management and transitional care needs of this clinical population.”

Samantha Anthony, Social Worker and Health Clinician Scientist, SickKids