Cardiac Fitness Centre Closure In London Won't Affect Windsor

The London Health Sciences Centre is closing the doors at its Cardiac Fitness Centre, but local officials say patients in Windsor-Essex have nothing to worry about.

Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare's Bill Marra says, not only is the local program thriving, an expansion with a new satellite location is being planned for later in the year.

Windsor's Cardiac Fitness Centre currently handles 500 referrals each year translating into about 25,000 patient visits focused on recovery after a heart attack or heart surgery.

Marra says patients here don't have to worry.

"Not at risk at all for Windsor-Essex. Our Cardiac Wellness and Pulmonary Rehab Program, it's very, very busy. I'm sure that there are reasons in London that perhaps we're not made aware of, but as far as the Windsor-Essex program is concerned, it's going to continue to thrive and I'm very hopeful that we'll be able to announce, in the very near future, a satellite location."

He says the program will remain intact as long as the need is there.

"We have the demand for it. We have individuals who get referred to us as a result of heart attacks or bypass surgeries or angioplasty and a number of other cardiac related reasons. This program is incredibly important as far as after care is concerned and sustaining a healthy lifestyle."

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Hotel-Dieu Grace-Healthcare in Windsor seen on September 5, 2017. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Marra says a number of local charities make sure funding is never an issue.

"We're very fortunate to have significant fundraisers available to us that raise capital dollars needed. Most people in Windsor-Essex are familiar with the Heart Breaker Challenge and the Bob Probert Memorial Ride. Both of those events raise anywhere between $200,000 and $250,000 a year. So we certainly have the resources for capital requirements."

Marra adds, the new Cardiac Fitness Centre will likely be in Tecumseh with the exact location to be announced in the spring or summer.

London Health Sciences recently announced the closure of its centre stating it could "no longer subsidize the costs of the program."

— with files from AM800's Kristylee Varley