What we do

The Patient Alumni Association (Alumni) works to connect and support University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) patients, their family, friends and caregivers (caregivers).

We actively seek out opportunities to support building patient and caregiver understanding of heart conditions and treatments, to build support networks for patients and caregivers, and to bring the patient perspective into the design of care and research at the UOHI with a goal of improved patient outcomes and experiences.

As a key strategic partner of UOHI, we work with the Heart Institute to help it achieve its main strategic vision to be a World Class Patient Centered Heart Institute in Canada. Since the Patient Alumni was created over twenty-five years ago over three million dollars have been allocated for initiatives undertaken.

Some examples of the Alumni’s activities include:

  • Project funding – the Alumni provides funding for items to support patients (for example, cooling blankets, cough pillows, rise-up bras, water bottles); as well as for equipment and resources that support patients when at or interacting with the UOHI (for example, funding for telehealth equipment; support for heart health training/information programs for women).
  • Patient engagement – the Alumni facilitates the engagement of patient perspectives by identifying participants for UOHI Committees that are focused on quality of care, ethics and research; further, the Alumni is involved in setting the groundwork for successful engagement of patients in research or quality of care initiatives.
  • Meet the expert – Events are offered to members that bring together members of the clinical care team as well as patients to share insight and experiences in an informal setting.
  • Tools and resources – For example, a series of educational videos were developed and produced to support patients being admitted to the UOHI.

A recent UOHI survey reported that the Heart Institute’s patient satisfaction rate was 91%. “This is great news and a remarkable source of motivation and inspiration for the entire team at the Institute” said Dr. Mesana. “Our patients, their families, relatives, and caregivers are at the centre of everything that we accomplish, from our patient care to our research vitality.”

For more information on the work of the Patient Alumni Association, please refer to the Awards & Achievements page.