2017 Public Forum Recap

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) hosted Arrhythmia Care: Exploring Innovations and Advancements in Treatment and Management, its second annual Public Forum.

Over 170 people filled the Commonwealth Ballroom at the Westin Nova Scotian hotel in Halifax, eager to learn more about arrhythmia research, treatment and care.

Dr. Ratika Parkash, the Chair of the Public Forum planning committee and a clinician scientist at the QEII Heath Sciences Centre, welcomed everyone and introduced Dr. Bryce Pickard, the Managing Director and COO of CANet. Dr. Pickard described CANet’s goals and the vital role that patients play in the network – as committee members, as project co-leads, and as advisors.

CANet focuses its research attention on three arrhythmia-related tracks: atrial fibrillation, sudden cardiac death, and syncope (fainting). Dr. Allan Skanes (London Health Sciences Centre), Dr. Paul Dorian (St. Michael’s Hospital) and Dr. Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) highlighted projects that CANet has funded and the exciting results they are producing – like VIRTUES and the Canadian Syncope Risk Score.

CANet was especially excited to have Dr. Sears, an internationally-recognized expert on the psychological care and quality-of-life outcomes of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators, present at the Public Forum. His presentation, Making Your Cardiac Comeback, was an engaging, entertaining and enlightening look at how patients and caregivers cope with life after a serious cardiac event.

I thought the forum had a great level of information for the patient population. It was wonderful to see healthcare workers and their patients coming together to ultimately improve the arrhythmia world.

For the last part of the evening, attendees were invited to visit interactive booths set up around the perimeter of the ballroom. Experts and patient representatives were available to anyone who wanted to further discuss the CANet tracks, and the cardiac devices booth gave attendees a chance to talk to device technicians.

Local artist Peter Gough brought his painting, Symphony #2, which reflects how he feels about his experience with atrial fibrillation:

“Being a survivor of Atrial Fibrillation I am now able to hear the music again. Before my operation I would awake at night to the noise of my rushing heart. Just the experience was trying let alone the physical effects it had upon me. Now almost a year since my operation, when I wake at night I now hear the sound of a regular heart beat which is music to my ear.”              

The most interactive booth at the Forum was provided by The Heart & Stroke Foundation. Attendees lined up to see the attendants demonstrate how to use an automated external defibrillator and how to perform CPR.

It was excellent. I learned a lot. As a result, my father and I are going to learn CPR. I can’t recommend your work highly enough.

CANet would like to thank its community partners, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Heart & Stroke Foundation, and QEII Foundation who helped make this event such a success.

Join us in our nation’s capital at the Ottawa Marriott on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 for the third annual CANet Public Forum. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information about CANet and future events, please visit www.canet-nce.ca.

For more photos from the 2017 Public Forum, visit: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XM2coAdIUaBstHvq1

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