Why Should You Care About Cardiac Care?

“Let’s get to the heart of it.”

It’s so plain that it hardly even needs to be said. When we talk about the heart of something, we mean the qualities and parts that are most important – those vital pieces that give it a true identity. To us, that’s our community and our donors. So, to celebrate Heart Health Month, we want to dive in deeper to the work that our healthcare professionals do while serving that community.  

February is Heart Health Month

As far back as the time of Aristotle (and even further than that), people have had myths and beliefs about the heart. Did you know that…

  • ancient Egyptians considered it to be the key to the afterlife?
  • ancient Greeks considered it the container of the soul, where love is born?
  • Some of the most accurate early research about hearts comes from Leonardo da Vinci’s experiments and drawings?

Today, we still imagine that it gives us our personalities and passions, even if we have a much better scientific understanding of its true function.

There’s no better time than February – Heart Health Month – to think about how important our hearts are, and how modern technology can help them heal in a crisis. . Many people aren’t even aware of the tools that modern hospitals use, like the cardiac monitors that doctors and nurses rely on every single day.


Cardiac monitor


These monitors are used every day in multiple departments, such as the ICU. They allow doctors and nurses to keep an eye on high-risk patients without needing to be by their side. What’s more, they can raise an alarm almost instantly. Help can be on the way before the patient even knows something is wrong.

Our Goals for Heart Health Month

  •  Educating the Public
    While we’re going to be focusing mainly on the technology involved in cardiac recovery and monitoring, we’ll never pass up a chance to educate people about good heart health. After all, avoiding risk factors of heart diseases – high blood pressure, smoking, poor diets, an inactive lifestyle – is a great first step in preventing a cardiac event.
  • Supporting Those Affected
    Many people in the Medicine Hat region are already dealing with heart conditions. It’s important that we grasp the importance of our community in providing care and healing. This sense of togetherness and mutual support encourages patients, caregivers, and their families to share experiences, resources, and support.


Cardiac Care is for Everyone

While the use of technology like diagnostic machines and telemetry monitors increases with age, it’s a myth that only elderly or sick people rely on cardiac care. In fact, people of all ages use this tech every single day. Here in the Hat, we strive to simply be here when you need us to be, no matter the demographic you’re in. There are many reasons why someone might find themselves getting  cardiac care at the hospital.

How is cardiac monitoring equipment used?

  • Early Detection and Screening
    Cardiovascular diseases can develop at any age, especially if you have a family history with them. Early detection is your best bet for good long-term health. Healthcare staff use diagnostics and data to identify potential risk factors.
  • Congenital and Chronic Heart Conditions
    Some individuals are born with congenital heart conditions or develop chronic ones at a young age. These often require monitoring and treatment from very early on.
  • Acute Conditions and Emergencies
    Cardiac events can happen to anyone. In these situations, every second counts. Monitors and other early-warning cardiac equipment can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Physical Fitness Monitoring
    Athletes push their bodies hard, especially when they’re young and establishing their careers. It’s common for them to undergo cardiovascular assessments and monitoring to make sure they’re doing it in a healthy way.
  • Post-Op Monitoring
    This is one of the most important uses of our cardiac monitors, because patients of any age require special post-op attention. Telemetry monitors allow healthcare staff to immediately respond to any cardiac complications – often before it would be externally noticeable.

If you want to learn more about healthcare in Medicine Hat, we’re always engaging with our community and happy to chat. Become a part of our story today!


Cardiac Events in Our Community

How common are things like heart attacks and irregular heartbeats here in our part of Canada? Well, just like in the rest of the world, cardiovascular diseases have a constant impact on virtually anyone in our population. In Alberta, heart disease is the leading cause of death. Much of this comes down to the way we live our lives, with less physical activity and nutrition.

This statistic also means that almost all of us will have some level of experience with a cardiac event. It may be something that happens to you, or to a family member or friend. But it’s virtually guaranteed to touch your life in some way.

What are some cardiac risk factors?

Cardiac events can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. While lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise play a big role, these events are also influenced by things like:

  • genetics
  • pre-existing medical or congenital conditions
  • overall health and wellness
  • environmental factors (e.g., air pollution)

How many people use Alberta ICUs each day?

At any given time, hundreds of Albertans are in need of critical care in ICUs across the province – including some in the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital’s 200+ beds. You can even see these needs for yourself with this update widget.

For healthcare workers like us, we know that these are not just numbers on a page. Each one is a person with a name, a family, and a story. Without the right tools to nurse them back to health, their otherwise normal lives could be forever changed or even cut short. That’s why our cardiac monitors are so important.

How many Canadians experience heart disease?

In 2022, about 2.4 million Canadians had been diagnosed with heart disease. That’s about 20 times the population of the region we serve! It’s become the second leading cause of death in the country, trailing only cancer in its effects. A 2011 report found that nationwide, 9/10 people are jeopardizing their cardiac health through lifestyle choices.

This means cardiac care affects everyone – even if it doesn’t affect us directly. Cardiac events disrupt our families, friend groups, and workplaces. They sabotage our best-laid plans for retirement, career paths, and lifelong hobbies. It pays to be proactive and reinvest back in community preparation.


What Can We Do About It, and Why Should We Do It?

It may sometimes feel like we’re up against something unstoppable – but like most problems, the best way to conquer this one is by working together as a community. In doing so, everyone plays a vital role in helping foundations like the MHHF secure more funding, purchase necessary equipment, and enhance healthcare in the region.

Here’s how you can help make a difference, at any time of year:

  • Become a Monthly Donor
    While it’s good to give once, it’s even better to keep doing it. Monthly donors provide a reliable, predictable source of funding that makes it easier for the Foundation to plan around. However, you can also give in other ways, too – through legacy gifts, gifts-in-kind, donations on behalf of loved ones, and so on. Find out more on our Support page
  • Community Fundraising Events
    Did you know that anyone in the community can organize a charitable event on behalf of the MHHF? These include charity walks, runs, giveaways, or galas, with all funds going toward the Foundation.
  • Partnerships and Sponsorships
    We’re always thrilled to partner with local businesses who offer their encouragement and support to our cause. If you have a company that can provide any kind of sponsorship, reach out and let’s lift each other up!
  • Volunteering
    From the hospital gift shop to major event assistance, our volunteers help keep the Foundation running smoothly. If you want to give back but don’t have the financial means, volunteering is an excellent way to stay involved with the community and show your support in a valuable way.


Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing more interesting facts, updates, and news about cardiac care in Medicine Hat and how it affects the community. If you’d like to contribute to the cause, it’s easier than ever – you can donate over the phone, online, or even by e-transfer! Send us an email at info@ourhealthfoundation.ca to make a difference today!