What We Do

I-HEART Centre (Indigenous Health Education Access Research Training)


What is the I-HEART Centre

The I-HEART (Indigenous Health Education Access Research Training) Centre vision is to enhance cardiovascular health and well being for Indigenous Peoples. The mission is to support improved cardiovascular health by concentrating on the role of research and capacity building. I-HEART aims to integrate the social and economic influences that shape health risks and disease progression, to promote achieving optimal health through early life interventions and through all developmental stages of life’s progression, to improving access to health care by cultivating culturally safe cardiovascular services and programs while tackling the geographic challenge of providing rural and remote access to some of the most vulnerable communities. The I-HEART Centre focus is on education by promoting Indigenous health information dissemination and its application to inform new policy and programs aimed at alleviating chronic cardiovascular health conditions including the sharing of promising community innovation and practices for rehabilitation and aftercare.  Advanced knowledge creation and research to improve health outcomes will involve new and ancient indigenous ways of knowing related to prevention and wellness, promotion of food security and healthy diets including traditional foods, reclaiming the health benefits of regular physical activity, respecting tobacco, and managing other health conditions though better-quality treatment and care for chronic illness and conditions such as diabetes and obesity, blood pressure control, tobacco misuse, mental health and substance misuse, lung and kidney disease and improved management of cholesterol. The I-HEART Centre will support future generations of health professionals through training and mentoring, creating student and community informed research networks and collaborations across health professions and health sciences disciplines within British Columbia, the Yukon Territory across Canada and internationally.


First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul’s and SFU


Embracing innovation, the First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness works with communities to research health promotion and disease prevention that integrate First Nations history, culture to better understand risk factors informed by social and economic circumstances which produce health outcomes. Advancing health knowledge for improved treatment and care, developing healthy public policies, articulating strategy and support innovative programs are key to improved well-being. Dr. Jeff Reading, a leading international expert in Indigenous health, is the inaugural First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul’s. Dr. Reading’s work is guided by health equity and a commitment to building capacity by supporting the next generation of health practitioners, scientists. Jeff was CIHR’s founding Scientific Director of the Institute for Aboriginal Peoples Health (2000-2008), dedicated to advanced health research and its application in BC, Canada and globally.