Heart & Stroke Foundation and Goldcorp Bring Life-saving Programs to Remote Communities

Feb 12, 2016 5:30 PM ET

Goldcorp continues to support efforts by the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) to promote stroke awareness, prevention and treatment in communities surrounding the company’s Red Lake, Porcupine and Musselwhite mines in Ontario and Éléonore mine in Quebec.  In 2014 Goldcorp pledged $605,000 towards programs that support vital regional care and health professional training.

Each year, about 62,000 Canadians suffer strokes, the third highest cause of death in the nation and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. However, many Canadians remain unaware of risk factors and critical steps in diagnosis, treatment and recovery. People residing in rural and remote areas are often at a disadvantage getting to and receiving critical care in a timely matter.  

To address these challenges, Goldcorp and HSF are implementing a three-tiered strategy, including education; specialized training for health workers and community outreach.

The education and awareness component of the program is focused on early warning signs of stroke through HSF’s FAST campaign:

Face drooping; Arm weakness; Speech difficulty; and Time to call 911;

Internally, Goldcorp employees received instruction via videos, Lunch and Learn sessions, and other materials. An online Risk Assessment tool encourages employees to identify personal risk factors for both stroke and heart disease. Data gathered anonymously will help the company create more in-depth training and prevention programs.

But far beyond the reach of Goldcorp employees, FAST campaigns have appeared in regional newspapers, at community health fairs, as well at the Red Lake airport and across many First Nation communities, which has had a profound effect in these remote communities.

“The Heart and Stroke Foundation is proud to have established a partnership with Goldcorp to get FAST messages and stroke prevention best practices out to remote communities in Canada that often don’t have access to that information,” says Mary Lewis, Vice President, Research, Advocacy and Health Promotion.

Goldcorp’s on-site healthcare professionals received specialized training in best practices and stroke management, supplemented by participation in the 2015 Canadian Stroke Congress and the 2015 Heart and Stroke Clinical Update.

Enhanced community outreach in rural and remote areas will help support the integration of communities into regional Telestroke networks to improve stroke outcomes. Telestroke connects communities to stroke experts using teleconference, digital video cameras and Web interfaces via computers, tablets or smartphones.

Together, Goldcorp and HSF are making a positive, lasting impact on lives, families and communities.

For more about HSF, visit heartandstroke.ca.