Women's Cardiovascular Health Initiative (WCHI) is Canada's first comprehensive assessment and lifestyle program for women with existing or potential heart problems. The program opened its doors in 1996 to provide cardiac rehabilitation for women. We are fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, actively training health-care professionals of the future.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women. Our evidence-based cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet the unique needs of women living with, or at risk for heart disease. Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to improve the quality of life and ability to maintain activity. A multidisciplinary health care team provides risk factor modification counselling services and education sessions and participants are offered enrollment into a women's exercise training program. Our program also conducts innovative research focused on women and heart disease.
Unique features of WCHI include:
- small group sessions
- a relaxed atmosphere in a safe and comfortable setting
- individual exercise programs to follow in class and at home
- personal reports on each woman's health
- "state of the art" monitoring equipment
- hormone replacement therapy (HRT) counselling
- a support group, so women can meet others with similar health concerns
- a culturally sensitive environment
- a convenient downtown Toronto location
A physician referral (.pdf) is required.
We charge a small program fee for services that are not covered by OHIP. This fee may be waived as necessary.
Our team consists of Advance Practice Nurses, Physiotherapists, Registered Kinesiologists, Social Work, Dietitian, and access to Cardiologists, Pharmacy and Respiratory Therapists.