Our History

Heart Niagara was founded in 1977, by emergency physician and community leader, Dr. Stafford Dobbin. His vision was to improve access to heart-health services in the Niagara region through collaboration and program development.
Heart Niagara was founded by emergency physician and community leader, Dr. Stafford Dobbin.
In 1987, Heart Niagara established the Healthy Heart Schools’ Program (HHSP) – the first ever cardiovascular disease prevention, research, and emergency response training program for Gr. 5, 7, and 9 students in the Niagara region of its kind.

Over the past 30 years, 60,000 people in the Niagara region have been reached and educated on their heart-health through this program. Additionally, data collected from the HHSP has been used to inform over 39+ published medical studies on cardiovascular disease prevention, population prevalence, and lifestyle risk factors.
Heart Niagara published our first community cookbook focused on heart-healthy recipes to celebrate our organization's 20th anniversary.
In 2000, Heart Niagara, together with the Niagara EMS, established the first PAD (Public Access Defibrillator) program in the Niagara region. The objective of this program is to make AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) devices more accessible across the Niagara region. Over the past 20 years, we have successfully placed over 689+ AEDs in public facilities across the Niagara region and continue to work closely with Niagara EMS to maintain an up-to-date registry of publicly available AEDs in the Niagara region.

In addition to maintaining Niagara’s AED registry, Heart Niagara also provides AED maintenance services and AED training classes to local community organizations, businesses, or groups that own an AED.
In 2007, we published a 2nd community cookbook to celebrate our organization's 20th anniversary.
In 2015, we launched HeartCore – an innovative exercise program designed to promote muscle strength and growth with just x2 20-minute exercises per week.
In 2016, we relocated to our current location 4635b Queen St, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 2L7 to accommodate the tremendous growth and expansion our organization had been experiencing in the previous few years.
Heart Niagara published our 3rd heart-healthy recipe community cookbook to commemorate our organization's 40th anniversary.
Today, we continue to deliver all of these services in addition to other programs geared towards increasing physical activity through active transportation, food literacy, risk-factor harm reduction, and community preparedness within the population.