Government of Canada invests in new pan-Canadian national heart failure research network

News release

May 3, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of Canada promotes the creation of new knowledge by supporting various areas of research and advances its translation into improved health for Canadians.

To tackle the challenge of heart failure in Canada, Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, announced today, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, funding of $5 million to support a new national research network that will focus on improving the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of heart failure across the country.

Heart failure (HF) is a chronic condition where the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s circulatory and respiratory needs. More than 750,000 people live with HF in Canada, with an estimated 100,000 new cases every year. Heart failure often occurs following a heart attack, from viral and bacterial infections, as a side effect to medications, or from other causes that weaken the heart muscle.

The network, called the Canadian Heart Function Alliance, will be led by Dr. Jean Rouleau at the Montreal Heart Institute. It brings together 100 researchers from across Canada who will strive to halt the progression of HF and understand the mechanisms involved in improving the lives of Canadians at all ages living with HF and other heart conditions. The network also includes Indigenous-led research that will focus on priorities identified by Indigenous leaders and Elders, as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples with lived HF experience.

The network will be grounded in a partnership involving patients and caregivers, health professionals, and health care system experts. In addition to promoting evidence-based care for patients and improving their quality of life, the network will also study ways to better integrate caregivers and technology into the recovery process and expand hospitals’ capacity to provide care from start to finish.

The Government of Canada is supporting this initiative through CIHR in partnership with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Mitacs, and the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


“As a leading cause of chronic illness and death in Canada, heart failure is a condition that  affects at least 750,000 Canadians and that requires renewed research and treatment plans. This funding will support an extraordinary team of over 100 health researchers who will improve the quality of life for Canadians suffering from heart failure.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“I’m thrilled to see the launch of this new research alliance that will make use of existing Canadian and international research strengths while further building capacity for cardiac research and care. Their work will transform how we diagnose and treat heart failure in Canada.”

Adam van Koeverden
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport

“In collaboration with other Institutes at CIHR, the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health continues to engage with research partners to support the future of cardiac research in Canada. This new research network involves researchers, patients and care providers from across Canada committed to exploring all aspects of heart failure, with the ultimate goal of improving prevention, care coordination, access to services and the transition of patients within the health care system. With a focus on Indigenous Peoples, racialized Canadians and those with lived experience, we are confident this network will improve the quality of life for all Canadians living with heart failure.”

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health

“Heart & Stroke is excited to be a partner in this important research network that will help improve prevention, care and the quality of life for the 750,000 Canadians living with heart failure. We need to fight heart failure on all fronts, which is why we are working on an action plan with our partners that will advance research, systems change and support in collaboration with this first-of-its-kind network. The new Heart Failure Research Network is an important aspect of our plan that will help to improve care for those who are living with this complex and incurable condition.”

Doug Roth
CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Quick facts

  • Heart failure is a major chronic illness in Canada, with more than 90,000 new cases diagnosed per year. Heart failure and other heart conditions disproportionately affect Indigenous people, who are 50% more likely to have a heart condition than non-Indigenous Canadians.

  • The Heart Failure Research Network Team Grant is valued at $5 million over five years. The grant was awarded to a team of 100 researchers from across the country, led by Dr. Jean-Lucien Rouleau of the Montreal Heart Institute.

  • The Heart Failure Research Network Team Grant is sponsored by CIHR in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (Heart & Stroke), Mitacs, and the National Institutes of Health – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI)

  • The CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH) supports research into causes, mechanisms, prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, support systems, and palliation for a wide range of conditions associated with the heart, lung, brain (stroke), blood, blood vessels, critical care and sleep.

  • The CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), Institute of Aging (IA), Institute of Health Services and Policy Research IHSPR), and Institute of Infection and Immunity (III) also contributed to support this Network funding opportunity.

Associated links


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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