Minister of Health announces Social Impact Bond for heart and stroke health

News Release

Innovative funding model kicks-off investment to help people manage high blood pressure

October 28, 2016 - Toronto, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

Preventable chronic diseases are often debilitating, impacting Canadians’ mobility and livelihood and placing a significant burden on society. The Government of Canada is committed to working with a range of partners to help Canadians lead healthier lives and to reduce pressure on our health care system.

Today the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced the launch of a new approach to help older Canadians lower their blood pressure, by helping them improve how they manage risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, such as exercise and healthy eating. The Community Hypertension Prevention Initiative (CHPI) supports residents of Ontario and British Columbia who are 60 years or older by giving them access to health coaches, online tracking tools, and referrals to community resources such as walking clubs and community cooking classes.

The initiative, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, is the first time the Government of Canada has used a Social Impact Bond (SIB) in the area of public health. SIBs use a 'pay for success' approach where investors provide the upfront capital to run the project, and the government pays once predetermined outcomes are achieved.

The CHPI was developed in collaboration with the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and is being supported by private and not–for-profit sector investments, as well as Shoppers Drug Mart as the pharmacy provider offering locations to support program intake. PHAC will engage a third-party evaluator to determine the effectiveness of the approach and how it could be applied in the future.

This partnership is a component of the vision for a healthy Canada, a holistic and pragmatic approach to health that focuses on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind.

Quick Facts

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing up to $4 million over 3.5 years in the Community Hypertension Prevention Initiative.
  • Healthy and active lifestyles are key to achieving good heart health. Under the Agency’s Multi-Sectoral Partnerships Approach, the Government of Canada invests approximately $20 million each year in projects that help reduce the risk factors that lead to chronic disease.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians have high blood pressure and another 1 in 5 are on the cusp of hypertension, which is the single most important risk factor for stroke, as well as a key risk factor for heart disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease affects at least 1.6 million Canadian adults (18 years or older) and heart disease and stroke account for 27% of all deaths in Canada.
  • The Community Hypertension Prevention Initiative investors include: Ian Cockwell and Andrew Cockwell, Guy M. Beaudin, Max Bell Foundation, Mindset Social Innovation Foundation, QBE Insurance Group, RBC Generator, TELUS Ventures, The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.


“Our government is working with partners on innovative ways to prevent chronic illness, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Social financing mechanisms can bring governments, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector together on shared public health priorities.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

“Heart & Stroke is proud to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, and our visionary partners and investors – to launch this innovative chronic disease prevention program. The breakthrough funding model and collaborative approach will have a substantial impact in empowering Canadians to improve their health and their lives.”
Doug Roth,
Chief Strategy and Financial Officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

“MaRS Centre for Impact Investing is proud to have helped design a new funding model for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Public Health Agency of Canada to roll out an important preventive health program in Canada. This pay-for-success model represents an important new source of funding for organizations that can demonstrate measurable improvements in pressing social challenges. Just as importantly, by linking payment to a successful outcome, it creates powerful incentives for all parties involved to improve services to help improve the lives of Canadians.”
Adam Jagelewski,
Director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing

Associated Links

Public Health Agency of Canada
Vision for a healthy Canada


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
613 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613 957-2983

Heart and Stroke Foundation:
Teresa Roncon
647 943-3060
C: 416 937-5307

Danielle Klassen
416 673-8152

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