The Heart Health Institute is the oldest cardiology group in Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering. It provides noninvasive testing, cardiac catheterization, PCI, arrhythmia and AICD management including pacemakers plus cardiac consultation to patients in Scarborough and the surrounding community. It was started in 1977 by Dr. James Swan as Westhill Cardiology and was the first private clinic to do 2-D echo in Ontario outside of the hospital environment. He was later joined by Dr. Goode in 1981 and in 2003 by Dr. Dhingra and subsequently Dr. Peter Gladstone and Dr. Jason Burstein. Recently 2 female cardiologists have joined – Dr. Lauren Tobe and Dr. Vineeta Ahooja. In 1998 the name was changed to Rouge Valley Cardiology to reflect the geographical name change fromWesthill to Rouge Valley. In 2012 the name was changed yet again to Heart Health Institute. It has 3 totally integrated practice locations in Toronto with an affiliation with Collingwood Cardiology. The group is actively involved in the education of undergraduate and graduate medical students and many of the cardiologists hold a University of Toronto appointment in the faculty of medicine. All of the cardiologists participate in cardiac research, patient education, and education of community physicians and provide cardiac care for patients at Centenary hospital, Scarborough General and the Ajax hospital.
The Heart Health Institute has been an international leader in the computerization of noninvasive cardiac testing and is responsible for one program that is now used worldwide in noninvasive testing. They have been pioneers in using artificial intelligence to standardize cardiology reporting and reduce reporting turnaround time and improve patient care. They were one of the first clinics in the world to integrate 3-D echocardiography into the daily pattern of practice. They are actively involved in training echocardiographers from Mohawk College and also offer short courses to other physicians to learn some of the new technologies involved with contrast echo, stress echo, 3-D echo and speckle tracking. The Heart Health Institute welcomes family physicians to spend a day or less to see how the noninvasive testing is done and reported and also to see how the new technologies are changing how we manage cardiac patients.