Heart Health Institute (HHI) is the oldest cardiology group in the Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering area. We provide General Cardiology Consultation services as well as non-invasive cardiac diagnostic testing to patients in Scarborough and the surrounding communities.
Dr. James Swan initially founded the organization as Westhill Cardiology in 1977 and was the first private clinic to do two-dimensional echocardiography in Ontario outside of the hospital environment. In 2012 the name was changed to Heart Health Institute. The group is actively involved in the education and training of cardiac sonographers as well post-graduate cardiology residents; many of the cardiologists hold a University of Toronto appointment in the faculty of medicine.
All of the cardiologists provide acute inpatient and outpatient clinical cardiac care for patients at Scarborough Health Network (Centenary and General sites) as well as Lakeridge Health – Ajax site. They also participate in cardiovascular diseases research, patient education, and education of community physicians.
Heart Health Institute has been a community leader in the digitization of non-invasive cardiac diagnostic test reporting. Along with Transthoracic Echocardiography, both Exercise (treadmill and bicycle) and Dobutamine Stress Echocardiograms are performed. We have been pioneers in using artificial intelligence to standardize cardiology reporting and reduce reporting turnaround time and improve patient care. We now routinely integrate three-dimensional and contrast echocardiography into daily practice.
Today we are 11 Cardiology partners with various cardiology sub-specializations including: Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Imaging, and Electrophysiology. As well, we routinely share patient care with Respirology and Endocrinology specialists who see and treat patients at HHI.
About Dr. Jim Swan.
Dr. Swan graduated from Queen’s University and did his residency training in internal medicine and cardiology in Toronto. He undertook postgraduate training at Emory University in Atlanta in cardiac ultrasound and returned to Canada in 1977 to introduce 2-dimensional echocardiography.
He held an appointment in the Division of Cardiology of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto since 1977 and appointments in the Divisions of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital, Rouge Valley Health System, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Toronto East General Hospital, North York General Hospital and the Barrie Royal Victoria Hospital.
Dr. Swan was a founding member of the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario and was instrumental in setting up one of the first non-University cath labs in Canada, at Centenary Hospital in 1986. He was also active in the Ontario Medical Association serving as chair of the Section on Cardiology, and participating on numerous committees including the Central Tariff Committee and the tripartite Diagnostic Service Committee.
Dr. Swan was a leader in developing new digital technologies in his cardiac ultrasound lab in Scarborough, which are now used at major institutions throughout the world to improve cardiac patient care. He continued to perform diagnostic cardiac catheterization services and non-invasive cardiac testing and deliver cardiac care to patients in Scarborough, Ajax and Collingwood until last year.
An avid hockey player, Dr. Swan was team cardiologist for the NHL Old Timers in the ’70s and ’80s. In recent years, he was involved with the University of Toronto’s Global Surgery program travelling to China, Nunavut and Jamaica participating in medical exchanges and advancing patient care at home and abroad. He was also involved in acquiring and distributing personal protective equipment to healthcare organizations across Canada to help meet increased demand brought on by COVID-19. He was instrumental in establishing a fund at the University of Toronto to help find the genetic causes of glioblastoma in order to prevent others from developing the disease.