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Heart Foundation proposal wins Ryman Healthcare’s support

The Heart Foundation has teamed up with Ryman Healthcare to create an innovative charity partnership which will promote further research into the causes of cardiovascular disease.

Each year Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator, selects a single major charity partner for all of its fundraising efforts.

Ryman matches dollar-for-dollar any funds raised by residents and staff, and has given away more than $2.5 million to charities over the years, including New Zealand Red Cross, Cancer Society, and the Neurological Foundation.

The Heart Foundation will benefit in the coming year, with Ryman agreeing to fund the setting up of the brand-new Heart Foundation Clinical Fellowship.

Ryman Healthcare Managing Director Simon Challies said the partnership with the Heart Foundation had great potential to make a difference.

“We were delighted to be able to support this proposal because it is a really innovative approach to funding research. We are fundraising to support a lot of hard work that will fill a gap in the research database and also benefit our residents at the same time. It was a standout proposal for us.’’

The money raised will fund a three-year clinical research programme identifying the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) within Ryman Healthcare facilities.

The idea came from an approach to Ryman Healthcare and the Heart Foundation from the Christchurch Heart Institute, a leading cardiovascular research group based at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.

A clinical researcher at the Christchurch Heart Institute will collect data from volunteer residents at Ryman villages. The plan is to survey at least 1000 residents, collecting clinical data and testing them for signs of heart disease.

Residents who take part will be able to learn more about their health and possible cardiovascular risks, and know that they are contributing to a significant national research project.

Heart Foundation Medical Director Gerry Devlin said the charity was thrilled to receive Ryman Healthcare’s support.

“This is a really important study because there’s currently a concerning lack of information about the CVD burden in New Zealand’s elderly population.

“This is especially true for the setting of the aged care/retirement facility sector, which is under constant pressure given our ageing population.”

The idea came from an approach to Ryman Healthcare and the Heart Foundation from the Christchurch Heart Institute, which is part of the Otago School of Medicine.

Associate Professor Chris Pemberton of the Christchurch Heart Institute said: “The CHI is excited to collaborate with Ryman and the Heart Foundation on this project. The spectrum and nature of cardiovascular disease in aged care/retirement facilities in New Zealand is not well understood and we are delighted to bring our recognised expertise in CVD studies to serve the residents in Ryman facilities and provide further support to their high standard of care.”

Cardiovascular disease - including heart, stroke and blood vessel disease - is the leading cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for 30% of deaths annually, according to the Heart Foundation. Almost one in twenty adults or 169,000 New Zealanders have been diagnosed with heart disease.


About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns 30 villages and serves over 9,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia. Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.
Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.

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