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Canadian Heart Function (CHF) Alliance

The CHF Alliance is a national research network that brings together the Canada's heart failure (HF) researchers and clinical experts with patients, caregivers, Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Holders, government, policy makers, knowledge users, non-for-profit organizations, health care providers, academic institutions and industry partners to improve the prediction, prevention, diagnosis, and management of HF. The Alliance is patient-driven and spans the patient lifecycle, from children to the elderly, from rural to urban, across geographic and socioeconomic barriers. It includes innovative, research projects within an integrated program and leverages clinical expertise, industry partnerships and access to large cohort data.

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The CHF Alliance was developed, from its inception, in partnership with people with lived experience and is led by a team of internationally recognized clinician-scientists and a HF patient (see Governance for more details about the CHF Alliance lead team).



The CHF Alliance is supported and hosted at the Montreal Heart Institute.

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A network of networks

In addition of being a research network, the CHF Alliance is a network of networks. On a daily basis, we network networks to create sustainable infrastructures that will serve the whole HF community, including patients, physicians, researchers, and all other HF stakeholders. These infrastructures includes to the Patient Partner Platform, Mitewekan and an Open Science initiative that will allow researchers to easily access public HF data in a well controlled way.

CHF Alliance is built on patient priorities

To identify and address patient priorities, the patient engagement cross-cutting theme leaders conducted a patient priorities survey, consulted HeartLife's priorities, and analyzed data from the UK HF James Lind Alliance Process. These priorities were adopted by the CHF Alliance as research priorities and include: receiving a prompt and accurate diagnosis, improving access to and equity of care, self-management and empowerment, improving access to reliable information, lifestyle issues, mental health, sex and exercise, virtual care and innovative interventions.

Canadian Heart Function Alliance Research Structure

The CHF Alliance is structured around 4 national teams, 7 cross cutting themes and 2 collaborative projects.

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National teams 

The translational science team focuses on inflammation in HF, HF phenotypes, and ageing and co-morbidities. It supports existing cohorts and creates new collaborations to improve knowlege of HF and make existing data more accessible.  
Leads: Dr. Philip Joseph, PHRI and Dr. Eileen O'Meara, MHI.

The pediatric team develops and validates an AI-based model for diagnosing diastolic HF in children, implements remote physical monitoring to assess feasibility and utility in pediatric cardiomyopathies and develops a mentoring program to improve self-management in adolescent and transitioning patients.
Leads: Dr. Seema Mital and Dr. Aamir Jeewa, SickKids. 

The access team empowers patients to improve HF care, improves early diagnosis and prevention of HF in primary care, and improves access to data to better inform and engage patients, caregivers and decision makers. 
Lead: Dr. Sean Virani, Vancouver General Hospital.

The Indigenous team develops an Indigenous People's Engagement and Research Council for HF research (HF-IPERC), as well as projects to identify patients at risk for or with undiagnosed HF and  to improve the quality and access to care in Indigenous communities.  
Leads: Drs. Alexandra King and Malcolm King, University of Saskatchewan.

Collaborative projects

The RV/N2 project identifies new therapies for right ventricular failure and works on a better understanding of the metabolomic adaptation of the right ventricle in response to chronic stress. 
Lead: Dr. Duncan Stewart, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

The HOPE-HF project ensures the provision of proven therapies through primary care integration and virtual follow-up.
Lead: Dr. Robert McKelvie from Western University. 

Cross-cutting themes

The Patient Engagement theme promotes patient engagement and empowerment across the network's activities, from research to care.
Leads: Dr. Davina Banner-Lukaris, University of Northern British Columbia and Sylvain Bedard, CEPPP.

Data Management centralizes network data for a better management and accessibility.
Lead: Michael Harvey, Newfoundland and Labrador Government. 

Training and Capacity develops a training platform to provide training and mentoring tools to CHF Alliance members. Financial support is also offered to CHF Alliance trainees and early career investigators through trainee awards and grant competitions. 
Lead: Dr. John Parker, the University of Toronto. 

The Health Disparities, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion theme ensures diversity, equity and inclusion within the network.
Lead: Dr. Michael MCGillion, McMaster University.

The First Nations, Inuit and Métis theme, with the IPERC'S guidance, interweaves Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing with Western science and works with Indigenous peoples to improve the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of HF.
Leads: Drs. Alexandra King and Malcolm King, University od Saskatchewan. 

Knowledge mobilization develops and creates content and develops customized approaches in consultation with target audience.
Lead: Dr. Brian Clarke, Providence Health.

The precision health and AI theme leverages next generation "omics" coupled with social, behavioural and lifestyle factors to inform precision health strategies and implement AI and digital solutions in the diagnosis and management of HF.
Lead: Dr. Seema Mital, SickKids

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