Ireland’s first centre for the prevention of heart disease and stroke opened by Taoiseach

Ireland’s first purpose built centre dedicated to curbing the presence of cardiovascular disease and stroke in Ireland was officially opened by Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, at Croí House on Friday last

The Croí Heart and Stroke Centre at Croí House, located in Moyola Lane, Newcastle, Galway is powered by a staff of 14 highly qualified full-time employers, eight part-time workers, and a network of community volunteers supporting the initiative.

This newly installed centre mirrors the health and wellbeing centres that are found in the United States, eg, The Dan Abraham Healthy Living Centre in the Mayo Clinic. What differentiates the Croí centre from that model is that it is entirely detached from the hospital facility. It is a community based and coummunity led initiative that is not funded by the Governement. A fundraising programme was devised independently to raise the capital sum required. The local construction industry benefited greatly from the building of the property.

The new premises comprises a large exercise and fitness centre where the specially trained staff work with people at risk of, or recovering from, heart and stroke events. Exercise programmes are designed so they can be replicated in the home. Courses like yoga, specific to stroke and heart patients, run alongside general fitness programmes at the centre. The Croí Heart & Stroke Centre also has conference and training rooms with video conferencing facilities, allowing the institute to link in with universities, hospitals, and training centres around the world. Training rooms are equipped to deliver life-saving courses in CPR, defibrillation, stroke recognition, and choking resuscitation to a wide variety of groups, from allied health care professionals, community groups, through to mums and toddler groups.

There are three self-contained accommodation units on site, so that families in need may stay close to the hospital while a loved one is undergoing surgery, or is receiving stroke or coronary care. Each unit features a large double bedroom, and kitchen-cum-living room, and has its own private entrance which is just a 10 minute walk from the hospital. Over the past two months, these apartments have been continuously occupied by family members who need to be close to a loved one who is gravely or terminally ill. Equally, the apartments are being used by recovering patients who require a place to stay before they travel onwards to their homes which are at a distance from Galway .

Since 2009, Croí has been to the forefront in Ireland in leading initiatives in prevention and rehabilitation, by delivering evidence based interventions which are directly in keeping with the recently launched 2012 European Prevention Guidelines and the Irish National Cardiovascular Disease Strategy. Its primary function is to prevent the public from contracting heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Croí also aims to aid in the rehabilitation process for patients who have been struck by these illnesses.


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