The UBC HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION CLUB is a group of passionate student volunteers who endorse the Heart and Stroke Foundation's message in both words and actions. We aim to foster research interest in cardiovascular disease; provide financial and volunteer support for heart- and stroke-related initiatives; and promote health and wellness within the university community.
The UBC HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION CLUB aspires to build:
"A vibrant community of strong, heart-healthy scholars"
Vibrant community: We envision UBC as a group of people who are alive, teeming with energy and passion - attesting to a sound mind and sound body.
Strong and heart-healthy: We want to see UBC students, faculty and staff become committed to adopting a healthy lifestyle consisting of a proper diet, adequate exercise and good habits (e.g. avoiding smoking, minimizing stress, going for regular check-ups as necessary etc). Using our awareness campaigns, we hope to inspire others to deliberately care for their heart, and to understand that valuing their heart and its health is the right start to valuing the gift of life.
Scholars: Members of the UBC community are dedicated to the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge; we endeavour to make the same community equally interested in learning more about - and appreciating - the wonders of the heart and brain, either through academic or non-academic endeavours. We seek to achieve this by providing educational materials and tools from the Heart and Stroke Foundation to the public, through our Research Match service and by hosting our annual Research Night.
The UBC HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION CLUB dates back to January 27, 2003 when the club was formally constituted by the Student Administrative Commission of the UBC Alma Mater Society. At the time of its founding, the club was composed of a small cohort of UBC students, most of whom met in Grade 11 through the Heart & Stroke High School Summer Research Program (HSSRP). Under the leadership of Mariko Welch, the club's founder and first president, UBC HSF grew rapidly from an executive team of 7 close friends, to more than 150 members and volunteers within the first year alone. Most of those members hailed from the Faculty of Science, a trend that perpetuates until present day. Despite this, the club has become noticeably more diverse over the years, attracting members and executives from a variety of disciplines and faculties, such as Arts, Kinesiology or Commerce.
Like many growing organizations, the UBC HSF went through a number of name changes over the last 10 years. The club used to go by other designations such as "Heart and Stroke Foundation Community Team" and the simpler "UBC Heart Club". Nevertheless, one thing has never changed, and that is the love our club members have for community service, cardiovascular disease prevention and nutrition education, and cardiovascular research. Having been identified since the time of our establishment, this zeal ties us to our founding members and also every group of members since then. It is a core value that unites us as a club and is reflected in our mission statement today.
The UBC HSF is not just isolated to working on campus; since the beginning, the club has also been involved in off-campus activities where the Heart & Stroke Foundation is considered a partner or beneficiary. By volunteering with us at community events such as the BMO Marathon, a number of UBC HSF members managed to expand their networks throughout the Lower Mainland and even work for the Foundation itself. Many of the club's former executives and members have also since entered - or are currently in - the fields of medicine, nursing, nutrition/dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacy, psychiatry, and biomedical research, both here and abroad.
More than 10 years after being founded, the UBC HSF is still going strong and remains incredibly active.