Croi Christmas Cards Hit the Shelves!

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Croí­ have just launched their 2016 Christmas Card Collection which offer a selection of festive designs which includes seasonal images of Galway donated by Loughrea photographer Joe Crean. This year’s Croí­ Christmas Cards are available in packs of 12 and retail at just €6.99 per pack. In this year’s Croí­ Collection, there are beautiful winter scenes from Tuam and Gort, Co Galway together with a night scene of Quay Street and other Christmas images including a classical Madonna & Child. Pictured at the launch of this year’s Croí­ Christmas Card Collection and getting their letters to Santa ready for post early this year are the Treacy sisters from Galway (left to right); Isabelle (5) Samantha (8) and Annaliese (6) Croí­ Cards are available from usual outlets throughout Galway City and County; from the Croí­ Heart & Stroke Centre, Newcastle, Galway or on-line at

Croi Night Run Big Fundraising Success!

The recent Croi Night Run on the Prom which attracted over 1,000 walkers & runners has yielded over €44,000 for the Charity. “The event was a phenomenal success and we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who made this possible, especially our sponsors Evergreen Health Foods” says Croi’s Neil Johnson.

Pictured at the presentation of proceeds from the Croi Night Run on the Prom, sponsored by Evergreen Health Foods, photo shows (left to right): Sarah Burke, Joe Kavanagh, Edwina Treacy Croi, Aideen & Kieran Hurley, Evergreen Health Foods, Neil Johnson and Shauna Thornton, Croi

Homemade vegetable soup

Homemade vegetable soup

Suitable for vegetarians

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet but also taste fantastic, especially when made into soup. This soup is very easy to make – even if you have never cooked.

Ingredients – Serves 3 Adults

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and thyme. You can use dried but fresh always gives a better flavour
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 8g / ¼ oz. margarine
  • 850ml / 1½ pints of vegetable stock


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the margarine in a large saucepan
  2. Chop the onion, carrot, celery, leek and turnip into small pieces, around 1cm cubes
  3. Sauté all the vegetables in the oil for 10 to 15 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally
  4. Then add the chopped clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of herbs and 1½ pints of vegetable stock
  5. Bring the soup to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes
  6. Taste it to see if it needs extra salt or pepper
  7. You can eat the soup as it is or cook it for another 20 minutes and liquidise it to make a smooth soup
  8. Add some chopped fresh parsley and serve

Serving Suggestions

Serve with whole meal crusty bread

Vegetable soup can also be made with chicken stock for extra flavour

– See more at:

Heart Failure Community calls on Government to prioritise ‘forgotten’ illness which will effect 1 in 5 people in Ireland

Heart Failure Community Calls on Government to Prioritise ‘Forgotten’ Illness Which Will Affect 1 in 5 People in Ireland

A new report finds that treatment of Heart Failure is no longer a lost cause and recommends a framework to improve the lives of 90,000 affected by heart failure. Heart Failure is a serious, but forgotten, chronic condition which carries a huge cost of €660 million per year to Irish society. ​ Heart Failure is the leading cause of hospitalisations in Ireland1 yet just 7% of people in Ireland can identify symptoms of Heart Failure.

Pictured at the launch are L to R Minister Sean Kyne, TD, Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin, Chairman Heartbeat Trust and Kevin O’ Reilly Chairman Croi, Heart & Stroke Charity.

Click here to read full report.

Monday 21st November, 2016: The treatment of Heart Failure, a ‘forgotten’ chronic condition, is no longer a lost cause, according to the authors of a new report entitled ‘Heart Failure Country Barometer: Ireland’. The report outlines four key policy priorities and calls on the Government to implement this framework to improve the lives of 90,000 people affected by Heart Failure6.

Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Sean Kyne, TD officially launched, and contributed to, the report which, most importantly, provides solutions to this major health challenge which costs the state €660 million per year1. Heart Failure, a serious and often debilitating chronic condition, has a worse prognosis than many of the most common forms of cancer and can lead to poor quality of life for those affected4.

Speaking at the launch meeting,Minister Sean Kyne, TD said, “For too long Heart Failure has been the forgotten condition in health policy in Ireland, despite its impact on patients’ lives and the economy. Today, we have outlined the current situation in Ireland and highlighted the unmet needs of both the medical and patient Heart Failure community. The burden of Heart Failure will only increase in years to come so we must make Heart Failure a truly national priority now, and implement the recommendations put forward in this Barometer report.”

Pictured at the launch are L to R Minister Sean Kyne, TD, Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin, Chairman Heartbeat Trust and Kevin O’ Reilly Chairman Croi, Heart & Stroke Charity.

The ‘Heart Failure Country Barometer: Ireland’ report, developed by Croí, the Heartbeat Trust, and supported by Novartis, with contributions from medical professionals, patients and advocacy experts, highlights four key policies to prioritise and recommends how to achieve them:

  1. Make Heart Failure a national priority: Explicitly mention Heart Failure within existing chronic disease policies and ensure there are sufficient resources to implement the HSE’s National Clinical Program for Heart Failure on a national level, with adequate funding for both GP and hospital care.


  1. Prioritise speedy diagnosis and treatment: Ensure that patients with symptoms of heart failure are diagnosed as early as possible, without delay.


  1. Ensure consistent and coordinated patient care: Create a coordinated, community-based national program between the hospital and community care at general practice level to provide patients greater continuity of care and encourage patient self-management.


  1. Increase awareness and understanding of Heart Failure: Support a national HF prevention program by raising public awareness of the risk of developing HF and ensuring access to high quality information and support for both the public and the medical profession.

Commenting on the report,Professor Ken McDonald, Consultant Cardiologist and National Clinical Lead for Heart Failure said, “Chronic illness threatens to overrun our healthcare system. Heart Failure, as the most complex of these illnesses, can be used as a pilot to establish effective methods of managing chronic diseases, primarily in the community, with the support of hospital-based specialists, when needed. A large number of premature deaths still occur as a result of lack of knowledge of Heart Failure and its symptoms. Better recognition would prompt people to seek treatment at an earlier stage, leading to more accurate diagnosis, decreased risk of hospitalisations and improved survival rates.Most types of Heart Failure are preventable, patients who are treated early can significantly improve their outcome. The policy asks we are calling for will improve the prevention, treatment and management of Heart Failure in Ireland.”

Neil Johnson, Chief Executive, Croísaid, “This report brings together medical expertise, patient insights, advocacy experience and economic data to create a framework for our Government to improve the lives of those affected by Heart Failure in Ireland. The burden that Heart Failure can have on patients’ lives, and the State, needs to be improved as Heart Failure treatment is no longer a lost cause. We know what we need to do to protect 90,000 hearts in Ireland, and the additional 10,000 newly diagnosed each year. Now we must do it.”

In Europe, 15 million people live with Heart Failure. Currently there is no EU-wide strategy supporting public awareness, prevention, diagnosis and management of Heart Failure. Strong leadership by European and national policy makers is essential to reduce the future burden of the condition. In October, a new Written Declaration on Heart Failure was launched in the European parliament, in partnership with patients, professionals and parliamentarians.Irish MEPs Mairead McGuinness and Nessa Childers are supporting the Written Declaration on Heart Failure.

For more information, and to read the full framework of policy priorities, visit / / and follow #heartfailure #changeHFpolicy.

Croí wins at Irish Medical Times Health Care Awards

We’re delighted to announce that for the third successive year Croí have winners in the Student Project of the Year category as part of the Irish Medical Times Health Care awards. Dr. Liam Martin a graduate from NUI Galway won the prestigious award for his novel research entitled ‘The Galway Taxi Driver Study’ which he conducted as part of his MSc in Preventive Cardiology, a Croí, NUIG collaboration.

The Croí CLANN (Changing Lifestyle through Activity and Nutrition) programme was a winner in the best patient educational category. The programme which is a collaboration with Dr. Francis Finucane at the Bariatric Medicine service is a dynamic 10-week intensive lifestyle intervention designed to help individuals achieve a healthy weight and shape. To date over 400 people from across the West of Ireland have engaged in this evidence-based programme, which yields very positive results across both lifestyle and medical risk factors.

Pictured at the awards are (L to R) Dr. Francis Finucane, Ailish Houlihan, Croí, Bobby Kerr, Ainne Costelloe, Croí and Dr. Liam Martin.

What is fat ?

What is fat?

We all need a small portion of fat in our diet, but fat is considered to be less healthy than other nutrients as is can raise our blood cholesterol, increase our risk to heart disease and are high in calories which can lead to weight gain.

Top tips on reducing your fat intake:

  • Choose healthier cooking methods – bake, boil, poach or grill food rather than fry.
  • Choose healthy oils when cooking e.g. rapeseed oil and use sparingly.
  • Substitute full fat for low fat products. Remember low fat dairy has the same amount of calcium as full fat dairy.
  • Limit red meat intake – maximum 3 times per week. 1 portion of red meat should be no bigger than the palm of your hand. Remember ham counts as a red meat!
  • Replace red meat with chicken, turkey, fish, eggs or beans.

Note: Low fat diary has the same amount of calcium as full fat diary. Focus on getting your calcium from low fat milk and yoghurts, as opposed to cheese.

Choking & First Aid

Choking Management

Choking in any age group is a life-threatening emergency and must be recognised and responded to as quickly as possible.

Signs of severe choking:

  • Sudden onset of distress
  • Universal sign of choking – holding both hands around front of the neck/throat
  • Unable to cough effectively
  • Unable to speak or breathe
  • Possible bluish-purple colour around the lips

There may also be evidence that the person was eating before the onset of symptoms or in the case of children, they may have been playing with small objects.

Action – Choking adult or child over 1 year old:

  • Immediately confirm if the victim is choking by asking them: ‘Are you choking?’
  • Tell them you are going to help.
  • Stand closely behind the victim and wrap your arms around their waist.
  • Locate the victim’s bellybutton in front; this helps with correct positioning for your fist.
  • Make a fist with your other hand, turn it and place it thumb-side against the victim’s belly directly above the bellybutton.
  • Start delivering quick inward and upward thrusts into the belly in order to create an upward force to help remove the object.
  • Continue to deliver thrusts as many times as is necessary while the victim remains conscious.

This technique, known as the Heimlich Manoeuvre must only be performed on a conscious choking victim.

Action – Choking infant under 1 year old:

  • A choking infant may appear pale with bluish lips and cannot cry or breathe.
  • Sit with the infant lying face-down along one of your arms using your thigh as a support, and ensure you support the infant’s head by placing your hand underneath the jaw.
  • Keep the infant’s head low.
  • Using the heel of your other hand, begin to deliver sharp back-slaps between the infant’s shoulder blades 5 times.
  • If this is unsuccessful, turn the infant over onto his/her back along your opposite arm, supporting the head.
  • Using 2 fingers, place them side by side in the centre of the infant’s chest and push downward 5 times.
  • Continue to alternate between back-slaps and chest thrusts until you successfully remove the object and they can cry/breathe again.
  • This technique should only be used on a conscious choking infant.

If these techniques are successful, you should see the object eject forcefully from the victim’s mouth and they can begin to breathe/cough/speak again. It is advised to have the victim checked over by a healthcare provider.

Remember, if any choking victim loses consciousness, becomes unresponsive and stops breathing normally, you must call 999 or 112 for an ambulance and begin to provide CPR until the ambulance arrives or the victim shows definite signs of life.

To learn more about life saving training click here.

Tips to help you and your family start eating healthier

Healthy habits start at home, We want to help people establish a healthier way of life so they can be around to enjoy their families. Parents and grandparents can pass down a healthy legacy to their children and grandchildren – and we can help the next generation lead better, longer and healthier lives.” Dr. Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., Chairperson of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee and Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont.

Here are some tips to help you and your family start eating healthier:

  • Enjoy meals together. When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much.
  • Get kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.
  • Eating healthier at home starts with the ingredients you use. Many favorite recipes can be made healthier by substituting ingredients.
  • When you use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose healthier oils — which include canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils.
  • Limit added sugars in your family’s diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars for most of us, so reduce or cut out soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks as well as enhanced waters, sweetened teas and sugary coffee drinks. Drink more plain water instead.
  • Try to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. If using packaged foods, compare food labels, and choose the product with the least amount of sodium. Use herbs and spices to add flavor when cooking, instead of salt.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, whether fresh, frozen, dried or canned. Add them to dishes your family already loves and use them as healthier sides, snacks and desserts. If you choose canned, watch for added sodium and sugars.

Source – Americian Heart Association

Darragh Kenny 4th Annual Memorial Cycle for Croí.

Wind and rain did not stop family, friends and colleagues of the late Darragh Kenny come out in force on August 20th to support the 4th Annual Darragh Kenny Memorial Cycle. The charity event is organised by friends and family of the late Darragh Kenny who suddenly passed away in January 2013. Darragh worked as a prison officer at Mountjoy Prison, and many of his colleagues joined his family and hometown friends in the memorial cycle. €14,210 was raised from this year’s event with the proceeds going to Croi Heart and Stroke to help the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.

Pictured at the cheque presentation to Croi were

(L to R) Dermot Kelly, Liam Kenny, Ronan Gannon, Edwina Treacy (Croi Fundraising Manager), Nicola O’ Sullivan, Fidelma Kenny, Owen O’ Connor, Ciara Gallagher, Aidan O’Sullivan, Sarah Coffey and Gerry Kennan.

Annual Charlestown Run giving something back to the community

Over 200 vintage tractors, cars, bikes, lorries and trucks took part in the annual Eugene McLoughlin Charlestown Memorial Run in August this year. The event is etched into the calendar at Charlestown coming in as the second largest event of its kind in Ireland. The committee, made up of family and friends of the late Mr. McLoughlin have their eyes set on it becoming the largest event of its kind in Ireland in August 2017. Croí, represented by Edwina Treacy, Fundraising Manager stated “It’s community events like this run that are at the heart of Croí, without them we would not be able to further improve the quality of life of those who come to us in Croi or offer emergency family accommodation so close to University College Hospital Galway for families at a time when they need it most. This year alone we have helped over 60 families with emergency accommodation – 15 of whom are from Mayo”

Pictured at the cheque presentation are members of the committee – friends and family of the late Mr. McLoughlin