Community Health and lifestyle Project being led by Croí

Bhí áthas orainn a bheith páirteach sa lá seo innié, “Lá Sláinte na Mara” i Scoill na bhForbacha, Gaillimh. Lá iontach ar fád!


Croí Health Team spent a wonderful sunny Sunday afternoon  in the company of  the parents and pupils at Scoil na bforbacha in what is quite possibly the BEST location of any school  on the Island of Ireland. What lucky children  they are to have such a stunning location to spend their school days!!

The event was launched by Connemara Councillor and, Cathaoirleach for Galway County Council  Seán Ó Tuairisg. He sat down with Croí Nurse Ruth to chat about the risk factors for  Heart Disease in our communities and the importance of  knowing your numbers in relation to Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and BMI.






Furbo native Bernadette White,  her husband  Frank and their three children,  twins, Saoirse and Oisin 5 ½ yrs old and Colm 3 yrs met with the Croí Health Team to chat about all things health related from Blood Pressure to BMI to the importance of  good nutrition and healthy eating habits in order to build a healthy foundation for children.



Over the next 6 months  Galway County Local Community Development Committee  ( LCDC) will roll

Gertie, Tosca and Ruth  with Councillor O Tuairsig and Ann Mallaghan, Social Inclusion Officer, Galway Co Co.

out a programme of activities in collaboration with a wide range of local communities and groups.  With the help of funding from Healthy Ireland, staff from the Social Inclusion Unit of Galway County Council

will work with a number of partners to support more communities to run local events to promote Health and Well-being.  One such project is  the Community Health and lifestyle Project being led by Croí who as part of this initiative provided FREE BP, Pulse, BMI checks and lifestyle advice at Lá Sláinte na Mara on Sunday. In the coming  months Croí will be coordinating the delivery of a number of health checks and  interventions by tutors with the expertise to help participants improve their  attitude to lifestyle, diet, and overall physical and mental well-being.


‘Make Your Heart a Promise’ this Month with Croí

September is World Heart Month and the President of the World Heart Federation, Prof David Wood was in Galway this week to support Croí who are focused on highlighting the need to understand and manage your blood pressure as part of a global campaign to promote heart health.

(Left to right); Neil Johnson, Croí; Prof David Wood, President, World Heart Federation and Irene Gibson, Croí Prevention Nurse Lead & Director of Programmes.

Recent research conducted by Croí shows that among 2,372 people across the West of Ireland (screened across 44 locations) 43% had a blood pressure measurement above the recommended target of 140/90mmHg. Surprisingly, among a sub-set of this group, as many as 70% of people did not know what the recommended blood pressure target for a healthy heart and brain is;  over 50% did do not know what the term ‘hypertension’ (high blood pressure) means, and many believed incorrectly that you would know if your blood pressure was high without having it measured.


Announcing these findings, Croí Prevention Nurse Lead & Director of Programmes, Irene Gibson says “These findings revealed a poor knowledge and awareness of blood pressure and its importance for heart and brain health among those already diagnosed with high blood pressure which is worrying . High blood pressure is estimated to be responsible for at least 25% of heart attacks in Europe and is the leading cause of death worldwide. Our aim for the month of September is to screen over  1,000 people across the West of Ireland for high blood pressure”.

In support of the World Heart Federation My Heart Your Heart global campaign, Croí are asking people to make a heart promise –  a promise to check their blood pressure, eat more healthily,  get more active and to say No to smoking. Over the month of September Croí will be delivering a series of blood pressure and pulse check awareness days in collaboration with community partners,  Galway County Local Community Development Committee & Evergreen Healthfoods. Free Blood Pressure Checks will offered at the following locations, throughout the month of September (check locally for times or call Croí on 091-544310 for further details)

  • Thursday 13th of September –Evergreen Healthfoods, Mainguard Street, Galway
  • Thursday 20th September –  Ballymacward and Gurteen Social Club
  • Thursday 20th of September –Evergreen Healthfoods, Eyre Square Shopping Centre
  • Saturday 22nd of September –Evergreen Healthfoods, Oranmore
  • Thursday 27th of September –Evergreen Healthfoods, Galway Shopping Centre
  • Friday 28th of September –Eyre Square Shopping centre in association with Boston Scientific
  • Saturday 29th September – Ardrahan GAA Club



Croí attends ‘Think Tank’ with the Global Coalition on Ageing

Croí CEO Neil Johnson will attend a ‘Think Tank’ with the Global Coalition on Ageing on ‘Reframing Heart Failure’ – connecting heart failure to ageing as a driver for re-framing and re-imagining the condition. The increasing global prevalence of heart failure, driven by demographic ageing, highlights the urgency of raising the visibility and priority of this condition and the need to address it in new ways.

The global conversation on Ageing and Health holds more potential for achieving transformative change today than ever before, partly as a consequence of the new World Health Organization Ageing and Health Strategy and the Decade of Healthy Ageing: 2020-2030. One of the strategy’s top priorities is to address the growing societal and often self-inflicted ageism against older people; the strategy calls for a campaign to change this culture of ageism. In this context, cardiovascular conditions – with their close association with aging – are too often assumed to be a normal part of aging. While cardiovascular conditions like Heart Failure do in fact increase in prevalence with age, steps can be taken to prevent and treat and these conditions. By addressing this ageism and the stigma associated with many of the health conditions that increase with age – we can bring Heart Failure out of the shadows, more fully understand its impact, and encourage better detection, diagnosis and treatment.


Three Key Challenges in re-framing HF


  • Heart Failure is not prioritized by key stakeholders because it is not well understood by those most affected, including patients themselves
  • Heart Failure is often dismissed a normal part of aging, which results in patients falling victim to ageism – from society, healthcare providers and themselves
  • Communication around Heart Failure is challenging because of the complexity of the condition.

To learn more about Heart Failure click here.

Croí represents Ireland at European Parliament

Croí is representing Ireland as part of a European alliance calling on national governments to make “demonstrable improvement” to reduce hospitalisations in heart failure and to address the “routine and tragic gaps” in the care of this serious but common heart condition. The call to action is, together with a landmark policy analysis of best practice and current performance, is made in a new heart failure handbook which will be launched (5 September 2018) at the European Parliament, Brussels.


Heart failure is currently Europe’s most common cause of unplanned hospital admissions for people over 65 – and the leading contributor to unplanned readmission’s1

Hospital admissions due to heart failure are projected to increase by 50% over the next 25 years alone.2 Although, the prognosis is often poor, the right care and support can allow people with heart failure to recover many years of life, and quality of life. 


The handbook of multidisciplinary and integrated heart failure care, is being launched by the Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN), with endorsement from 35 leading patient advocacy, scientific and professional organisations working in heart failure, CVD and healthcare management, and has been co-authored with patients and senior experts.


Currently one in five Europeans are expected to live with heart failure at some point in their lives. After discharge from hospital for an acute episode of heart failure, one in four people are readmitted within one month, and two in three are readmitted within one year.

The Handbook published by the Heart Failure Policy Network, highlights 10 key demands on governments to help ensure strategic readiness, and greater application of proven best practice models to improve patient outcomes, reduce and shorten hospital admissions, and extend years of life and quality of life. These include:

  • Instigate formal strategy on heart failure – few countries in Europe have adequate strategies for the current and future burden of heart failure.
  • Invest in sustainable, specialist heart failure care models –Heart failure programmes, clinics and support are not consistently available outside of hospital, and people with HF often do not have access to the right specialists.
  • Ensure ongoing high-quality care – not all people with heart failure receive high-quality guideline-based care, especially after discharge from hospital.
  • Measure and improve key aspects of heart failure care – There is very little known about how heart failure is treated across Europe which prevents service evaluation and improvement.


  • Indirect costs and productivity losses from HF are substantial: In Ireland, the cost of informal care has been estimated at more than double that of direct healthcare costs (around €364 million, against €158 million direct healthcare costs).1
  • Diagnosis is often not rapid or detailed enough: In Ireland, estimates of delays from first presentation to definitive diagnosis are to up to a year.2
  • HF programmes and clinics are not consistently available: In Ireland, six HF clinics operate in Dublin and only five can be found across the rest of the country, causing regional variation in HF survival and rehospitalisation rates.3
  • The full potential of all healthcare professionals is not realised: In Ireland, fewer than 1% of people living with HF are referred to cardiac rehabilitation services.1

Key facts4

  • Heart failure affects 90,000 people in Ireland
  • Responsible for 20,000 hospital admissions each year
  • 10,000 new cases each year
European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Croí supports European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Croí  is a member of a European Alliance of heart patient organisations who have come together to raise awareness of heart valve disease. On Tuesday September 4th 2018, Mairead McGuinness MEP will host a round table discussion on heart valve disease in the European Parliament, Brussels to mark the launch of a European White Paper on Heart Valve Disease in advance of the first European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on September 8th.


The aim of the event is to officially launch the White Paper, gather formal endorsement from policy makers, generate discussion amongst stakeholders and policy makers and seek to raise awareness of heart valve disease so that it would be included in European Health Policy.


Speakers include:

Neil Johnson, Croí, Ireland

Eleonora Selvi, Federanziani Senior Italia, Italy

Phillippe Thebault, Alliance du Coeur, France

Cecilia Salvador, AEPOVAC, Spain

Wil Woan, Heart Valve Voice, UK


Key messages from White Paper:

  • Heart Valve Disease (HVD) is predominantly a disease of ageing (affecting up to 13% of people over the age of 75) which if left undetected or if treatment is delayed, becomes a serious impediment to healthy and active aging.
  • Heart valve disease is a serious disease – with those affected experiencing symptoms such as: breathlessness, chest pains, fainting and, in worst cases, sudden death. Because of low levels of awareness, many people mistake their symptoms as normal signs of ageing and therefore do not seek help.
  • The good news is that modern treatment for heart valve disease is effectively curative. Once patients receive the effective valve repair or replacement they can return to a good quality of life and a normal life expectancy
  • As patient groups, we believe that heart valve disease is a significant barrier to active and healthy ageing. With early detection and appropriate treatment, our senior members of society can continue to make a really positive contribution to our economies, our communities and our families.
  • Collectively we feel the need to address the often negative perceptions of ageing. The challenges presented by our global ageing population are too often portrayed as a negative trend. The reality is that we are living longer…. and longevity, especially with good health is to be celebrated. The global pattern of aging shows that that by 2015, over 2 billion of the world’s population will be over the age of 60. Healthy ageing is a positive…. and Aging populations can be drivers of productivity and wealth creation by remaining active, engaged, and working. This is what we call the Power of Positive Ageing.

Today, we have 4 Calls to Action on HVD to enable the Power of Positive Ageing.  They are what we call The Four A’s


We need to raise public and HCP awareness of the importance of early detection, early diagnosis and early treatment. The clock starts ticking from the moment someone’s symptoms become severe because without treatment the chance of survival beyond 2 years is about 50%


We need patients to be aware of their symptoms and to ask their GP or Primary Care Physician to check their hearts with a Stethoscope. This is often the first step to detection of the disease – a simple Stethoscope Examination. In countries where Stethoscope Checks are routine, the detection of HVD is higher. So we need national governments to fund screening for HVD with an annual health check and Stethoscope Exam for everyone over 65 year of age


We need to ensure that the right action is taken for every patient. By this we are calling for national guidelines on HVD to be part of national cardiovascular disease strategies so that there are clear and standardized pathways from diagnosis to treatment.

Speed is of utmost importance in moving from symptoms to detection to diagnosis to treatment. However, we know that in many European countries the pathway is blocked or delayed and these delays can be life-threatening. Some examples of delays……Often, patients assume their symptoms are normal signs of ageing; low levels of Stethoscope examination in some countries mean detection is delayed; Poor or delayed access to echo-cardiograms (diagnostic test) result in delayed diagnosis. Varying access to specialists coupled with lack of clarity or disagreement on assessment of severity all contribute to unnecessary delays in treatment.


There is huge variation across Europe in terms of access to heart valve disease treatment therapies. Key issues include, no uniform policy across Europe on treatment; people are therefore denied the opportunity to age positively and actively because current treatments for heart valve disease are largely curative.

Often heart valve disease patients are diagnosed only because they see a health care professional for a regular check-up or for some other issue.

The seriousness of heart valve disease, combined with the fact that the symptoms are often difficult to detect or dismissed as a normal part of ageing, means that this lack of awareness can have troublesome or dangerous consequences.


For more information about heart valve disease visit the website of Heart Valve Voice.

Westport Golf Tournament raise €7,200 for Croí

A golf tournament organised by the Helm golf society Westport in aid of Croí amounted to €7.200, at the presentation of the cheque were staff members P.J. O’ Donnell, Mary Kilroy, James Ward Westport Board Director Croí, Vinny Keogh proprietor of the Helm, Joe Gibbons Chairman Westport Branch, Patricia Lally Helm staff, and Neil Johnson CEO Croí. Photo; Frank Dolan.


Westport Croí Friends raise €7,300 for Croí

The Croi Westport friends group recently organised a golf AM AM at the club that raised €7.300. Attending the hand over of the cheque were Christy O’ Malley, Kieran Mc Loughlin, Joe Gibbons chairman, Mel King, organisers, Christine Flanagan Director of fund raising Galway, James Ward Westport board director Croí, Neil Johnson CEO Croí, and Luigi Ryan community and events organiser Croí. Photo; Frank Dolan.


European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Croí supports European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

The initiative to create the first European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day follows the example of the US, where the first awareness day was introduced on the 22 February 2017 by the Alliance for Aging Research.

The European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day will be held for the first time on the 8 September 2018 and aims to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease in Europe.

The project is supported by a group of European patient societies including:

The work in order to establish a European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is supported by a Steering Group which consists of representatives of patient groups and experts in the field of heart valve disease – full list here.

A recent survey of more than 8,860 adults across Europe found that aortic stenosis is the heart condition people over 60 years old are least familiar with. Only 7% of respondents know what aortic stenosis is – the most common form of heart valve disease. Although awareness increases with age, 30 percent of respondents over the age of 65 say they know nothing about heart valve disease.

Often heart valve disease patients are diagnosed only because they see a health care professional for a regular check-up or for some other issue.

The seriousness of heart valve disease, combined with the fact that the symptoms are often difficult to detect or dismissed as a normal part of ageing, means that this lack of awareness can have troublesome or dangerous consequences.

This is why European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is so important, not only to raise awareness of the disease but to also make the population more aware of the symptoms so they can get the help they need at the right time. It is also important that clinicians provide their patients, especially those who are over the age of 65, with regular stethoscope exams as these are the key to detecting the disease.

Please mark September, 2018 in your calendar and get involved in spreading the word about heart valve disease.

For more information about heart valve disease visit the website of Heart Valve Voice.

Registration for Croí Night Run Opens!

Join us for the 4th Annual Croí Night Run along Salthill Promenade, Co. Galway. Whether you are a walker, jogger or runner it is time to lace up! Keep up to date with our event page on Facebook for news and to follow our Couch to 5km plan!

Proudly supported by Evergreen Healthfoods.  


For FAQ’s please click here.

To register please click here.