Annoucing the winners of the 2018 Croí Golden Ticket Draw

Huge congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Croí Golden Ticket Draw!

1st prize, €2,000 – winner is Arthur Foden, Wicklow
2nd prize, €1,000 – winner is Phil Flannery, Salthill
3rd prize, €500 – winner is Patrick McCallion, Co Donegal
4th prize, €250 – winner is Alan Keane, Sligo
5th prize, €250 – winner is Catherine Magee, Donegal
6th – 15th prize, €100 – winners are Adrian Kelly, Co Kildare; Joan Reidy, Galway; Patrick O’Halloran, Co Clare; Sarah Small, Galway; Marcello Chaves, Co. Kerry; Conor Bohan, Co Galway; Mary McManaman, Co. Mayo; Donald McGann, Co. Galway; Michael Corcoran, Co Galway; and Claudia Loughnane, Co Clare.

The Croí Golden Ticket draw took place this afternoon (Dec 18) at 3pm in Croí House, with a total prize fund of €5,000.

Thank you so much to all our supporters who purchased tickets. Your support helps fund the Courtyard Apartment at Croí, which have been specifically designed for short-term stays to allow family members to be as close as possible to patients who are in hospital for heart or stroke care in Galway University Hospital.

Winning project helps family carers in Galway learn a live-saving skill

Croí Heart & Stroke Charity, in collaboration with the HSE Social Care Services Galway, won the Innovative Project Category at the inaugural HSE Community Healthcare West Staff Recognition Awards on October 25, 2018.

The winning project has delivered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillation (AED) training to hundreds of family carers in Galway over the past seven years, and was recognised for providing a valuable, innovate service to Community Healthcare West.

Michelle Harrison, Manager, Carers Department, Community Healthcare West states: “Over two-thirds of all Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests occurred at home in Ireland in 2017, and survivors were more likely to have received bystander CPR. When a person collapses with sudden cardiac arrest, every second is vital. Performing CPR and using a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death in many cases. For every minute a person is collapsed without receiving CPR or defibrillation, the person’s chance of survival is reduced by up to 10 per cent per minute. After five minutes, the person’s chance of survival is reduced by up to 50 per cent. The role of lay persons including family carers in the internationally recognised ‘Chain of Survival’ is well acknowledged, and includes, early recognition, immediate effective CPR and rapid defibrillation. It takes a whole system to save a life, and this training initiative spearheaded by the HSE Carers Department and Croí, is integral to ensuring that family carers are key contributors to this whole system approach to save a life”.

“Galway is the only county in Ireland where specific funding for such life-saving training is provided to family carers. We’re delighted to partner with the HSE Carers Department, and grateful to see the work recognised at the HSE staff recognition awards. Congratulations to our excellent Croí instructors Catherine Sheridan and Sarah Molloy for their expertise and dedication to this project,” says Neil Johnson, Chief Executive, Croí.

Family carers can learn more about the training courses by contacting Croí at 091-544310.

From left: Michelle Harrison, HSE West Carers Dept. Manager; Catherine Sheridan, Croí Training Site Coordinator; & Neil Johnson, CEO, Croí.

Croí supports Achill community with heart monitoring equipment

The GPs on Achill Island recently took delivery of a Cardiac Holter Monitor, which is a useful piece of cardiac equipment used by doctors to monitor a patient’s heart rhythms. This important diagnostic tool will facilitate patients on Achill Island, Clare Island and Inishbiggle to gain access to earlier diagnosis of potential heart problems.

The Holter Monitor, valued at €2,250, was donated by local heart and stroke charity Croí for use in the Achill, Clare Island and Inishbiggle communities. These communities have been constant supporters of the fundraising efforts of Croí since 1991. The local Croí Friends committee, which is led by John P. McGinty, have a long-standing programme of fundraising activities each year, including a bumper whist drive each Shrove Tuesday, pub collections and the sale of Croí Christmas cards.

‘Family’ and ‘leisure pursuits’ ranked higher than ‘health’ for heart patients.

Emily Basquille at the World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care

An award-winning Mayo study has been accepted for presentation at the International Palliative Care Network Conference, which runs online from November 15th – December 15th, 2018.

NUI Galway graduate, Emily Basquille’s study on the needs of a cardiac population, using a subjective quality of life measure, received a ribbon award last May at the 10th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Bern, Switzerland. Emily attended the congress with support from Marie MacCabe, principal of St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar, where Emily currently works as a Special Needs Assistant.

The study, which was a collaboration between local heart & stroke charity Croí, NUI Galway and Prof Dympna Waldron of Galway University Hospital, was the first time that a subjective Quality of Life measure was tested on a cardiac population in Ireland.

“Emily’s research with the Croí Cardiac Support Group has provided us with interesting insights, reinforcing our goal of putting the patient first in cardiovascular healthcare,” says Croi’s Chief Executive, Neil Johnson.

The findings show that 45% of participants did not rate ‘health’ in the first five of their chosen quality of life cues, but rather selected ‘family’, ‘leisure pursuits’ and ‘social aspects of life’ as their top three most important quality of life indices.  The group also experienced significant symptom interference, such as sudden tiredness and grogginess, with their Quality of Life. The study found a negative correlation between symptom interference and Quality of Life, with high levels of symptom interference associated with low levels of Quality of Life.

“The results really highlight the importance of putting a patient’s perspectives and needs first, emphasising the value of taking into account a person’s Quality of Life cues when creating a personalised treatment plan,” says Basquille.

Emily Basquille’s presentation at the upcoming International Palliative Care Network Poster Exhibition can be accessed at by registering for a free account.

Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration

Cardioalianza presents the “Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration Regarding Therapeutic Adherence”, in which 10 European cardiovascular patients’ associations come together to promote greater therapeutic adherence.

  • The “Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration Regarding Therapeutic Adherence” is an initiative promoted with the purpose of achieving better therapeutic compliance of cardiovascular patients to reduce risk, prevent possible incidents and improve their quality of life.
  • It was created with a document that includes proposals for improvement aimed at all health agents involved in caring for cardiovascular patients: health professionals, public administration and patients. 
  • The Patients’ Declaration is an initiative of Cardioalianza, which another nine cardiovascular patients’ organisations in Europe have already joined.
  • In Spain, one in every two cardiovascular patients does not follow the therapeutic recommendations agreed with the healthcare professional, which leads to worse control of the disease, a greater number of complications and a higher cost for the healthcare system.

Madrid, 5 July 2018. Cardioalianza, the national cardiovascular patients’ association that brings together more than 50 local associations and has more than 21,000 patient members, today presented the “Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration Regarding Therapeutic Adherence”, a document that has been endorsed by nine other European patient organisations and that has been possible thanks to the collaboration of Ferrer.

In Spain, one in three deaths is due to a cardiovascular disease. Specifically, diseases of the circulatory system caused 30% of deaths in Spain in 2016[1], making it the leading cause of death, ahead even of tumours and respiratory diseases.

Although it is true that in recent years the trend is that there are fewer and fewer deaths caused by a cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, etc.), many people who do survive are coping with a disability and become chronic patients for life.

Faced with this situation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that the majority of cardiovascular diseases could be prevented by promoting healthy lifestyles: a balanced diet low in fat, regular exercise, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, in addition to controlling cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, which also often require specific drug treatment.

In this sense, the studies carried out so far indicate that in Europe cardiovascular patients’ adherence to the treatment is just 57%[2], whereas in Spain it is somewhat lower, 56%, which means that only one in every two patients with a cardiovascular disease correctly follows the prescribed treatment[3].

“Undoubtedly, this data shows that therapeutic adherence involves a complex behaviour and that patients need to work on new strategies that encourage following the guidelines set by the healthcare professional, since all the studies carried out indicate that good therapeutic adherence is related to improved life expectancy and quality of life for the patient”, says Maite San Saturnino, president of Cardioalianza.

The importance of good therapeutic adherence

Therapeutic adherence is the degree to which the behaviour of a person in relation to their illness (taking the medication, following a diet and carrying out changes in the way of life) corresponds to the recommendations agreed with the health professional.

In this sense, “failure is at the origin of many medical and psychosocial complications of the disease. It has been seen that it reduces the quality of life of patients, increases the probability of the appearance of resistance to drugs and wastes healthcare resources”, says the WHO.

Specifically, and as stated in the document, non-compliance with the treatment entails more incidents related to cardiovascular diseases for the patient, which can lead to a worse quality of life or even death. On the other hand, for the healthcare professional this breach implies an increase in the care burden, due to repeated complications, which in turn are increasingly severe, and the consequent hospital admissions. This also has a direct impact on the health system, generating higher economic costs and worse health outcomes.

Thus, “the lack of therapeutic adherence is one of the most significant aspects to fight in order to achieve good prevention of high-risk cardiovascular patients”, stresses the president of Cardioalianza.

To improve this situation and empower patients, helping them to be aware of the role they play in caring for their own health and involving them in the decisions related to their cardiovascular disease, Cardioalianza is promoting the Patients’ Declaration.

“Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration Regarding Therapeutic Adherence”

The “Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration Regarding Therapeutic Adherence” is a document designed to promote therapeutic adherence (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) of patients with a cardiovascular disease that aims to prevent acquired disability after suffering an incident and reducing the number of avoidable deaths, in order to improve the well-being and quality of life of patients and their families.

Thus, from Cardioalianza and with the support of nine other European patient organisations that have signed the document, all health agents involved in the patient’s cardiovascular health are urged to work to improve the levels of therapeutic adherence, for which a series of proposals addressed to the patients and to health professionals and the public administration has been described.

Specifically, they focus on promoting a series of changes, such as empowering patients by involving them in the decisions that affect their disease, simplifying therapies so that they adapt better to the patient’s profile, the need to establish better doctor-patient communication, designing specific programmes to control adherence, providing patients with tools that enable them to better manage medication, promoting public campaigns on the importance of controlling risk factors, etc. In short, a series of proposals focused on improving the control of cardiovascular risk factors in addition to achieving greater therapeutic adherence.

“As patients and agents involved in health care, we must work together with professionals and the public administration to promote heart-healthy environments that encourage self-care, especially among those who have already suffered a cardiovascular incident and who, therefore, are at greater risk”, says Maite San Saturnino.

European entities signing and endorsing the Declaration:

  • Associazione per la Lotta alla Trombosi e alle malattie cardiovascolari (ALT) – Italy
  • Associazione Italiana Scompensati Cardiaci (AISC) – Italy
  • Association of Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases – Bulgaria
  • Bate Bate Coraçao – Portugal
  • Fundaçao Portuguesa Cardiologia – Portugal
  • Mon Coeur Entre Parenthèses (ASBL) – Belgium
  • SZÍVSN Országos betegegyesület – Hungary
  • CROÍ, The West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation – Ireland
  • National Institute for Preventive Cardiology (NIPC) – Ireland

* Download the Cardiovascular Patients’ Declaration Regarding Therapeutic Adherence

* Link to the project’s website and video presentation


About Cardioalianza

Cardioalianza is an association that brings together 16 non-profit organisations, with more than 50 points of care throughout Spain that are dedicated to improving the quality of life and well-being of people with a cardiovascular disease. Its vision is to be the leading independent and sustainable organisation for patients with cardiovascular diseases  and the representative of their rights and needs before the stakeholders involved in prevention, diagnosis and treatment to achieve personalised and comprehensive care.

Its main objectives are to empower patients and patient organisations to promote active participation, cooperate with Public Administrations and other agents of the social and healthcare system to improve patients’ well-being and quality of life and generate knowledge about cardiovascular patients’ situations and needs and develop strategic alliances with other related organisations, scientific entities, professional organisations and companies in the social and healthcare industry.

For further information about Cardioalianza click here.

Cardioalianza communication:
Meritxell Mercader
+34 656 63 85 41 / +34 931061759

[1] National Institute of Statistics Data (INE). Death statistics, according to cause of death. Detailed results. 2016

[2] Naderi SH, Bestwick JP, Wald DS. (2012) Adherence to drugs that prevent cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis on 376,162 patients. Am J Med; 125: 882-887.

[3] Restovic Camus, G. et al. (2016) Treatment adherence plan. Responsible use of medication. Farmaindustria and EY.

Night runners light up the Prom for Croí

The 4th Annual Croí 5km Night Run took place on Friday last, October 19 along the Salthill Prom in Galway. Over 1,300 runners and walkers donned their bright orange t-shirts and came out in support of Croí’s Night Run, the Heart and Stroke Charity’s largest fundraising event of the year. Over €60,000 was raised, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to support the work of Croí. This has been made possible thanks to the continued sponsorship of Evergreen Healthfoods.

Special guests on the night included Galway Rose, Deirdre O’Sullivan. The race was chip-timed and participants can check out their race time at Photos from the event are posted to Croí’s Facebook page @croiheartstroke.

“What a fantastic turnout this year! We’re so grateful to all our participants, volunteers and our generous sponsor Evergreen Healthfoods for making this our biggest year yet. Every euro raised will go directly to supporting the work at Croí and the fight against heart disease and stroke,” says Neil Johnson, CEO, Croí.

Stay tuned for 2019! Next year will be extra special to mark the 5th Annual Croí Night Run. Croí are working on a commemorative high-vis jacket for participants. “Stay tuned for the 2019 Night Run as we’re planning something even bigger and better for our 5th year,” says Johnson.

Croí’s aim is to lead the fight against heart disease and stroke, with a particular focus on the West of Ireland. See for more information and follow Croí on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @croiheartstroke.

Stand Up to Heart Failure project wins Irish Health Care Award

Stand Up to Heart Failure, a campaign supported by Croí, Heartbeat Trust, Irish Heart Foundation, Novartis and Edelman, won the Patient Education Project of the Year – Pharmaceutical award on October 18 at the 2018 Irish Healthcare Awards.

The Stand Up to Heart Failure campaign aims to raise awareness of the red flag symptoms of heart failure. These symptoms include; fatigue; shortness of breath, especially with activity or lying flat; swollen feet or ankles. Common risk factors of heart failure to be aware of are; high blood pressure, previous heart attack(s), and diabetes.

Campaign ambassador Michael Lyster opened up about his own experience with heart failure at the campaign launch: “Croke Park is one of the biggest stadiums in Europe, with an impressive match day capacity of 82,300. But if everyone in Ireland living with heart failure was invited to Croke Park for the All Ireland final, we would have to build an extra stand as there are 90,000 people living with this chronic condition, and they certainly wouldn’t be standing in the Hill for the duration of a 70-minute game.”

Read more and watch the campaign video here.

Embracing innovation and the power of positive ageing

By Neil Johnson, Chief Executive of Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke Foundation and the National Institute for Preventive Cardiology

In September, I chaired a European Parliament roundtable with MEPs and five other cardiac patient organisations on Heart Valve Disease and the Power of Positive Ageing.

Our message was simple – heart valve disease is a barrier to active and healthy ageing: early detection, diagnosis and treatment with innovative medical technologies enables positive ageing. Equal access to these technologies was at the core of our discussion.

Heart valve disease is a common and blameless disease of ageing. Around 13% of people aged over-75 have some form of the disease. It is both life-limiting and potentially life-threatening; 50% of people with severe aortic stenosis, the most common form of the disease, will die within 2 years if not appropriately treated.

Yet, it does not have to be like this. Surgical heart valve repair or replacement are proven treatments and we are now living through a period of exciting and impressive advances in treating the disease with minimally invasive and keyhole techniques.

Repairing or replacing a diseased valve can, in effect, cure the condition. Blood will once again flow through the heart the way in which nature designed it and patients can anticipate a better and longer quality of life.

This is where the Power of Positive Ageing comes in. The ageing demographics of Europe are frequently viewed as a negative thing, whereas we believe and know that healthy older people contribute significantly and in very positive ways to our families, communities and economies.

After all, we know that many people over the age of 65 care for their partners or look after grandchildren so that their own children can go to work.  In the UK, Age UK estimates that this care is worth £15bn to the country’s economy.

Here in Ireland, our senior population are literally running our communities by volunteering.  The Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HAPAI) announced recently that 12% of over-70s volunteer in their communities weekly, while a further 19% volunteer at least monthly.  Similarly, in France 36% of those over 65 volunteer in an association according to a report from Bénévolat.

Economically, older people actually play a key role. According to Spain’s Centre for Sociological Research (CIS), 37.7% of people believe that one of the greatest contributions of grandparents to Spanish society is to help their families ’economically’, while over 25% of people recognize and highlight their role in ’keeping the family together’

For me, it is self-evident that keeping our elderly population in good heart health with innovative medical technology is one clear solution to the challenges we face across Europe. Ensuring that patients have access to these technologies is central to this solution, but unfortunately, access varies widely across Europe. For example, in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland, you are much more likely to be treated with innovative technologies than in my own country.

This is why a European alliance of heart patient organisations have called for action from European healthcare systems to ensure that patients have equal access to effective heart valve disease treatment wherever they live.  Achieving this will allow us all to embrace the benefits of the Power of Positive Ageing.


Originally posted by MedTech Europe on October 11, 2018.

County Galway Social Inclusion Week (15 – 21 October 2018)

Social Inclusion Week for County Galway is taking place from the 15th -21st October, 2018.

Croí is delighted to be involved with several events throughout the County. On Tuesday, Oct. 16, Croí will be at the Positive Parent Seminar in the Family Centre, Tuam, for free health screenings from 9.30am- 12.30pm. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Croí will present a Health and Wellbeing Day from 10.30am–12.30pm at Ellis Hall, Letterfrack.

The purpose of the week is to increase awareness and understanding of inclusion and diversity in County Galway. It also aims to show how community activities contribute towards Health and Wellbeing.

See the full list of events here. Social Inclusion Week for Galway County is organised by Galway County Council.

2018 Croí Galway Night Run – FAQ’s

Event rescheduled: Croí Galway Night Run

Due to serious weather warnings, the Croí Galway Night Run has been rescheduled to Friday, October 19, 2018 at 8pm. All registrations will remain valid for the rescheduled date. If you are unable to participate on October 19, we can defer your registration to 2019.

Date: Friday, October 19, 2018
Time: Warm-up at 7:30pm | Race at 8:00pm sharp
Location: Start point is Mutton Island, Salthill Prom, Galway

Note: please keep your chip number on display at all times, it needs to be visible when crossing the start and finish line.

1. When and where will registration/ number pickup be held?

  • Please pick-up your registration pack from 9:30am to 8:00pm, on Thursday 11th October or Thursday 18th October, at Croí House, Moyola Lane, Newcastle Co. Galway. Please click here to see map.
  • You can collect a pack for another person, please have participants name and phone number to confirm.
  • Please note there is high traffic congestion on Moyola Lane at school pick-up and drop-off times.

2. What do I have to do on registration day?

  • You will receive your race pack, including t-shirt and race number.

3. Are there toilets available at the start of run?

  • Toilets will be available in the Claddagh hall and at the start point at Mutton Island.

4. Where are the water stations?

  • Water will be available to all participants at the finish line.

5. Is there car parking available for competitors and spectators?

  • Yes parking will be available in main Salthill car park and various areas along Salthill, this is not limited to Night Run participants arrive in plenty of time to find parking.

6. What time is warm up?

  • Warm up will begin at 7.45pm with run starting at 8pm sharp.

7. Do I need to bring a torch?

  • The prom will have normal street lighting and we have additional lighting at the start/finish line. If you would like to bring a torch please do so, but it is not essential to bring one with you. If you have any reflective gear we would encourage you to wear this.

8. Are children allowed to take part?

  • Under 12’s are free to join the Croí Night Run under adult supervision. Note under 12’s do not receive a goody bag or t-shirt but we will have a medal for everyone! If you register and wish to bring your son/daughter they would be most welcome under your supervision. It is a night run, it will be dark so please keep this in mind when bringing children.

9. Can I register at Croí House?

  • Yes, you can register at Croí House – you can pay by cash or card at reception desk, call Jessica on 091 544310 for more information. Croí House is open Mon-Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm.

10. Can I drop my bag at the start line?

  • No, there is no bag drop available.

11. Are walkers welcome?

  • Yes! We welcome all abilities – walkers, joggers or runners (even woggers _ walkers/joggers 🙂 )


Note: Please keep your chip number on display at all times, it needs to be visible when crossing the start and finish line.

Any questions don’t hesitate to message our event page and we will get in touch! or email

Don’t forget to register for Croi Galway Night Run – October 12th @ 8pm!