Cardiologist V Rambihar receives Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal

Cardiologist V Rambihar receives Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal

Dr. Vivian Rambihar, renowned cardiologistand health co-chair for the Global Organization for People of Indian Origin received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal at a CPR mass training & AED Awareness event for South Asian families hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The award was bestowed upon Dr. Rambihar by Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, physician and MPP, Etobicoke North at a training event held at the Vedic Cultural Centre, Markham on Saturday, December 8 by the Foundation in partnership with the City of Markham; Vedic Cultural Centre, and Social Services Network (SSN).

Dr. Rambihar also received a certificate of appreciation from the Heart & Stroke Foundation for his invaluable contribution to the community and for being a global leader on heart health initiatives.

Saturday’s event attended by over 250 participants all of whom were successfully trained in life-saving CPR skills also received a demonstration on the use of AEDs (automated external defibrillators). The event included a distinguished panel of speakers ranging from humanitarians, community advocates to survivors. These included: Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Dr. Vivian Rambihar; Dr. Sherryn Rambihar, cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital; Dr. Naila Butt, Executive Director, Social Services Network; Anand Rupnarain, Board Chairman of VCC; Adrian Wong, AED Coordinator, City of Markham and Ehsanul-Shamim, a survivor and South Asian Heart Health Ambassador with the Foundation.

Dr. Qaadri congratulated Dr. Rambihar for the honour and for being a role model for the community. The physician and MPP from Etobicoke North was happy to see more than 250 people come out on a Saturday morning to get trained in life-saving CPR skills. He spoke about combating unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle that put South Asians at more risk for heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Vivian Rambihar traced the history of cardio-vascular disease and how it has reached epidemic proportions among South Asian communities globally. “Considering that premature heart disease is 80% preventable — being proactive about heart health could go a long way in preventing early onset of the disease,” he added.

His daughter, Dr. Sherryn Rambihar presented on the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in public areas and traced the powerful story of young Chase McEachern, a young boy from Northern Ontario, who advocated having AEDs deployed in schools and public arenas. He died but his vision remained alive in the form of the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund resulting in a legislation being passed and defibrillators being deployed in public places including schools and arenas.

More than 160 South Asian families received the free Heart&Stroke Foundation CPR AnytimeFamily & Friendskit valued at $40 and all participants received a CPR participation card at the end of the training.

Anand Rupnarain of VCC thanked the Heart and Stroke Foundation for organizing this relevant and much-needed training event for residents of the York region and hoped this was the beginning of a great partnership between Vedic Cultural Centre and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Adrian Wong, AED Coordinator with the City of Markham noted the importance of deploying AEDs in public spaces and spoke about how user-friendly AEDs go a long way in saving a life. He elaborated on how the City of Markham was working with diverse, multicultural communities in leading programs promoting healthier lifestyles for all.

With South Asians being 3-5 times at higher risk for heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, Dr. Naila Butt, Executive Director of Social Services Network and a physician from Pakistan spoke about reducing the barriers that multicultural, diverse communities face while navigating and accessing health prevention and health care-related services.

Ehsanul-Shamim, who had a heart attack and a stroke, last year at the young age of 32, shared his powerful story with participants, pleading with them to adopt healthier lifestyles and not wait for a heart-related incident to make the required changes.

Kyle Grant, advanced care paramedic with 15 years experience and Heart & Stroke Foundation instructor led the training for the 250 plus participants, advising them on the new CPR guidelines which were introduced in 2010. “Simple chest compressions done correctly accompanied by the use of an AED, go a long way in saving someone’s life,” added Grant.

The more people trained, the greater the chance of keeping a person who is experiencing cardiac arrest alive until an ambulance arrives. Today, we are happy to have trained 500 additional hands that can help save a life!!

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