About Us

Across Northern Ontario, our aim is to reduce heart diseases by educating people

Group of people outside holding umbrellas and smiling
Group of people outside holding umbrellas and smiling

Our Mission

Northern Hearts is a Thunder Bay non-profit charity whose mission is to promote and educate individuals on healthy lifestyles in an effort to reduce the high incidence rate of cardiovascular disease in Northwestern Ontario.

Photo of Doctor Chris Lai with text "cardiologist in bottom right corner

History

Dr. Chris Lai, a local Thunder Bay Cardiologist, and Dr. Rene Hasian formed Northern Hearts in 1992 to pursue their dream of helping people with cardiac disease to live longer and better lives. They initiated several programs in the Thunder Bay region to assist those impacted by cardiac disease. The Northern Hearts Heart Retreat was held once a year to provide education and therapy for those impacted by the disease. Other support programs included education relating to diet, exercise and nutritional shopping. These are all aimed to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease within Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

Northern Hearts began to offer “Walk with Doc” programs in the 1990s to offer an opportunity for individuals in Thunder Bay to participate in short social walks with doctors to discuss cardiac prevention and treatment options.

Since then the organization has continued to provide educational and recreational activities in an effort to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease including “Talk with Doc”, “Dine with Doc” and “Golf with Doc”.

Photo of Doctor Chris Lai with text "cardiologist in bottom right corner
Helper hugging an older women
Helper hugging an older women

Volunteer Opportunities 

Northern Hearts is a volunteer based organization and relies on the generous support of volunteers to host our many events including; Talk with Doc, Walk with Doc, Dine with Doc and Golf with Doc. If you would like to help us achieve our mission and donate your time or talents to help us host any of our events, we’d love to hear from you. Please sign up today to help make a difference in the lives of those impacted by cardiac disease and help us improve the lifestyle of individuals in an attempt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  

Our Board Of Directors

Headshot of Gavin Nelson

Gavin Nelson

Headshot of Dr. Christopher Lai

Dr. Christopher Lai

Headshot of Pati Carli

Pati Carli

Headshot of Michael Giardetti

Michael Giardetti 

Headshot of Bryan MacKay

Bryan MacKay

Mary Nucci

Karen Ranta

Headshot of Cindy Sakiyama

Cindy Sakiyama