1580 Pembroke Street Victoria, BC V8R 1W2


The objectives of the society are to support:

  • Heart/cardiovascular patients and their families
  • Heart related specialized medical equipment and education for area hospitals and their staff
  • The Victoria Heart House
  • The Victoria Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

How the society was formed

The First Open Heart Society of British Columbia was formed in 1973 on the initiative of cardiologists and early heart surgery patients to function as a support group for patients awaiting and recovering from heart surgery, and their families. The idea was first conceived by Dr. W. Glenn Freisen, a former Victoria cardiologist. He suggested that both pre-op and post-op stress and trauma could be eased if those patients who were about to undergo surgery could talk to those who had “walked the path”.

The structure of the society

The overall direction of the society is the responsibility of a Board of Directors, based in Victoria. Monthly membership meetings are held in Victoria, with the exception of June, July and August. There are Chapters of the Society throughout Vancouver Island. Each branch have their own schedule of meetings. A society newletter, “Heartnews” is published ten times a year to keep all of our members up to date with events involving the society as well as informative heart related articles.

Support for children

Special attention is given to the needs of the families of children who are born with heart defects. The Society sponsors those who may need travel and/or special services not available locally.

Society funding

The Society is a non-profit volunteer organization and does not have grant affiliation with any other agencies (government or other). The patient care and public service functions are funded by private contributions and a small number of service clubs as well as the annual Walk for Hearts. All donations are used exclusively to support the aims and projects of the Society.

Donations are tax deductible and receipts will be issued.

The work of the society is strongly supported by the surgeons and cardiologists in open heart surgery at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, in Victoria.

Note: The First Open Heart Society of BC does not solicit door to door