About Us

MISSION

Our Mission is to be your best source of information on stress risks for your heart health. Whether you are a doctor, an allied health professional, a patient, or family, we created this resource to be an effective tool for planning a full recovery, for anyone who has had a heart event.

We obtain our cutting edge information through our network of colleagues in both research and practice within the field of behavioral cardiology.  We’ll provide you with the most current findings from medical and psychological studies of people who have experienced cardiac related problems.

The Gap

We recognize that there is a huge gap between the survival stage of the cardiac event and a full recovery. The gap begins after your survival (medical) team has stabilized your condition and continues until you have experienced a full recovery from your event. Many people are left completely on their own to chart their own recovery with little or no support during this important phase: hence the “gap”.

Unfortunately, many people never find the recovery resources to fill this gap. And therefore never achieve a full recovery. Our purpose is to be the bridge between your survival and your full recovery.

The field of “behavioral cardiology” is a relatively new and quickly evolving field with three major textbooks released at the start of 2012 alone. My job is to make it understandable to you through my newsletter, blogs, eBook and other tools available only to you here.

If there is anything that you need to do a better job recovering, and it is not already on our website, please contact us and we will make sure you get the information and tools you need for your recovery.

Dr. Jaan Reitav, Licensed Psychologist
President, HeartStressRisk Inc.

Dr Reitav’s Background
Dr Jaan Reitav is a Clinical and Health Psychologist with over 25 years of experience in treating patients facing work and family stresses, as well as psychiatric problems like depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

As a psychologist consulting to the University Health Network (UHN) Dr Reitav has assessed and treated hundreds of heart patients in individual and group programs. The UHN Toronto Rehab Cardiac Rehab (CR) Program is one of the oldest and largest in Canada. Dr Reitav provides treatment focused on helping heart patients overcome the challenges and adjustments that heart patients face after heart attack, heart failure, heart surgery, or heart transplant.

Dr Reitav also has years of experience with helping patients manage chronic health problems, like stroke, chronic pain, cancer, and diabetes. He has also coached adults over 40 who are ready to develop healthier lifestyles to avoid chronic health burdens during their retirement years.

Standards for Cardiac Programs
Dr Reitav is a contributing author to the Canadian Guidelines for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (3rd Edition, 2009). These Guidelines are for all Cardiac Rehab Programs across Canada, for managing the broad range of psychological and behavioral problems that heart patients face in their recovery.

Education and Training
Dr Reitav earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from York University in 1984. He completed years of training in short-term dynamic psychotherapy. In 2003 he attained his specialist accreditation in Behavioral Sleep Medicine from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and in 2010 was a Founding Member of the Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

Dr Reitav is a full Professor in the Department of Clinical Diagnosis at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, where he teaches doctors to evaluate and manage stress risks in patients with health problems.

Clinical Experience
Dr Reitav has treated hundreds of heart patients from those seeking to prevent heart problems to those recovering from heart transplants, or struggling with heart failure. He has provided individual counseling, psychotherapy and coaching to patients wanting to reduce their life stress and improve their sense of control over their current life challenges.

Dr Reitav has facilitated groups in pain management and chronic illness self management, and uses the Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy approach for Insomnia (‘CBTi’) with individuals and groups.  His current focus is on developing tools, strategies and skills-development programs for heart patients who want to reduce their heart risks.

HEART STRESS RISK REDUCTION
Dr Reitav’s integrated stress management program is designed to meet the specific stress challenges faced by heart patients. This program helps you understand ‘stress’ as an around-the-clock threat to heart health.

The Heart Stress Risk reduction program has been developed across the past five years. The Program focuses on teaching patients how to learn specific methods to reduce their stress is seven easy steps. The program provides individual modules for increasing your relaxation response; improving your sleep; reducing the disruptive nature of negative thoughts; and training your body and mind to relax more deeply. The program includes exercises that help develop vital breath, relaxed body, sound sleep and a quiet mind.

Professional Presentations
Dr Reitav has written chapters for books on clinical assessment of pain and sleep problems. He has presented at sleep, heart and rehabilitation conferences; and at professional meetings of Canadian, American and European professional societies. He has been interviewed for TV, has presented talks to the public, to health care organizations, health practitioners, and to different patient groups.