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Jayne Baric of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute takes the health of everyday Australians to heart

One in four heart attacks occur with no prior symptoms. It’s the kind of ratio that contributes to ensuring heart disease is Australia’s biggest killer, killing an Australian every 12 minutes. Thus, it’s no surprise that the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s Heart Health Check Tour, a 50-stop roadshow through regional NSW, has already saved lives. In a pop-up clinic, nurses supply free 10-minute checks of three modifiable risk factors for heart disease. The Tour’s architect is Jayne Baric, the Strategic Partnerships Manager of the Foundation.

“Here at the Victor Chang our researchers are trying to find the causes and cures for heart disease, but we felt we also had a responsibility to the community to help people understand the risk factors for heart disease,” Ms Baric explains. “If we could provide a free and simple screening test and raise awareness of the effects of lifestyle choices on heart health, then maybe we could save some people from developing heart disease.

“The IMB Bank Community Foundation’s contribution is critical,” says Ms Baric. “Without it, we cannot do what we do. We don’t run the Heart Health Check booth on donations, we don’t receive government funding – the funding we receive from the Foundation keeps us on the road and means we can offer free heart health checks to communities. We have to date tested 76,000 people and 25,000 – or one in three – have one of the three risk factors. If those people make a lifestyle change and don’t develop heart disease, then the program has achieved its goals.”

Of course, when dealing with heart health there are sometimes real touch-and-go moments. “About once a year, we have to call an ambulance for a participant who is at serious and immediate risk of having a heart attack,” Ms Baric says. “When that person calls a week or so later to say, ‘thank you for saving my life’, we know we have to keep going. In 2018, it was a 22-year-old man who had just run a 5km fun run to raise money for a children’s charity.”

Find out when the free Heart Health Check Tour is swinging by your town
 


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Helping build and strengthen our local communities since 1999

As a mutual bank, supporting our local communities is important to us. We believe in supporting projects that foster inclusion, encourage volunteering and create sustainable outcomes, enabling the communities around us to thrive.

Over the last 20 years, The IMB Bank Community Foundation has invested over $10 million to support over 700 community projects. We’re very proud of the projects we’ve supported and each year we marvel at the wonderful achievements of our funding recipients.

These diverse and meaningful grassroots programs are found wherever IMB Bank operates — Sydney, The Hunter, The Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Far South Coast NSW.

Previous funding recipients

Farmborough Heights Rural Fire Brigade

A thermal imaging camera will enable The Farmborough Heights Rural Fire Brigade’s volunteer members to fully interpret a fire scene providing accurate situational awareness both day and night. It will also assist in search and rescue operations at any time and in any light conditions.

Giralang/Kaleen Men's Shed

The Giralang/Kaleen Men's Shed offers all men access to a range of activities including a woodworking workshop, garden, physical activity such as walking, and social interaction. Members will be trained in first aid to support shed members if needed.

Girl Guides Association of NSW

Building on a century of adventure, fun and friendship, Girl Guides empowers girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible community members. The project will allow Girl Guides to offer abseiling, high ropes and rock-climbing experiences in the local region providing opportunities for the girls to grow, learn and have fun in the outdoors.

See all recipients

 

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We provide simple and secure digital banking solutions online and on mobile, and members enjoy access to free automated phone and internet banking, and a team of professionals at our locally based contact centre. With a growing branch network throughout the Illawarra, Sydney, NSW South Coast, Newcastle/Hunter, the ACT and Melbourne, we have a lending specialist in every branch and a team of mobile lending specialists who will come to you.

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