Introducing Our Executive Director

Lianne Laing HeadshotI loved drawing hearts when I was growing up. Aside from stick figures and bubble letters I wasn’t much of an artist, but the hearts, I managed to master. Sometimes, I ventured outside the lines and even opted for colors other than red. I embraced that every heart is different, beats at its own rhythm, finds its highs and lows, loves deeply, breaks profoundly, but always waits for its next beat. Until it doesn’t.

I learned this as a young adult, losing my dad Jeffrey to a heart attack the day after he turned 57. It was a devastating tragedy just two weeks before my wedding. Without me knowing it at the time, this life experience would eventually shift my purpose and mission later in life. While it took some time for me to find my way to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, I am grateful to be here now. After 20 years spent working in broadcast television, I am excited to bring you the real stories from within the walls of the Heart Institute.

Here at the Heart Institute Foundation, we hope to expand the awareness of the world class procedures and treatments performed on patients from all over the region and beyond. We strive to earn your trust knowing your donations are being used with the highest integrity and impact. With the support of our donor community, a life is saved, and a family receives the gift of time every day at the Heart Institute. In 2021, as we celebrate the Institute’s 45th Anniversary, we honour the vision of its founder Dr. Wilbert Keon and surge ahead under the leadership of Dr. Thierry Mesana with innovative discoveries, ground breaking research and precision medicine at the forefront for cardiac patients. Personally, as a health and wellness advocate, I am motivated knowing that 80% of heart disease is preventable and that we have the ability to change the statistics through education and programming.  A little inspiration, motivation and a friendly nudge to engage more in a healthy lifestyle goes a long way.

Thank you for your trust in this foundation as our team strives every day to match the excellence of our colleagues at the Institute.


Cynthia Stewart’s Story

When your heart misbehaves.

Cynthia Stewart and her Wonder Woman Power Pack…

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Mary Armour, Lianne and Lyann
Mary Armour’s story

Defibrillator Warrior

A project manager at the MacDonald-Cartier…

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John Herzog
John Herzog’s Story

From a heart too big to a great big heart 

John Herzog’s happy and successful…

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Donna and Greg Connolly’s Story

Newfoundland couple’s story of strength, compassion, and a new heart.

On a typical Saturday night, Greg and Donna…

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