Heart Health Nova Scotia's Demonstration Phase occurred between 1989 and 1995. This provincial program is part of the Canadian Heart Health Initiative, a national strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Heart Health Nova Scotia used a public health approach to cardiovascular (CVD) prevention by placing an emphasis on environmental change, community mobilization and health promotion programs.
Heart Health Nova Scotia began with the premise that community/public health approaches for chronic disease prevention and control do indeed work. The program was developed and implemented through coalitions and partnerships among public and private organizations and groups both in the health and non- health sectors. It drew upon the experience of community programs for cardiovascular disease prevention in the United States and Europe, which demonstrated that it is feasible to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in entire populations ([Puska, Nissinen, Tuomilehto et al, 1985] ; [Farquhar, Fortmann, Flora, Taylor, Haskell] , [Williams, Maccoby &,Wood, 1990] and others).
Therefore, the research was not designed to prove the efficacy of the approach that was being taken, but to examine whether the approach could be applied in Nova Scotia through partnerships with interested organizations. The program was designed to be developed and evaluated over a five-year period, and employed a demonstration model concept for its implementation.