Your Fitness Team

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Dr. Harry Rakowski

Professor of Medicine University of Toronto; Douglas Wigle Research Chair in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy; Director Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic, UHN; Chair of the PMCC Innovation Committee, UHN

In 1972 Dr. Harry Rakowski graduated with an Honours MD from the University of Toronto. He did his postgraduate training in Toronto followed by a Research Fellowship at Stanford University.

A dedicated professor and practitioner, Dr. Rakowski has taught hundreds of cardiology residents. He has led an illustrious career of over 30 years at Toronto General Hospital. There he has served as Director of Clinical Cardiology and Deputy Director for the renowned Peter Munk Cardiac Program.

He has served as Chief Examiner in Cardiology, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Internationally he is a past President of the American Society of Echocardiography and past Chair of the Council of Cardiovascular Organizations, a prominent US cardiovascular leadership organization. He currently is the Immediate Past President of the National Board of Echocardiography; a US based testing organization for cardiologists and anesthesiologists as well as the Chair of the Innovation Committee at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

Dr. Rakowski is widely published, an international speaker and prolific scientist. He has helped write many guideline papers that have been instrumental in educating cardiologists internationally.

His research interests include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a heart muscle condition that is the leading cause of sudden death in young adults. He holds the Douglas Wigle research chair in Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy and currently heads a world class clinical and research program, which attracts patients from around the world for investigation and innovative management of this condition.

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Sarah Harris

CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, CHEK Level 2 Practitioner, Integrated Movement Specialist, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Advanced Holistic Coach, Yoga Instructor, Personal, Professional, Spiritual Success Practitioner.

Sarah is a Health Focused Personal Trainer with over 20 years in the industry. It’s her belief that a healthy, energetic, happy and beautiful body-mind comes not just from the time we spend exercising but also how we spend the rest of the day in our daily living activities such as eating, resting, working and playing. Sarah’s health focused approach takes into consideration the whole person. By addressing dietary, movement, rest and thinking patterns, Sarah has had remarkable success working with individuals interested in feeling vital and empowered.

Sarah works with a wide variety of mature adults, helping them get fit and improve their health.

Where she really excels is working with those who may feel physically challenged. Sarah specializes in working with individuals who have Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and other stable cardiac patients.  Sarah also has the ability to help those would have physical limitations.  She’s passionate about moving her clients out of pain and towards healthy movement and exercise.

Most clients first experience Sarah as a personal trainer, and she is one of the most highly trained, experienced and certified trainers available to private clients. In the initial stage, Sarah and the new client may establish goals focusing on postural correction, core conditioning and optimizing functional movement patterns. This work typically produces noticeable progress towards one’s goals even in the early weeks.

Some clients will stay at this postural/strengthening level of training with Sarah. As a Health-Oriented Trainer, however, Sarah will suggest greater opportunities to deepen one’s wellness. These might include guidance in nutrition, introduction to meditation and yoga and personal coaching in moving beyond addictive or self-sabotaging behaviors.

Sarah has also designed and created the HCM Fitness Web Initiative for the Peter Munk Cardiac Center. www.HCMFitness.ca is a site for individuals diagnoised with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and/or other forms of heart disease looking for a safe and effective exercise program.

You can connect with Sarah at info@sarahharrishealth.com

Dr. Gillian Nesbitt

Dr. Gillian Nesbitt

Medical Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at the Mount Sinai Hospital; Site Director for Echocardiography Education at the Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network

Dr. Gillian Nesbitt received her medical doctorate from the University of Ottawa. Her post graduate training involved 3 years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota for internal medicine residency followed by a residency in adult cardiology at the University of Toronto. She then returned to Mayo Clinic for a fellowship in echocardiography.

Her clinical interests include echocardiography, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease and general cardiology. As an Assistant Professor for the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto her academic interests are in medical education with a specific focus on skills based learning.

In addition to her contributions as a clinical teacher Dr. Gillian Nesbitt is currently the Site Director for Echocardiography Education at the Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network. She also serves as a faculty member for the CCS Adult Cardiology Trainee Review Program. In April 2014 Dr. Nesbitt was appointed Medical Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at the Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Ryan Burkholder

Ryan’s comes from a strong athletic background. He earned his degree in the U.S. as captain of the NCAA Division I hockey program at the University of Alabama Huntsville. After school it was off to Europe where he won a National Championship in the Netherlands, and finished his career representing the China Dragon in the Asia Hockey League.

Since stepping away from Hockey Ryan has gravitated to functional training. He was a member of the fitness team for the development of Evolve- a comprehensive functional fitness app, where Ryan collaborated with Micheal Okumura, the founder of Fusion Health Studios. After production as an Evolve athlete, Ryan continued his studies in a mentorship program with Okumura at Fusion Health Studios.

Now as a strength, health, and lifestyle coach, based out of Fusion, Ryan continues to pursue how to live a full life and maximize the great gift of our bodies. Ryan’s focus is on postural correction, structural alignment, functional fitness, and holistic health. Ryan also is committed to helping improve the health and wellbeing of individuals challenged with heart disease by offering a class in Cardiac Care Fitness.

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