About us

While the Centre for Community, Clinical and Applied Research Excellence (CCCARE) officially launched in 2016, the history of clinical and community exercise programming has been embedded into University of Waterloo culture since 1975, when the Hardy Hearts program was initiated for individuals with cardiovascular disease. Since then, additional important programs like UW WELL-FIT, a program for those undergoing cancer treatment and for cancer survivors, as well as STEPS, a program offered to people living with stroke, and Brain and Body, a program for individuals living with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their care partner, have been established. We also provide training programs for elite sports teams, candidates preparing for careers requiring fitness testing, university employees, and serve specific needs for the community.

Our beginnings

UW Fitness was established at the University of Waterloo in 1997 to provide high quality comprehensive fitness appraisals and exercise management programs for members of the university and local community. In 2002 UW Fitness pioneered UW WELL-FIT, an innovative new rehabilitation program for individuals in Waterloo Region who are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or hormonal therapy treatment for various cancers. Part of a comprehensive cancer recovery strategy, UW WELL-FIT helps participants reduce the severity of side effects associated with treatment. The program now serves as a model for organizations interested in starting an exercise program for individuals undergoing treatment for cancer.

Leading a new conversation

CCCARE officially opened its doors in 2016 in the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building (TJB). The TJB was generously gifted to the University of Waterloo by philanthropists Toby (BES, '82, LLD, '19) and Tom Jenkins (LLD, '13 Honorary) in 2012. CCCARE has evolved to incorporate what was formerly UW Fitness and facilitates exercise programs, fitness services and clinical research operating out of two main facilities; the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building and the Manulife Wellness Centre in Lyle Hallman Institute for Health Promotion.  In 2018, CCCARE exercise programs grew to include Brain and Body for people living with any form of dementia and their care-partners and STEPS for individuals post-stroke. In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation in 2020, CCCARE is excited to now offer remote exercise program options for some of our programs.

Additionally, an equipment grant supported from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund have helped support the advancement of research opportunities through purchasing of state-of-the-art technologies for assessment and training.

As we continue to build on our current programs and develop new interventions to manage chronic disease through diet, education and exercise, we will continue to welcome community members to participate in our inter-disciplinary research studies and community exercise programs.