Heart Care International is a not-for-profit organization (501-C3), based in Greenwich, Connecticut, providing high quality and compassionate surgical and medical care pro-bono to needy children and teenagers with heart disease in developing countries. Dedicated medical professionals who donate their time and services staff medical missions. Medical supplies and equipment are donated from medical companies or purchased through philanthropic donations. Importantly, Heart Care International trains host-country medical professionals to perform diagnostic and surgical therapy in order to function independently into the future.
In developing countries, many indigent children born with a heart defect are unlikely to receive the treatment they need to prolong their life. For some, a diagnosis is never made, for others, the diagnosis is inaccurate, but for all, the likelihood of receiving consistent care and a life-saving surgery is low. Government hospitals are often overcrowded and can only offer very limited cardiac care. Waiting lists for an interventional treatment can run many months, if not years. Many children will die waiting. Some children will not even be included on a waiting list for surgery because the type of operation that they require is not available in their country. Well-intentioned bright doctors and nurses in these countries need help in gaining diagnostic and treatment experience as well as the necessary equipment and supplies to provide heart care now and into the future. Heart Care International intends to bring a real solution to these children and their families. The human need is enormous and Heart Care International needs your support to help save lives.
The Mission of Heart Care International is to improve the health of indigent children challenged with heart disease who live in developing countries throughout the world.
Our Mission is not limited to providing medical and surgical treatment for heart disease; it is designed to raise the standards for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of all critical illnesses in each country we visit. There are countless parallels in the treatment of heart disease and critical illnesses such as diarrheal sicknesses and infectious diseases. These parallels include fluid and electrolyte management, resuscitation medications and nutrition. Therefore, learning to care for children with heart disease will have a broader benefit to the care of children with serious medical conditions.
We hope that our missions will represent a new partnership between the in-country medical community and Heart Care International, one that focuses on education and training so that host country physicians and healthcare professionals will over time, provide high quality treatment to their children long after we have moved on to help another country.
How We Do It
Heart Care International is able to fulfill its Mission by collaborating with medical practitioners in host countries. In some countries, an established or semi-established cardiac program exists, and host country physicians request the participation of Heart Care International to help educate, train and mentor their team. Heart Care International seeks sincere invitations from the medical community of any interested country. Before making a commitment to a specific country, Heart Care International will travel to the country to meet with medical and hospital personnel as well as local non-profits, government officials and sometimes even the local clergy. Provided all parties agree to the goals and objectives of Heart Care International, we will commit a minimum of 5 years to provide life-saving surgical treatments, education and training. In all countries, Heart Care International hopes to rely on its non-medical local partners and the medical community to ensure the long term sustainability of the cardiac program.
Heart Care International accomplishes its educational objectives by offering custom made, state-of-the-art medical training. Medical missions are structured so that lectures and workshops are offered first followed by hands-on practical training covering diagnostic procedures, surgical and interventional treatments, and post-op care. In addition, Heart Care International will offer scholarships to selected medical professionals who can benefit from more intense training at an established cardiac program in the United States or elsewhere. Parents of patients will also receive training from our nurses on how to care for their child once they are at home.
Heart Care International’s missions have two objectives: 1) to provide practical cardiac training to local medical professionals; and 2) to reduce the long list of indigent children in need of life-saving surgical treatment. Heart Care International will provide free high quality evaluation and treatment to children who are in need of heart care.
Heart Care International relies on its highly trained medical volunteers who are willing to donate their time and services to conduct its medical missions and offer the training and education requested by the host country. Over 100 volunteers make up the Heart Care International team. The team is comprised of heart surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists (for both diagnostic and interventional care), O.R. nurses, perfusionists, critical care intensivists, pediatric ICU nurses, respiratory therapists and administrative staff. Heart Care International team members donate their precious vacation time to participate in these missions. Our volunteers work in hospitals all over the United States, including Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital to name just a few.
In addition to providing the necessary medical personnel, Heart Care International procures everything needed for its missions -- from heart lung bypass machines to sutures to essential pharmaceuticals. Heart Care International depends on the generosity of medical supply companies, medical volunteers and individual philanthropic donors to make its annual life-saving missions possible.