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Over 17,000. That is the number of individuals who have lived a longer life, a whole life, because of the mission of Heartbeat International Foundation. Now, that mission is expanding. 

It is expanding toward an exciting announcement of a New Brand! More on that in just a minute.

From the beginning, our mission has always been to save lives by providing cardiovascular implantable devices to those in need around the world – to provide life-saving care ForHearts. 

“Everything we do is ForHearts in need,” says Laura DeLise, Executive Director of Heartbeat International Foundation. “We advocate ForHearts. We educate ForHearts. We provide pacemakers ForHearts.”

There are all kinds of hearts in need. Often, those hearts need care beyond a pacemaker.

“When you need a pacing device, in general, you already have some serious problems with the heart,” says Dr. Benedict S. Maniscalco, Former Chairman of Heartbeat International Foundation. “If we can get ahead of that curve a little bit with some of these folks, we can help them considerably.” 

In fulfilling our mission over the last 38 years, we have established a network of medical professionals and facilities across the globe willing to donate their time, equipment, and expertise in performing pacemaker implantation procedures and providing lifelong care for the patients. With these resources, we know there is even more we can provide ForHearts. 

We feel the time is right to expand our mission with a name that says just that – Heartbeat International Foundation introduces ForHearts Worldwide.

With this expansion, our core mission remains the same – to care for the hearts of patients in need around the globe while also broadening the scope of care that we provide ForHearts in need. Our goal is to do everything we can ForHearts. 

A More Inclusive Name for an Expanded Mission

“We want to expand all the things that we know can be done in the communities in which we work around the world, much more than just pacemakers,” explains Dr. Maniscalco. “In essence, it is a move to expand our mission and create clarity about our organization, what it does, and what it will continue to do.”

Having been involved with Heartbeat International Foundation for over 20 years and becoming Chairman in 2003, Dr. Maniscalco has helped guide this mission and expand the vision.  

“We have been incubating this idea for at least ten years,” he says. As Heartbeat International Foundation saw its global reach and support grow, so did the possibilities “to expand the reach and the number of potential therapies we can provide.” 

Dr. Maniscalco explains this growth trajectory and potential: 

“Our initial efforts have paid close attention to one of the facts of the medical world: Over one million people a year die from the inability to obtain and get treated for abnormal rhythms in the heart. So, for over 38 years, we have created an opportunity in each of the locales we work to foster this critical, life-saving mission. That mission allows us to expand our roles. For instance, we [can] do things like angioplasty and stents and defibrillators and heart valves, which in these countries require the same kinds of problems to be solved as our original mission of supplying pacing devices.” 

These same problems require the same solutions: Partnerships—donor partnerships for financial support and industry partnerships for the needed devices for procedures. Just as we have partnered with manufacturers for pacing devices, expanding our care ForHearts will require other devices, such as valvular replacement devices and stents.

“This will be an ongoing journey,” says Laura DeLise. “But our hope is to create the partnerships that will fulfill those other needs or take those other needs on ourselves.” 

Long journeys are always better when you take them together, and our partnerships will continue to make this journey possible.  

“So hopefully, this will allow us to expand our staff, expand our footprint, and expand our mission,” echoes Dr. Maniscalco. 

A Gratifying and Exciting Journey

As Former Chairman, Dr. Maniscalco is reflective of all that Heartbeat International Foundation has accomplished.

“It is a remarkable thing to think, ‘Gee, Benny, you are sitting here in the comfort of your home and somewhere in the world, indirectly, you are helping save lives,” he says. 

That is 17,000 lives and counting. How many more will ForHearts Worldwide be able to save by expanding its mission?

“I think that it is going to be augmented enormously when we expand to providing these other services such as echocardiograms, valves, and stents, that we feel we are capable of and willing to do,” he emphasizes. “The Board has dedicated itself to making this new mission a reality, and Dr. Crawford is more than capable. I know that he will expand and grow the organization.”

With the leadership of Dr. Thomas Crawford, our Chairman and Medical Director, and collaboration with our financial and industry partners, we are growing ForHearts! 

The ability to grow and expand our mission is made possible by the selfless work of the doctors, nurses, and volunteers at our in-country Heart Centers around the globe, who are, in the words of Dr. Maniscalco, “generous individuals and philanthropists of the first class, that make this program possible.”

We are excitedly looking toward the future to do more FORHEARTS.