Every year an estimated 2 – 3 million people die around the world simply because they cannot afford pacemaker surgery. That is a staggering number—and an unacceptable one.

At ForHearts Worldwide, it is our mission to save these lives by providing the necessary pacemakers, implantation surgeries, and ongoing medical care. Our commitment to raising funds and coordinating with medical teams around the world is making a profound impact ForHearts in need. Since our founding in 1984, we have saved over 17,000 lives!

We are reviving hearts and restoring these lives through our innovative and collaborative approach to cardiac care, bringing together a global community with one mission: to do all we can ForHearts in need.

Connecting Patients in Need to Comprehensive Care For Life

What makes our approach to providing pacemakers and cardiac care so innovative is the in-country connections we build. Instead of sending medical teams from the U.S. to perform the needed procedures, we connect with doctors and medical facilities already in-country.

“We here in the U.S. are administering the program and the mission and doing the business-side of things,” explains Laura DeLise, Executive Director of ForHearts Worldwide. “It’s so important we have the other side, the human side, in the locations where we work.”

The epicenter of this work is our International Heart Centers. ForHearts currently operates Heart Centers in seven countries—Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Philippines, Honduras, Paraguay, and Ecuador.

Each Heart Center is unique, with operations varying based on the support we have in each location. It can be an office run by local volunteers, connecting patients with a ForHearts medical team, or, in some countries, it is a medical center or a hospital where physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals donate their time and skill to ForHearts. Often it is a combination of all these individuals and entities coming together to provide life-saving heart procedures and care.

But no matter how the Heart Center operates or where it may be located, the patient experience and quality of care they receive is always the same—regardless of their financial status.

Pacemaker recipients need initial follow-up care, ongoing device monitoring and, with pacemakers lasting an average of five to seven years, eventually device replacement. After undergoing their pacemaker procedure, every ForHearts patient continues to see the same physician for their ongoing care, whether that is at a local hospital, Heart Center, or a dedicated clinic day for ForHearts Worldwide patients.

“The aspect of ‘patient for a lifetime’ is truly that. It is the lifetime of the patient, not the device,” says DeLise. “They are continuing to thrive because of their device and the fact that they are our patient for life.”

A Collaborative Community Dedicated to Saving Lives

Supporting patients in need around the world with pacemakers, implantation procedures, and life-long care truly takes a global village. To achieve this mission, ForHearts Worldwide focuses on collaboration and relationship building, enabling us to form a supportive community that stretches from our U.S.-based Board of Directors, staff, sponsors, donors, and corporate partners to our network of in-country volunteers, physicians, medical professionals, and Heart Centers across the globe.

Volunteers and Service Organizations: They are our “boots on the ground,” so to speak, and often serve as the initial connection point between a patient in need and ForHearts Worldwide. With a service mission of improving access to healthcare for underserved communities in developing areas, members of Rotary International are some of our most active volunteers, with in-country Rotary Clubs funding local initiatives, finding and sponsoring patients, and even helping to establish Heart Centers.

Corporate Partners: By partnering with cardiac device manufacturers, we’re able to secure the needed pacemakers at a reduced cost, either through corporate donation or grants. Our corporate partnerships extend beyond the medical device and healthcare communities, with corporate sponsors from various industries providing critical monetary support and helping to raise awareness of the ForHearts mission by supporting fundraising events.

Individual Donors: At the core of our ForHearts community are individuals—the person who chooses to volunteer, who introduces their company to the ForHearts mission, who hosts a social media fundraiser, or who chooses to simply give, whether it be a one-time, monthly, or annual donation. Every donor makes a difference and raises awareness for hearts in need.

Become a part of the life-saving work of ForHearts Worldwide! Learn more about our volunteer, donation, and corporate sponsorship opportunities.