With the dawning of 2023, we’re well into our 38th year of providing life-saving cardiac care for patients in need around the world. Since 1984, ForHearts has helped save over 17,000 lives in more than 20 countries. It’s a number that we are both proud of and humbled by. But there is still much work to be done!

Like so many of you, we’re starting this new year with new goals. Each one will further our mission to do everything we can ForHearts in need around the world.

Here are the five goals we’ve set for 2023, and how you can be a part of our success.

1. Secure Our Pacemaker Supply

From sparse store shelves to empty car lots, we don’t have to tell you that supply chain issues and disruptions are ongoing. The pandemic shutdowns continue to create a ripple effect as suppliers are still catching up and even re-thinking the amount of goods they produce. The medical device supply chain has not been immune to these issues.

We rely on the generosity of our device manufacturing partners for donations to ensure we can secure pacemakers and provide them to our patients free of charge. Shortages and tighter production runs have made this challenging. In 2023, we’ll be looking at new models for acquiring devices, including securing grant funding to purchase small quantity devices.

2. Develop Sustainable, Continuous, and Reliable Sources of Funding

In 2022, Heartbeat International Foundation launched ForHearts Worldwide. In 2023, we’ll continue to introduce this new brand and spread the word about our mission with expanded marketing, forming new relationships, solidifying current relationships, and growing our events.

Our first event of 2023 is the Sunset Music Festival, May 27 – 28. This is our biggest fundraising event of the year, and one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the southeast. We’re looking to make this event even more impactful for ForHearts by connecting with online influencers and bloggers in the SMF/EDM community to form new partnerships and promote our involvement with the festival.

Our 2023 Drive to Save Lives will be hosted on October 2. We’ll be back at the Carrollwood Country Club in Tampa, looking to raise even more funds ForHearts in need. We’ll be promoting this event even earlier this year, so get ready to hit the links with us as a player, sponsor, or both!

3. Strengthen and Expand ForHearts Services

In launching ForHearts Worldwide, we set the goal to expand our mission by broadening the scope of care we provide ForHearts in need. We’re not only looking at potential therapies we can provide, but also expanding the support and resources we offer to our patients and doctors.

This starts with creating our own online community where we can bring our donors, doctors, and pacemaker recipients together to “have an online hub where we can connect and communicate,” says Miriam Hernandez, ForHearts Marketing and Event Planning Coordinator.

Besides connecting our community, we also want to provide critical support for our physicians and Heart Centers.

“We’re looking to form partnerships with CAMLS [Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation] at USF Health to get online trainings and simulation trainings,” explains Hernandez. “That is our ultimate goal, so this year is about making the building blocks to reach that goal.”

4. Expand and Develop Leadership on The Board

In 2023, we’re looking to grow new leaders and add new members to our Board of Directors. We already have three new members set to join, both of whom are longtime ForHearts donors:

  • Janet Lorton, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County
  • Ronald W. Mills, President and CEO of Encounter Care Solutions
  • Dr. Ricardo Meneses, Lead physician in Aguascalientes, Mexico for the last 30 years

Expanding our Board will enable us to engage more both in the local community and abroad. More members will allow us to reach new communities, attend more events, form new partnerships, and have more interaction with our Heart Centers.

5. Increase Involvement and Productivity with Heart Centers

The best way to increase our involvement and interaction with our Heart Centers is by actually visiting our Heart Centers. However, this has been a challenge over the last three years due to the pandemic. We intend to change that in 2023.

“The Board is committed to traveling this year. We’re making it a point to put a plan in place,” emphasizes Hernandez. “Sending one or two Board members to each Heart Center [is] one that would be attainable.”

These on-site visits will provide for better information exchange and allow Board members to meet patients that have received devices, hear their stories firsthand, and share these life-changing experiences with our donors.

You Can Help Us Achieve Our 2023 Goals!

We know these are big goals, but we have a plan to achieve them. And you can be part of it, however you’re most comfortable and able—whether that’s committing to regular volunteering, attending a fundraising event, or becoming a one-time (or regular) donor.

Join a Committee – We’re establishing five subcommittees, each with a dedicated focus on one of our five goals.

“The committees that will be established will evolve through the year…but it’s definitely a way for people to get involved,” says Hernandez. “It’s really [about] more resources as far as man power… We feel these committees will be an aid in helping us achieve these goals.”

Save the Dates – Mark your calendar now for our 2023 events: Sunset Music Festival, May 27 – 28, and the Drive to Save Lives on October 2. We need sponsors, volunteers, and attendees coming together in support of ForHearts.

Give! – You can be part of our goal to develop sustainable, continuous, and reliable sources of funding by becoming a monthly donor.

2023 will be the biggest year ForHearts yet! We hope you’ll join us on our mission to do everything we can ForHearts in need.