Heart to Heart Global Cardiac Care is a 501(c)3 volunteer-driven charity organization, led by a governing board of directors and enhanced by the expertise of a highly-engaged medical advisory council. Board members provide organizational oversight, ensuring continuous programmatic, financial, and legal accountability.
Simply stated, Heart to Heart is a tightly woven network of advanced cardiac specialists and program development experts who work together as volunteers to develop new self-sustaining regional children’s heart centers where thousands of children born with heart defects can undergo life-saving treatment. To consistently implement our program model, this network of experts is supported and coordinated year-round by a professional administrative staff of four, in addition to many highly-skilled non-medical volunteers.
Our medical volunteers, all practicing cardiac specialists, travel halfway across the world because they have seen for themselves the dramatic impact they have when they contribute their cardiac expertise within the framework of Heart to Heart’s program model.
Heart to Heart partners with foundations and the media to raise awareness and funds to enable us to finance the implementation of our program model.
Our volunteers are professionally coordinated year-round by our small staff headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together we ensure that our partner sites become self-sustaining – leveraging every donated dollar and in-kind gift of pro bono medical services to maximize number of children we can save.
Heart to Heart develops self-sustaining new medical programs in areas of need, measurably expanding access to life-saving cardiac care. Teams of specialists trained by Heart to Heart help to reduce the global burden of heart disease today and for generations to come.
Worldwide, all children and adults, regardless of where they are born or where they live, will have access to life-saving heart care.
Founded in 1989: Why we exist
Heart was founded during the Cold War in 1989 to save babies and children in the USSR from dying of congenital heart defects. While breakthrough advances were benefiting children in the U.S., Soviet physicians – isolated from major advances in cardiac surgery being made in the West – remained unable to treat Russian children born with heart disease. The education-based program model pioneered by our founders led to great success, resulting in an excellent self-sustaining children’s heart center in St. Petersburg, which was publicly acknowledged as the country’s “best infant open heart surgery program” and became a national model. Click here to watch CBS News 60 Minutes coverage of our work in St. Petersburg. This accomplishment inspired our board of directors to expand Heart to Heart’s mission and develop more centers and save thousands more children. Today, Heart to Heart’s pediatric cardiac specialists continue to teach teams of doctors the art and science of pediatric open heart surgery throughout Russia and now in Latin America – with the goal of every child having access to life-saving care.