For many who serve as medical volunteers for Heart to Heart, their altruism follows decades of successfully working as physicians in the U.S. Not so for Dr. Nathan Taggart, a young pediatric cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic who began making significant contributions as a volunteer in his early thirties and has traveled with us 10 times since 2009. Prior to attending college, Dr. Taggart spent nearly two years living in Moscow. In a nearby Russian city, the young Mr. Taggart met a new mom named Irina who shared her story and worry about her baby who was suffering from a serious heart defect. Deeply affected by Irina’s story – there was no medical care available to save her daughter – this interaction inspired him to pursue a career in medicine and planted a seed of hope that one day he could return to Russia to help train local medical professionals to care for children born with heart defects like Irina’s daughter. While training to become a pediatric cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, he met our longtime volunteer, Frank Cetta, MD who introduced him to Heart to Heart – the natural alignment between Dr. Taggart and Heart to Heart was immediately clear to everyone.
“The opportunity to return to Russia as a pediatric cardiologist represents the shared hopes of my educational, professional and service efforts that have spanned over half my lifetime. My association with Heart to Heart throughout all of this has been the single most rewarding experience of my professional career.” – Dr. Nathan Taggart, Mayo Clinic
In addition to his deeply philanthropic convictions and fluency in Russian, Dr. Taggart is a leader in his field. He was recognized as such through the PICS-AICS 2015 Young Leadership Award last fall. Dr. Taggart hopes to teach his five children the importance of giving back through his volunteer work with Heart to Heart. Today, the fourth of July, is his birthday, and on a day meant for celebrating, we celebrate Dr. Taggart and his phenomenal service to children born with heart defects. Watch the video above to hear why he gives back.