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Mended Hearts is a national and community-based non-profit organization that has been offering the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers.
Founded by Dr. Dwight E. Harken, The Mended Hearts was started with three of Dr. Harken’s open heart surgery patients. In January 1951 Dr. Harken asked Doris Silliman, one of the first 50 patients to ever have heart surgery, and three other post-surgery heart patients to meet at the hospital. They spoke of their new feeling of well-being, their plans and hopes for the future — and with renewed happiness they spoke of their “mended hearts.” They realized how wonderful it would be to provide support and help others facing the same experience.
With the assistance of Dr. Harken they formed an organization, wrote up a charter and planned their membership contacts with the aid of the hospital workers. They called themselves the Mended Hearts. They often spoke of how great it was to be alive and to help others.
Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, now aligned with the American College of Cardiology, Mended Hearts is celebrating 60 years of service. We have over 300 local chapters and satellites nationwide, and partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. Mended Hearts offers services to heart patients through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums.
Our support groups help people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after heart disease diagnosis. Members listen, share their experiences and volunteer to talk to other heart patients about what they may face including lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, and treatment.
Mended Hearts volunteers offer peer-to-peer support to patients, family members and caregivers via:
•Hospital Visiting – In person visit from a Mended Hearts volunteer while you are recovering
•Online Visiting – Email check in and provide materials electronically
•Phone Visiting – Calling to provide a word of hope
Our mission is to “inspire hope in heart disease patients and their families.”
Mended Little Hearts, a program of Mended Hearts, provides hope and support to children, families and caregivers impacted by congenital heart defects in order to extend and improve quality of life. For more information visit www.mendedlittlehearts.org.
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