Mended Hearts is a national and community based nonprofit organization offering the gift of hope to heart patients, their families and caregivers for more than 65 years.
Mended Hearts has 18,000 members operating through 300 community-based chapters and satellites across the U.S. with one in Canada. Chapters partner with more than 460 + hospitals and cardiac care facilities in providing patient-to-patient support services. Mended Hearts accredited volunteers annually average more than 200,000 visits to heart patients and families mostly in person, but also online or by phone.
Educational and Support Programs
• In-Person Visiting Program
Because Mended Hearts members represent the very kind of people they serve — those impacted by heart disease, they draw on personal experience as they inspire and help others. The heart patient and family gain hope by seeing other patients who have survived heart disease and are healthy. The patient-to-patient connection is continually praised by healthcare professionals who witness firsthand the value to the patient’s overall recovery. Last year, more than 182,000 visits were in person to patients and families.
• Internet Visiting/Phone Support
Visits to patients and family members online and by phone provide much needed support in areas where local visitors are not available face-to-face.
• Group Meetings
Support Groups — The support groups help people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after heart disease. Members are there to listen, share their experiences, and discuss matters relating to lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, and treatment.
Health Information Workshops — Healthcare professionals and businesses are invited to provide valuable information and answer questions.
• Mended Little Hearts
Recognizing that heart patients are of all ages, Mended Little Hearts was launched in 2004 with two community-based groups in two states. Today there are more than 50 groups in 23 states. The program provides support and encouragement to parents of children born with congenital heart defects and heart disease.
• National Conference
Mended Hearts hosts an annual national conference to train volunteers, provide latest cardiovascular health information, and offer networking opportunities. The average attendance is 350-400.
• Patients and Their Heart Guide Pack
A trained visitor offers a Heart Guide to each heart patient/family during a hospital visit. The educational folder includes health information, support group connections, guidance for maintaining a quality of life after a heart event, lifestyle changes, local Mended Hearts chapter information, etc. The current annual distribution is 160,000 households.
• After the Cath Lab: A Guide to Recovery
Newly launched in 2010, a trained visitor offers an educational packet to each heart patient/family assigned to a cath procedure in the hospital. The educational folder, customized to the cath lab patient, includes health information, guidance for maintaining a quality of life after angioplasty, suggested lifestyle considerations, local MHI chapter information, etc.
The national magazine, Heartbeat, is published on a quarterly basis to communicate health and valuable information, inspirational survivor stories and chapter news. Heart patients read about survivors and the possible quality of life. The magazine also demonstrates to its readers that there is a national network of caring individuals that they can turn to support them on their road to recovery. The current annual print is 80,000 and distributed to the Mended Hearts members.
Scope of the Disease/Patient Numbers¹
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the No.1 killer of women and men. An estimated 81 million Americans have some type of CVD, and more than 38 million are age 60 or older.
From 1996 to 2006, the latest year figures that are available, the number of Americans discharged from short-stay hospitals with CVD as the first listed diagnosis increased from 6,107,000 to 6,161,000. In 2005, CVD ranked highest among all disease categories in hospital discharges.
The estimated incidence of myocardial infarction (MI, heart attacks) is 935,000 new and recurrent attacks annually.
Cardiovascular operations and procedures have increased from 5,444,000 in 1996 to 7,235,000 in 2006. In the United States in 2007, an estimated 1,313,000 PCI procedures, 448,000 bypass procedures and 1,115,000 diagnostic cardiac catheterizations were performed, and 114,000 implantable defibrillators and 195,000 pacemaker devices were implanted.
Between 4 and 10 cardiovascular defects per 1,000 live births are expected. Congenital cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of infant death from birth defects; more than one in three infants who die from a birth defect have a heart defect.
Mended Hearts: 1-888-HEART99 (1-888-432-7899); www.mendedhearts.org