International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF) announced today that they will be expanding and nationalizing their program in the Dominican Republic to include Santo Domingo beginning September 2011. ICHF is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing lifesaving surgical care to children with congenital heart disease throughout the developing world.
ICHF, which already serves the Dr. Arturo Grullon Regional Children’s Hospital in Santiago, will now begin a program at Dr. Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital in Santo Domingo. ICHF staff and volunteers will travel from the United States five times per year for four years to perform lifesaving pediatric surgeries. The agreement also enables the local doctors and nurses to benefit from ICHF’s educational curriculum which will give them the skills to carry out complex surgeries independently.
The First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Dra. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, and her staff were instrumental in bringing the cardiac program to Santo Domingo. As part of the First Lady’s initiative to improve the health and wellness for the children of the Dominican Republic, partnering with ICHF in Santiago and now Santo Domingo will bring the number of children who receive cardiac care to almost 200 per year.
“I am extremely pleased and very happy that together with the support of the International Children’s Heart Foundation and the Hospital Dr. Robert Reid Cabral, it is a reality that today, parents and relatives of low income Dominican children are able to see a light on the road; hoping to save the lives of their young who are born with congenital heart disease,” said First Lady Cedeno de Fernandez. ”Thanks to this medical mission, not only will these children be operated at no cost, but local medical staff will benefit from a progressive training program of world class with some of the best cardiologists from around the world who selflessly offer their knowledge for the benefit of the most vulnerable. “
Alberto Marzan, the CEO of ICHF, is originally from Santiago, Dominican Republic. He feels a special responsibility to the children of the Dominican Republic. ”As a Dominican American, I have been fortunate enough to be in a position that allows me to make a difference in the Dominican Republic,” said Marzan. “The children of the Dominican Republic are the winners here and will continue to benefit for the years to come.”
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