2013 Accomplishments and Future Plans


In June the Caribbean Heart Menders Association conducted yet another successful mission to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston. The team of twelve volunteer cardiac specialists performed open heart surgeries or cardiac catheterizations on twelve patients; additionally fourteen patients were evaluated by our team. Our organization continues to provide mentoring and guidance to the healthcare professionals in that facility with the goal of strengthening their knowledge base on pediatric cardiac care. A significant hallmark of this mission was the donation of much supplies, medications and devices such as two pacemakers and a heart valve which were not readily available or affordable to medically underserved children who were the recipients of these lifesaving devices.


  • Pediatric Surgical Mission to Dominican Republic
  • Interventional Cardiology Mission to Panama
  • Nursing Education Mission to Jamaica

2012 Accomplishments and Future Plans

Costa Rica 2012

Based on a request from health authorities for possible medical missions to Costa Rica, a team of three Caribbean Heart Menders Association members conducted a site evaluation at a local hospital in that country during the month of August. We will continue ongoing collaborations with the health team.

Dominican Republic 2012

The phenomenal improvements realized in this program attests to the foundation that was laid by the Caribbean Heart Menders Association and other international partners who worked with CEDIMAT in establishing a framework for the delivery of a sustainable program for providing medical and surgical cardiac interventions to children with congenital heart diseases. Our organization continues to work with the healthcare professionals in this country who have achieved major successes in increasing the numbers of patients treated each year.

Jamaica 2012

Emphasis in 2012 continued to be on interventions for sustainability through strengthening of pediatric critical care education and working with national and international organizations to create a center of excellence for pediatric cardiac care in that country. As a recognized stakeholder in this initiative, the Caribbean Heart Menders collaborated with the Chain of Hope in planning and delivery of a pediatric critical care nursing education program to nurses at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. In September eight nurses were certified in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation by our educator. Additionally, the Caribbean Heart Menders committed to support financing for three Jamaican nurse educators to continue this essential program in that country.

In furtherance of our goal to engage in cardiac interventions to treat congenital heart diseases in children, our organization led a team of volunteer cardiac specialists to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in June and performed twelve cardiac procedures comprising surgical interventions and cardiac catheterizations. Seven children were evaluated for future interventions by our mission team.

2012 Jamaica Medical Mission

June 18 – 24

  • A team of 11 healthcare professionals conducted a surgical and cardiac catheterization mission to Jamaica.
  • 4 open heart surgeries at Bustamante Hospital for Children
  • 8 cardiac catheterization procedures: 6 diagnostic, 1 cardioversion and 1 PDA at the University Hospital of the West Indies under the auspices of the Bustamante Hospital for Children
  • 7 patients were evaluated but did not require surgical interventions

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Future 2012 Medical Missions
  • August 9 – 11: Costa Rica site evaluation for possible future cardiac surgical missions
  • September 6 - 8: Nurse Education Mission to Jamaica
  • September: Dr. Young will perform E.P.S. procedures in Panama
  • October 21 - 28: Dominican Republic cardiac surgery mission
  • November 12 – 18: Panama cardiac surgery mission

Planned 2012 Initiative to Strengthen Pediatric Cardiac Program in Jamaica

  • C.H.M.A will sponsor overseas cardiac nurse educator training of two registered nurses employed by the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Jamaica


Dominican Republic 2011

June 26th – July 17th

A team of 3 medical professionals participated in the annual cardiac surgical mission to CEDIMAT hospital in the Dominican Republic.

  • 9 children received open heart surgical procedures.
  • 23 were evaluated for future cardiac interventions.

The significant reduction in overseas health professionals is consistent with the goal of creating a center of excellence in that country. Support of CHMA is still required as they move toward attaining this state.

Panama 2011

September 2011

Caribbean Heart Menders Association embarked on its second medical mission to Panama. Team comprised 16 healthcare professionals Engaged with local healthcare professionals in performing cardiac surgeries, diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization, EP studies and ablations.

  • 8 children received open heart surgeries.
  • 10 children benefitted from EP/Ablation procedures.
  • Engaged in teaching the local physician, nurses and other medical professionals in performing perioperative interventions and caring for children undergoing heart surgery.

Summary of 2011 Medical Mission Accomplishments

  • 27 patients received life-saving cardiac surgery and cardiac diagnostic studies in two countries,
  • 10 patients accessed lifesaving EP/Ablation procedures that would have otherwise not been available to them.
  • 23 patients were evaluated for future interventions in two countries.

Jamaica 2011

The Caribbean Heart Menders Association continued our work to strengthen pediatric cardiovascular services to the children of Jamaica by collaborating with stakeholders within the Governmental and non-Governmental agencies in initiatives aimed at building a cardiac center of excellence at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Our organization is recognized one of the key stakeholders who is working strengthen pediatric cardiovascular services at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

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August 12 – 14th and November 11 – 12th

  • Two nurse educators who are members of CHMA in collaboration with the Chain of Hope offered two educational missions to the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
  • Participants received training in pediatric critical care nursing.
  • Under the auspices of Edward Life Sciences, CHMA was able to donate stethoscopes, textbooks and a heart model to the Jamaican Nursing Program.

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Jamaica 2010

CHMA facilitated a medical mission to the Bustamante Hospital for Children February 23, 2010 through March 5, 2010. Our Second Annual Larry King-CHMA-CHIF-Bustamante Teaching Program in Pediatric Cardiac Disease course was also held where we had over 125 attendees from across the Island and neighboring Island. During that mission 18 children underwent cardiovascular surgery of moderate to complex lesions. One child had a pacemaker implantation and in addition 13 children underwent cardiac catheterization and/or electrophysiology study and three children underwent radiofrequency ablation for a total of 35 interventions.

Dominican Republic 2010

CHMA facilitated its seventh medical mission to CEDIMAT hospital in the Dominican Republic June 26th to July 3rd 2010. Two surgeries were performed daily for a total of eight cases Monday to Thursday. These were very medically complex cases and all patients did very well. In addition a total of 17 additional patients were evaluated for future surgeries. During the mission all surgeries were done by the local surgeon with the CHMA surgeon only serving as an assistant. All the nursing post-operative care was done by the local nurses. There were only a total of 5 medical volunteers for this mission which highlights the progress of the medical training and the success of the program.

Panama 2010

Caribbean Heart Menders Association embarked on its inaugural medical mission to Panama August 7, 2010 through August 15, 2010. This mission was extremely successful in meeting its goals of providing congenital heart surgery and other non-surgical interventions by engaging and teaching the local physician, nurses and other medical professionals in performing and caring for children undergoing heart surgery. The mission consisted of cardiac surgeries, diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization, EP studies and ablations. There were a total of 39 cases done (11 cardiac surgeries, 16 Cardiac catheterization/interventions, 12 EP/ablations) by 19 medical volunteers working along with the local medical professionals. An additional 13 patients underwent medical evaluation for future interventions.

Medical Mission Accomplishments 2010

In total there were 110 patients who received direct services during our international medical missions. A total of 38 patients received life-saving cardiac surgery in three countries. An additional 44 patients received non-surgical life saving cardiac interventions. In additional 30 patients received cardiac evaluations for futures interventions.

Jamaica Mission--2009
On April 14, 2009 through April 23, 2009 Caribbean Heart Menders Association embarked upon a very successful mission to Jamaica. A team of medical volunteers spearheaded by surgeon Dr. Jeffery Jacobs and a core of volunteers from Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Congenital Heart Institute of Florida and other medical centers headed to Bustamante Hospital for Children to perform lifesaving cardiac surgery. Fourteen (14) children underwent cardiovascular surgery. The lesions included Tetralogy of Fallot with atrioventricular septal defect combination, Tetralogy of Fallot, atrioventricular septal defect, ventricular septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, and femoral arterio-venous fistula. In addition, 4 children underwent Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization & Angiography, 4 children underwent Electrophysiology Studies (EPS). The EPS studies were the first in the history of the nation! An accomplishment indeed!

In keeping with our philosophy of teaching, there was one full day teaching course with 164 attendees (2/3 nurses and 1/3 physicians).

The smiles on the faces of the parents and children were heartwarming and rewarding. What a privilege to be part of such an incredible journey! See picture in the photo gallery.

Dominican Republic—2009

In June 2009, Caribbean Heart Menders returned to the Dominican Republic as we continue our work of developing a Center of Excellence for Cardiac Surgery at CEDIMAT. Again lead by Dr. Rosenkranz and a small team of medical volunteers including one perfusionist, one intensivist and two nurses, they performed seven complex open-heart surgeries. Over the years, the size of our teams has decreased significantly as the local team assumed more responsibility for the cases. This year our team provided only support as the local team took control of their program and provided the care.

We are so blessed to be able to share this amazing experience with these families. Jhon’s story is particularly heartwarming. He is a 3 year old who’s only desire was to play with his friends and play with his toys but he was unable to do this because with just minimal activity, he turned blue and sometimes became unconscious. His fingers and lips were always blue. However with the gift of heart surgery, he is now able to play with his friends and his toys. He could not stop looking at his pink fingers after surgery!—Meet Jhon…

Jamaica Mission-2008

On March 30, 2008, Caribbean Heart Menders Association launched another successful medical mission to Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, Jamaica. The team was comprised of fifteen health care volunteers comprising of one heart surgeon, one cardiologist, one intensivist, one cardiologist, one anesthesiologist, two operating room nurses, six critical care nurses, two perfusionists, and one mission coordinators from the Congenital Heart Institute of Florida; two medical coordinators from the Caribbean Heart Menders Association.

The purpose of this mission was to perform corrective open-heart surgeries for children with congenital heart disease. The surgeries included moderately complex congenital heart disease, from ventricular septal defects to Tetralogy of Fallot repairs. Seven patients were successful repaired and are now living healthy lives. An additional 13 patients were evaluated and will be operated on during the next mission.

In addition to performing successful surgeries, we donated a heart lung machine which is a necessary piece of equipment for performing open-heart surgery. The heart-lung machine or bypass machine as it is sometimes referred provides oxygen and blood to the body while the surgeon works on the heart. This translates to lives saved as a result of selfless actions from the CHMA medical team.

Dominican Republic Mission

In June 2008, Caribbean Heart Menders again embarked on another medical mission to save the lives of children suffering from heart disease. This mission was lead by Dr. Eliot Rosenkranz from the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. He and 14 other medical volunteers performed eight complex heart surgeries at CEDIMAT hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

We are proud of the achievements of the local medical professionals and this center as it now performs a significant numbers of surgeries independently. They are well on their way to becoming an independent center of excellence.

Heart Surgery in Jamaica

Every year, CHMA supports a surgical trip to the island of Jamaica. In February of 2004, a team from South Florida made of up of ten health care professional including pediatric cardiac surgeon, anesthesiologist, cardiac intensivist, nurses, respiratotory therapists, and perfusionists spent one week at Bustamonte Hospital for Children in Kinston. Ten heart surgeries were performed during the week.

Heart Surgery and Interventional Cardiac Catheterization in the Dominican Republic

Since 2003, CHMA has sponsored a surgical and interventional cardiac catheterization one-week long trip to the Dominican Republic. Our team performed heart surgery and catheterization at Clinica Corazones Unidos in Santo Domingo and in Santiago. In 2004, our team performed nine heart surgeries and ten interventional cardiac catheterizations.

Interventional Cardiac Catheterization in Trinidad and Tobago.

In January of 2005, two pediatrics cardiologists from south Florida, Dr. Alvaro Galindo, interventional Pediatric cardiologist at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and Dr. Scarlet Sinistera, Pediatric cardiology fellow, spent one week in Trinidad and Tobago performing interventional catheterizations in children with congenital heart defects. A total of ten pulmonary valvuloplasty were performed.

Project Haiti Heart

Haiti is the poorest Caribbean country in the western hemisphere and cardiac care for Haitian children with congenital heart defects is very limited. In July of 2004, Drs. Ming Young and Serge Geffrard formed Project Haiti Heart to provide cardiac care for children in Haiti with congenital heart defects. In September of 2004, Project Haiti Heart became part of CHMA. In October of 2004 CHMA supported the first trip to Haiti. This relationship has continued through 2009.

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