Heartbeat International Foundation (HBI), a nonprofit based in Tampa, celebrates its 35th anniversary. Heartbeat International Foundation is a charity that provides life-saving cardiac implantable devices to impoverished families in developing countries.
Led by Dr. Benedict S. Maniscalco, a Tampa cardiologist, the charity has saved the lives of women, men, and children through its global network of volunteer doctors, device sponsors such as BIOTRONIK and Boston Scientific, as well as the generosity of philanthropists in Tampa the US, and across the globe, who have donated funds to support the cause.
“If one of my grandchildren needed a pacemaker, I would turn over heaven and earth to help them,” says Dr. Maniscalco, whose lifelong philanthropic career was recognized by Tampa Magazine’s People Moving Tampa 2019 edition.
“The idea that someone’s child will die because they can’t afford a $585 pacemaker surgery is unacceptable to me.”
In addition to providing the pacemaker surgery, HBI provides life-long maintenance care for its patients. Several have grown up, finished university, raised families, and have become productive members of their communities. HBI maintains in contact with all its patients through its Patient Appreciation Days.
Video: 35 Years of HBI:
Notable milestones of the charity over the years:
- 1984 – On October 18th, In Lakeland, FL, Heartbeat International is formally born through a partnership between the late Dr. Henry D. McIntosh of Tampa, and Dr. Federico Alfaro, a Guatemalan physician.
- 1986 – HBI is recognized by President Reagan in the Rose Garden at the White House with a Presidential Citation.
- McIntosh moves HBI’s base of operations to St. Joseph’s Heart Institute to Tampa.
- There are 16 Heart Centers established and operating in South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.
- 2000 – HBI celebrates its 5,000th life saved – and now has had pacemakers implanted in over 40 locations in more than 20 countries around the world.
- 2003 – Dr. Benedict S. Maniscalco, a Tampa cardiologist, becomes HBI’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
- 2008 – HBI Celebrates 9,000 lives saved!
- Through a generous $300k grant, new Heart Centers are established in Honduras, Benin, and Cote d’Ivoire.
- 2015 – To date, the oldest patient is 99-year old Dominga Padua of the Philippines. The youngest patient is Keila from Honduras- she was 1 month old when she received her pacemaker in 2016.
- 2019 – HBI Celebrates its 35th anniversary on October 18th, saving more than 16,000 lives across 20+ countries.
Despite this formidable achievement, the leadership at HBI is eager to save more lives and calls upon the community for support.
For only $585, HBI is able to perform pacemaker surgery and provide lifelong care for their patients so they may go on to lead productive, active lives. Through the generosity of sponsors and donors, this process has been repeated to save more than 16,000 lives in nearly 30 countries since 1984.
To make a donation, visit: https://heartbeatsaveslives.harnessapp.com/wv2/
About Heartbeat International Foundation
Founded in 1984, Heartbeat International Foundation has saved more than 16,000 lives globally by providing cardiac implantable devices and critical follow-up care for the needy people of the world. Led by Dr. Benedict S. Maniscalco, a Tampa cardiologist, HBI relies on a growing network of volunteer physicians, corporate partners, and donors – people like you – to save the lives of people who cannot afford this critical care.
For more information, visit www.heartbeatsaveslives.org
Laura Delise | Executive Vice President
Heartbeat International Foundation