Friends of the Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is an all-volunteer group that has given more than $1.5 million toward cardiac equipment and services since 1978.
When David L. Smith, MD travels to local middle schools this fall to share his health education program, he'll show the students what a beating heart looks like using a new ultrasound machine. Dr. Smith's original ultrasound made it through 10 years of programs attended by about 2,000 students each year. This year, it was time for a new machine.
That's where Friends of the Heart Institute come in. They help fund the cardiac equipment and services of Doylestown Health's Richard A. Reif Heart Institute. The funding directly benefits members of our community, including thousands of middle school students who learn the value of making healthy choices.
"Friends of the Heart Institute strives to make a difference in the lives of those who turn to Doylestown Hospital for exceptional heart care," said Sara Moyer, who co-chairs the organization with husband, Scott. "We are proud of the role we play in offering exceptional cardiac services as well as promoting heart health through education."
Most recently, thanks to funding from Friends of the Heart, Doylestown Hospital joined with a national non-profit organization, Walk With a Doc, whose mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages. The first Walk with a Doc event, hosted by cardiologist James Kmetzo, MD, drew more than 50 walkers from the community.
Additional Walk with a Doc events are planned for August 19 and September 16.
Friends of the Heart Institute is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to raise financial support for the full range of hospital-based cardiac programs and services. Founded by Herman Silverman in 1978 as the $100 Heart Club, the group has raised funds for cardiac equipment and programs totaling more than $1.5 million. The group also promotes heart-healthy lifestyles by disseminating patient-friendly information and supporting community education initiatives.
Friends are guided each year by a wish list developed by Heart Institute leaders for equipment and services necessary to maintain a leading-edge cardiac program. This year, Friends allocated more than $183,000 for a variety of items that directly benefit Heart Institute patients and members of the community.
In addition to Dr. Smith's ultrasound and Walk with a Doc, Friends is providing funding for five new medical mobile recliners. These keep patients comfortable in the recovery area following interventional procedures like cardiac catheterizations. Other allocations include the purchase of a new warming blanket system, patient stretchers, stress test equipment and temporary pacemakers.
Funds will also be used to purchase four different types of exercise equipment for Doylestown Health's cardiac rehabilitation program at Doylestown Hospital and the Health and Wellness Center in Warrington.
A less tangible but no less important allocation of $12,000 will benefit the Woodall Education Fund that provides scholarships to Doylestown Hospital nurses seeking further education.
Friends of the Heart Institute raises funds through membership dues and several fundraising activities. These include the annual Heart Brunch in the spring and the popular Cardiac Cook-Off event in the fall.
"Our mission, to support hospital-based cardiac programs and services, is only accomplished through the generosity of our members and the support of the Doylestown community," said Sara. "We continue to seek new members as the need for our help continues to grow every year."
For information about or to become a member, visit the Friends of the Heart Institute or call 215-345-2802.
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