About Us

Mended Hearts is a national nonprofit organization that has offered the gift of hope to heart patients, their families and caregivers for 60 years.

Mended Hearts has nearly 18,000 members in 300 community-based chapters and satellites across the U.S. (and one in Canada). Chapters partner with more than 450 hospitals and cardiac care facilities to provide 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.

Mended Hearts offers Educational and Support Programs and information on Educational Resources.

Educational and Support Programs

  • In-Person Visiting Program – Mended Hearts members are like the people they serve — they are heart patients and family members serving others going through what they went through themselves.  This allows them to draw on their own personal experience as they educate, reassure and inspire others.  Heart patients and their families gain hope by seeing others who have survived heart disease and are healthy.  Healthcare professionals continually praise the patient-to-patient connection as they witness firsthand the benefits to their patients’ overall recovery.
  • Internet Visiting/Phone Support – Visits to patients and family members online and by phone provide much needed support in areas where face-to-face visits from local members are not available.
  • Group Meetings – Support Groups — Our support groups show people that a rich, rewarding life is possible after heart disease. Members 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 – Heart patients are of all ages, so Mended Little Hearts was launched to provide support and encouragement to parents of children born with congenital heart defects and heart disease.  The program began in 2004 with two groups in two states.  Today there are more than 50 community-based groups in 23 states.
  • National Conference – Mended Hearts hosts an annual national conference to train volunteers, provide the latest cardiovascular health information, and offer networking opportunities. The average attendance is 350-400.

Educational Resources

  • Patients and Their Hearts (PATH) Pack – During a hospital visit, a trained visitor offers a PATH Pack to each heart patient/family.  The folder includes health information, support group connections, guidance for making healthy lifestyle changes and maintaining a good quality of life after a heart event, local MHI chapter information, etc.  The current annual distribution is 160,000 households.
  • After the Cath Lab:  A Guide to Recovery – Bypass patients have been Mended Hearts’ main constituency, but this is changing.  In  2010, we expanded a new program for the cath lab.  Now a trained visitor offers an educational packet to heart patients/family just before or just after a scheduled catheterization procedure in the hospital.  The educational folder, customized for cath lab patients, includes health information, guidance for making healthy lifestyle changes and maintaining a good quality of life after angioplasty, local MHI chapter information, etc.
  • Heartbeat – Heartbeat is our quarterly national magazine that provides valuable health information, inspirational survivor stories and chapter news.Heart patients read about survivors enjoying a good quality of life.  The magazine also highlights a national network of caring individuals that they can connect with for support on their road to recovery.  We print copies 80,000 annually to distribute to our members.

Scope of the Disease/Patient Numbers¹

  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the No.1 killer of women and men.
  • An estimated 82.6 million Americans have some type of CVD, and 40.4 million are age 60 or older.
  • From 1997 to 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, the number of Americans discharged from short-stay hospitals with CVD as the first listed diagnosis decreased from 6,097,000 to 5,890,000.  In 2007, 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 27 percent from 5,382,000 in 1997 to 6,646,000 in 2007.  In the United States in 2007, an estimated 1,118,000 PCI procedures, 408,000 bypass procedures and 1,059,000 diagnostic cardiac catheterizations were performed, and 111,000 implantable defibrillators and 160,000 pacemaker devices were implanted.
  • Between four 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.

¹ American Heart Association.  Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2011 Update
Mended Hearts:  1-888-HEART99 (1-888-432-7899); www.mendedhearts.org