Our Hearts Are In El Salvador
A Global Initiative Sponsored by Gift of Life International
Gift of Life began work in El Salvador in 1988. Louis Auricchio, then the President of Gift of Life, Inc. in New York worked to create the program with Salvadoran Rotarians and others. Over the years, more than 200 Salvadoran children received the gift of life in hospitals throughout the United States.
Gift of Life International chose El Salvador as its 2010 country of focus and sent 117 Salvadoran children to 25 GOL affiliated hospitals in 13 countries. This dramatic show of GOL’s vast network motivated Rotarians, healthcare professionals, government officials and hospital administrators from around the world to dedicate resources to help develop a sustainable pediatric cardiac program in El Salvador.
Over the past 4 years, Gift of Life International has worked to develop an international network through the ‘Our Hearts Are in El Salvador’ global initiative. We have implemented a 5 year strategic plan which was designed to develop a sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery and aftercare program in El Salvador by 2015.
For archived Training Visit Reports click here
2016 Core Program Update for El Salvador
The major aspects of this program are:
- Over 600 Salvadoran children treated since implementation of program in 2010
- Acquisition of more than $250,000 worth of essential equipment, supplies and medications for the Salvadoran surgery and aftercare program
- Sponsorship of 13 training visits to Hospital Bloom in San Salvador
- 18 month training program for pediatric intensive care nurses and operating room nurses
- Training of a second perfusionist for the program
- Training of a pediatric cardiac surgeon
Plans are underway to construct the National Pediatric Cardiac Center in San Salvador to support the Salvadoran Surgical and Aftercare team. A goal has been set to have the center completed by mid-2015.
Ultimately, over 250 children per year will be treated at this center.
In 2011, 159 children were operated on at Hospital Bloom in San Salvador and we have set a goal for 200 children to be operated on by the Salvadoran Team in 2012. The primary focus of the training missions remains the development of the doctor’s and nurse’s skills. Missions are structured to focus on specific ailments. Multi-Disciplinary conferences have been held to support the cohesiveness of the team and their ability to work together in a more coordinated fashion leading to better patient outcomes.
In addition to the development of the Surgical Team, significant efforts have been undertaken to enlist reliable funding to sustain the program. The Salvadoran Government and Salvadoran business community have been supporters of our efforts to fund the development of our program. This includes the acquisition of vital equipment and supplies. We have received great support from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Digicel El Salvador has been the leading supporter of our efforts to help the children in their own country. Additionally, we have begun efforts to raise the monies needed to construct the new National Cardiac Center in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Our vision is to create a National Cardiac Center staffed by well-trained Salvadoran medical professionals by the year 2015 which will be sustained by the Salvadoran Government and Salvadoran business community. Salvadorans will be empowered to care for Salvadorans resulting in 200 children per year receiving care at this facility.
Lastly, every child that receives a surgery through our program is eligible to be entered into our Nutritional Assistance Program. Providing the family meets our financial criteria for assistance, the child and their family will receive nutritional assistance for a period of up to one year. Additionally, one parent will be provided with vocational training and all school-age children will be required to attend school. To date, over 200 children and their families have received aid through this program. Salvadoran and U.S. Rotary Clubs have been instrumental in supporting this program.
Our Strategic Partners In The ‘Our Hearts Are In El Salvador’ Program
- Latidos De Esperanza
- Digicel El Salvador
- Gift Of Life Florida
- Gift Of Life Los Angeles
- Gift Of Life District 7500
- Gift Of Life New Jersey (Rotary District 7470)
- Gift Of Life Northeast Ohio
- Rotary International
- Countess Moira Foundation
- Joan Wismer Foundation
- Chocolates Melher
- Rotary Club of Oakland
- Rotary Club Of The Pelhams
- Rotary Club Of San Salvador Cuscatlan
- Rotary Club Of San Salvador
- Rotary Club Of San Salvador Noroeste
- Rotary Club Of Santa Ana
- Rotary Club Of Sirama San Miguel
- Rotary Club Of Santa Tecla
- Rotary Club Of San Miguel Chaparrastique
- Rotary Club of Stratford
- Rotary District 5240
- Fundacion San Nicolas
- Gente Ayudando Gente
- Regalo De Vida
- Hearts With Hope Foundation
- University Of Michigan, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
- Driscoll Children’s Hospital
- Hospital Tec De Monterrey
- Project Mend A Little Heart
- Hospital Nacional De Ninos Benjamin Bloom
- Minister Of Health El Salvador
- Hospital De Diagnostico
- Agnew Translation