Our Hearts Are In Jamaica

A Global Initiative Sponsored by Gift of Life International

Gift of Life has had a long history of involvement in Jamaica dating back to 2000.  Over the years, Gift of Life programs have provided surgeries to individual Jamaican children in the United States.  Between 2000 and 2011, 20 Jamaican children were helped through the Gift of Life Jamaica.

In 2010, Gift of Life Florida Director Heidi Hess saw the opportunity to partner with Chain of Hope to develop a sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery and aftercare program and requested Gift of Life International to select Jamaica as one of its core countries of focus.

Subsequently, Gift of Life International announced the ‘Our Hearts Are in Jamaica' program in January of 2011 and provided treatment to 20 Jamaican children at 13 affiliated hospitals throughout the United States.  In addition, two Rotary Grants were funded to provide surgeries for 24 Jamaican children in Jamaica at Bustamante Hospital for Children and the surgeries were conducted by the local Jamaican team.

2016 Core Program Update - JAMAICA 2016 Core Program Update - JAMAICA

2013 November Jamaica Training Visit 2013 November Jamaica Training Visit

2013 Jamaica Progress Report 2013 Jamaica Progress Report

2013 February Jamaica Training Visit 2013 February Jamaica Training Visit

2012 Jamaica Progress Report 2012 Jamaica Progress Report

Jamaica Rotary Hand-Out Jamaica Rotary Hand-Out


2016 Core Program Update for Jamaica


As part of Gift of Life International’s efforts in Jamaica since January 2011, we have funded:

  1. Surgery for 44 Jamaican children
  2. Professional fees associated with the construction of the new cardiac unit at Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, Jamaica
  3. Two training visits to Bustamante Hospital for Children
  4. Training of the first-ever pediatric cardiac perfusionist in Jamaica
  5. Training for 3 Biomedical Technicians to be dedicated to Bustamante Hospital for Children
  6. The purchase of a blood gas analyzer for the pediatric cardiac program
  7. Two anesthesia machines for the new pediatric cardiac unit

Additionally, Gift of Life International is working to help fund a $1.2 million USD Rotary International Global Grant that is sponsored by the Ybor City and Portmore Rotary Clubs and funded by nearly 30 individual Rotary Clubs and Districts, The Shaggy Foundation and Chain of Hope.  The grant will purchase a state-of-the-art catheterization lab for the new cardiac unit.

The construction of the new pediatric cardiac unit is being funded by Digicel Foundation and it is expected to be complete by January 15, 2014.  Chain of Hope and Sagicor are also helping fund construction costs of this unit.

The Government of Jamaica is engaged in this entire process through the Ministry of Health and the Southeast Regional Health Authority and is committed to retaining highly-trained healthcare providers that are assigned to the pediatric cardiac surgery program. 

Our goal for 2014 is to provide open and closed heart surgeries to over 150 Jamaican children at the new pediatric cardiac unit at Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Our Strategic Partners In The ‘Our Hearts Are In Jamaica’ Program

  • Gift Of Life Florida
  • Rotary District 6960
  • Chain Of Hope UK
  • Chain Of Hope Jamaica
  • Caribbean Heart Menders Association
  • Dr. Richard Perryman
  • Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation
  • Congenital Heart Institute Of Florida
  • Bustamante Hospital For Children
  • Orlando Rotary Club
  • Gift Of Life Of Central Florida
  • Gift Of Life Of East Florida
  • Rotary Club Of St. Andrew North
  • Rotary Club Of Portmore
  • Rotary Club Of Downtown Kingston
  • Rotary Club Of Kingston
  • Rotary Club Of Ocho Rios
  • Rotary International
  • Rotary Club Of Tampa
  • Rotary Club Of Ybor City
  • Rotary Club Of Interbay
  • Rotary District 7020
  • The Digicel Foundation
  • The Countess Moira Foundation
  • NECO