Hearts are the icon of Valentine’s Day. A day when many of us show the ones we love how much we care with presents of candy, packaged in red heart-shaped boxes.
As a cardiologist, Valentine’s Day also reminds me of the countless hearts around the world that are made healthier each year by Project HOPE’s health education and humanitarian assistance programs.
For example in China, our successful partnership with the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) is providing care and lifesaving surgery for some of the youngest hearts in the world. Opened in 1998, SCMC now performs more pediatric heart surgeries than any medical facility in the world, nearly 3500 pediatric heart surgeries each year.
In South Africa, Mexico and even right here in the United States, our chronic disease programs are training health professionals on prevention methods and educating communities on how to live healthier lifestyles and build stronger hearts. For a visual example of our heart healthy work, check out this great video of school kids at Francisco Madero Public Elementary School in Mexico who participated in Project HOPE's Healthy Habits for a Healthy Weight Program.
I wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s day full of sharing love with those who are most important in your lives. As you exchange your heart-shaped presents of love this February 14th, I hope you will also remember that Project HOPE continues in its commitment to building healthy hearts around the globe --today, and every day of the year.
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