About Healing Hearts Northwest
Healing Hearts Northwest was established in June of 2008 following a meeting between Drs. Hal Goldberg (Spokane, Washington and Joseph Mucumbitsi (Kigali, Rwanda). Dr. Muchumbitsi had a vision of organizing several international cardiac surgical teams to mentor and teach Rwandan medical staff while performing cardiac surgeries in Rwanda. His goal was to develop an independent Rwandan cardiac program.
Over the following 10 years, 4 teams (Open Heart International from Australia, Team Heart from Boston, Ma, Chain of Hope from Belgium, and Healing Hearts Northwest from Spokane, Washington) participated in the program to improve the cardiac program in Rwanda. Each team traveled independently, once a year, to provide quarterly care for patients needing surgery. A total of 600 Rwandans received open heart surgery to repair and replace heart valves damaged by Rheumatic Fever.
Healing Hearts Northwest has now completed 5 trips, 82 open heart surgeries on children and young adults, in Rwanda. There have been many changes in the health care system since our first trip, and a large group of Rwandan staff now join us during our visits and have continued to improve their medical skills and systems to provide care for these patients. We have included approximately 150 staff, from all over the United States, with the majority coming from the Pacific Northwest. We continue to be committed to the establishment of an independent, sustainable Rwandan cardiac surgical program.
Currently our goals are to provide follow up cardiac care for the patients that have received surgery and support the Rwandan medical staff by assisting several physicians and nurses to continue their training and gain skills in cardiology and cardiac surgery. Two Rwanda physicians are currently in fellowship programs to become cardiologists and another Rwandan physician will be completing a thorasic cardiology surgeon will be graduating this year and return to Rwanda.
Based in Spokane, WA, HHNW is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.