Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The echocardiography laboratory network project has blossomed in the past year. The network includes 10 hospitals in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize, with several others to join in coming years. Since 2010, we have partnered with the Guatemalan Heart Institute (UNICAR) and the Guatemalan government to connect care providers in these hospitals with the equipment and training they need to offer basic, affordable heart diagnostic tests to patients who need it most.
More than 13,500 echocardiograms have helped diagnose heart disease in thousands of patients, most of whom would not have otherwise received appropriate treatment.
We also continue supplying clinics and hospitals abroad with vital medical equipment and supplies for neonatal, intensive and emergency care. Our footprint extends throughout Central America, and we have “boots on the ground” through our cardiac and vascular programs in Belize and the Caribbean island of Antigua.
We would not have been able to accomplish this without the support of individuals like you and committed partners like Chiquita Brands, UNICAR and Guatemala’s First Lady, Rosa María Leal de Pérez. UNICAR remains the central hub for resource and information sharing and we will hopefully be able to help enhance its services in the near future. Mrs. Pérez remains a strong supporter of our goals to enhance a range of health services in Guatemala, from primary and children’s care to cardiac diagnostic and treatment services.
In Charlotte, we hosted international visitors and trainees who traveled from numerous countries to observe and train at our medical facilities. The care providers at Carolinas HealthCare System continue to travel abroad to teach and to assist with heart operations and other clinical procedures.
We look forward to entering another year of excellence in patient care and outreach.
Francis Robicsek, MD, PhD
VICE PRESIDENT | International Medical Outreach, Carolinas HealthCare System
PRESIDENT | Heineman Foundation of Charlotte