Berlin, Germany (May 13, 2010) - BIOTRONIK, a leading manufacturer of high-quality implantable cardiac devices and pioneer of wireless remote monitoring technologies, announced today that it has made a significant commitment to donate cardiac devices to Heartbeat International Foundation (HBI), a global charity dedicated to providing much-needed heart devices to indigent people in need of care.
“Not only do we see giving to communities and patients in-need as part of our corporate responsibility as a member of the global community, but a sincere and compassionate reflection of our belief in ‘excellence for life’,” said Marlou Janssen, BIOTRONIK’s Global Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “HBI is truly an admirable organization for the work it does around the world and we are honored to partner with them in their ongoing efforts to save lives. We anticipate that the donation in cardiac devices could make a life-saving difference for over a thousand of the world’s most-needy and desperate patients.”
Heartbeat International (http://www.heartbeatintl.org/mission.htm) has been in the business of saving lives in the poorest corners of the world since its founding 25 years ago. Patients in some of the most impoverished areas of Pakistan, Honduras, Benin, Venezuela, Kenya, Guatemala, Trinidad, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Philippines, Thailand, India and China have all benefitted from HBI’s efforts.
“We’re honored that BIOTRONIK reached out to us and is now our partner in bringing cardiac care to needy patients around the globe,” said Benedict Maniscalco, CEO and Chairman of Heartbeat International Foundation. “We have implanted nearly 11,000 devices since we started, and BIOTRONIK’s donation will allow us to continue this important work.”
A recent example of HBI’s charitable works includes the case of Li Wusheng, from the Yunnan Province in the south-central part of China, who suffered from severe headaches and fainting spells and was in desperate need of a heart device she could never afford.
Li’s pacemaker would have cost approximately 8 times more than her entire annual salary of about 3,000 RMB (about $430). Thanks to HBI and the doctors in the Cardiology Department of the First Attached Hospital of Kunming Medical College, Li got her pacemaker implanted for free and all of her follow-up appointments paid in full. She is now married, rides her bike to work each day and has a daughter of her own.
There are one million - and possibly as many as three million - people each year with such stories that will die because they cannot get a pacemaker. HBI and BIOTRONIK are working together to bring those numbers down.
HBI’s commitment to patient care around the globe goes hand in hand with BIOTRONIK’s historical commitment to clinical excellence. BIOTRONIK proudly joins HBI’s team and wishes to support the foundation’s laudable efforts to save lives globally by providing cardiovascular treatment to needy people.
As one of the world’s leading cardiovascular medical device companies, with several million implanted devices, BIOTRONIK is represented in over 100 countries with its global workforce of more than 5,100 employees. Known for having its finger on the pulse of the medical community, BIOTRONIK assesses the challenges physicians face, and provides the best solutions for all phases of patient care, ranging from diagnosis to treatment to patient management. Quality, innovation and reliability define BIOTRONIK and its growing success, and deliver confidence and peace of mind to physicians and their patients worldwide.
About the Heartbeat International Foundation
HBI is a charitable nonprofit organization and a member of the Independent Charities of America. HBI provides cardiovascular implantable devices, donated to HBI by the medical devices industry, as well as professional and medical services by volunteering physicians and hospitals free of charge to indigent patients worldwide. An estimated 1 to 3 million people die annually because they cannot afford a lifesaving pacemaker operation. But the problem will only increase as growing populations develop cardiovascular disease which is increasing at an alarming rate and is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide.