North Dakota chapter of Mended Hearts launches in Minot



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MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The first North Dakota chapter of Mended Hearts was launched in Minot, offering a chance for heart disease patients, their families and caregivers in the city to come together and give hope to each other.

Trinity Health Auxiliary, which launched the chapter last month, noted that the response from the community is overwhelming and very supportive. The health group is also organizing a "Hearts with Talent Gala" contest to officially announce the launch of the North Dakota Mended Hearts chapter.

"Hearts with Talent Gala will be held Jan. 31 and that will be the kick start of the chapter," said Sherry Maragos and Jordan Schmitt, who are in charge of the contest.

The top eight contestants among audition videos will compete at the "Hearts with Talent Gala" at the Grand Hotel in Minot. The winner of the talent contest will get a round-trip weekend getaway value of $1,500.

"The winner can travel to a tour destination of one's own choice," the organizers told the Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/1CeLIPz ).

The talent show is just the beginning for the chapter. It plans to hold weekly, monthly and annual meetings and gatherings where people with heart diseases, their families and caregivers, as well as cardiovascular professionals and other professionals in the state can make personal connections with each other and the medical community.

"Does heart disease affect you or someone you know? With nearly 80 million Americans suffering from at least one form of the disease, chances are it does," said Dr. Christopher Phillips, medical director of Trinity's Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

"As one of the nation's top 50 cardiac centers, Trinity Health believes in providing heart patients and their families with compassion and care of the highest quality," Phillips said. "That is why the Trinity Health Auxiliary (has formed) a local chapter of the national organization, Mended Hearts."

Mended Hearts is a national and community based nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Dwight E. Harken in 1951.

The doctor had asked Doris Silliman, one of the first 50 patients to ever have heart surgery, and three other post-surgery heart patients to meet at a hospital, and the patients spoke of their new feeling of well-being, their plans and hopes for the future. With renewed happiness they spoke of their "mended hearts," and that led to the formation of the nonprofit organization Mended Hearts.

There are more than 300 local chapters and satellites nationwide, and Mended Hearts has partnered with more than 400 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics, offering services to heart patients through a variety of programs such as group meetings, networking and sharing experiences of struggling with the disease.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tendar Tsering

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