Heartbeat International Foundation is the leading US-based charity providing implantable pacemakers and related cardiac care free of charge to needy people in developing countries around the world.  Since its founding, HBI has at various times operated in 45 cities located in 30 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean basin, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

HBI has relies on its strong relationships with the leading cardiac device manufacturers in the United States and Germany for donations of brand new pacemakers, ICD’s, and other cardiac care devices, which are then shipped to approved HBI Heart Centers overseas.

HBI’s mission is operated year-round by local, in country, professionals.  HBI Heart Centers are administered by volunteers who coordinate the contributed services of local physicians, medical facilities and healthcare personnel involved in the implantation of cardiac devices and follow-up care.


Talking Points

  • Every year more than one (1) million people in the developing world die or lead an unfulfilled life because they cannot afford a pacemaker.  

  • Heartbeat International Foundation (HBI) is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) global humanitarian organization whose mission is to save lives by providing pacemakers and associated medical care, free of cost, to needy patients worldwide.  

  • Since its establishment 30 years ago (1984) by the late Dr. Henry D. McIntosh of Tampa, Florida, and Dr. Federico Alfaro, a Guatemalan physician, HBI has saved the lives of over 14,000 indigent patients worldwide!

  • HBI’s success can also be attributed to the financial contributions and logistical/operating support of Rotary International and local Rotary Clubs in participating nations.

  • HBI’s Pacemaker Program has two requirements: (a) medical need, and (b) economic need. All potential patients are first assessed by one of HBI’s certified volunteer doctors in their country for the medical necessity of a device and then must meet the indigent status outlined by local social workers. Once the patient is deemed eligible, the device is implanted at a Heart Center that provides life-long follow-up care.

  • An estimated 17.3 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2014. This represents 30% of all global deaths; about 80% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, the kinds that are served by HBI's Heart Centers. If current trends are allowed to continue, by 2030 an estimated 23.6 million people will die each year from cardiovascular disease (mainly heart attacks and strokes).

  • HBI’s 2015-16 #TweetABeat Giving Tuesday Campaign is based on the daily heartbeats (100,000) of a healthy heart. A healthy human heart beats an estimated 70 times a minute. Over the course of an average lifetime, the heart beats up to 3 billion times.

  • For a monthly pledge of $100 – donors will help sustain the heartbeats of an indigent patient for all of the 2016 calendar year.

  • For a monthly pledge of $50 – donors will help sustain the heartbeats of an indigent patient for half of the 2016 calendar year. 

  • On June 18, 1986, Heartbeat International was recognized by President Ronald Reagan at the White House and awarded a presidential citation.

  • The oldest recipient of a HBI device in 2015, to date, is 99-year old Dominga Padua from the Philippines. The youngest HBI patient in 2015, to date, is 11-month old baby Dilip Kausalya of Namakal, India.