Gus Littlefield, President, MHI
Dear Mended Hearts Members, Colleagues, and Friends,
It is with great pleasure that I introduce Michele Packard-Milam, CAE as the new Executive Director of Mended Hearts. In Michele's new role, she will be responsible for new business development, brand strategy execution, financial oversight of the organization, and collaboration with our partners, sponsors, the Corporate Advisory Council, and the American College of Cardiology to improve the health and quality of heart patients nationwide.
Michele brings a wealth of non-profit management, branding and communications experience to Mended Hearts. In her previous position as Executive Director of the Emergency Medicine Resident's Association, she grew membership to its highest level while increasing revenue through the execution of new publishing and sponsorship strategies. Michele is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and has significant experience in directing and executing membership and business development initiatives for non-profit organizations. During her tenure at the American Heart Association, Michele led new web and marketing strategies to increase traffic to over 500,000 visitors monthly. She is an experienced speaker and facilitator, and her many talents will be an asset to Mended Hearts.
Michele hails from Dallas, TX where she lives with her husband and three children. Michele can be reached via email at Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd also like to thank Jodi Lemacks for serving as the interim Executive Director. Jodi has worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to lead and support our staff in the execution of our many programs.
Once again, I'd like to thank everyone for their continued support of Mended Hearts. With your many contributions, we can enable heart patients' young and old to live healthier, fuller lives.
Gus Littlefield, President, MHI
Thank You for Giving Back!
Your role as accredited visitors is extremely important to heart patients and their families. You are Mended Hearts' most important resource for inspiring hope in patients, parents of CHD children and caregivers. Thank you for being involved in the visiting program, the foundation in which Mended Hearts was formed. Accredited visitors are themselves exceptional patients, parents and caregivers who show the value of giving back by giving of themselves again.
As we continue to conduct our survey for Quantifying the Impact of Peer-to-Peer Support, we encourage you to follow up with your patients to increase our participation in the survey. During our April conference calls, several excellent suggestions were shared. One of the suggestions was the follow-up call which is already part of our visiting protocol. This is important not only to remind patients to go online and complete the survey at www.mendedhearts.org/survey, but also because patients and their families need to know that accredited visitors care about the patient and family. The Peer-to-Peer survey project has been extended into fall to provide adequate sample size and reach our goal of 500 completed surveys. So, please continue to encourage survey feedback!
Since we began Visiting Vignettes, accredited visitors shared differences in how chapters across the country work to be in compliance with various hospital rules and regulations. In spite of those challenges and different interpretations, you are resilient and find ways to work within the guidelines and visit heart patients and families. I commend you for fostering good relationships with your hospitals to continue helping Mended Hearts carry out its mission of offering hope and encouragement to heart patients and their family members. Across the country, accredited visitors with the support of their hospitals logged more than 215,000 visits in 2013. Members continue to be there to listen and share their own experiences, answer questions and offer encouragement. Thank you for becoming an accredited visitor and for giving to others from the heart.
At our upcoming national conference in Indianapolis, I am facilitating one of the concurrent sessions, "Gear up your Visiting Program." I would love to share what you are doing in your chapter to recruit accredited visitors, retain and recognize them. Where do you market Mended Hearts? Feel free to email me pictures and/or ideas and techniques that I might include in the session.
Throughout the summer months, some of the Mended Hearts chapters break until the fall. Visiting Vignettes will also suspend until September. Heart disease doesn't take a break, so I thank you for your commitment to the visiting program throughout the summer.
Monday, May 26th is Memorial Day. I love the poem written by Father Dennis O'Brien, United States Marine Corps.
It is the soldier, not the President who gives us Democracy.
It is the soldier, not the Congress who takes Care of us.
It is the soldier, not the Reporter who has given us Freedom of Press.
It is the soldier, not the Poet who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus [community] Organizer who has given us the Freedom to Demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, that allows the protester to burn the flag.
On Memorial Day and every day, our thanks go to our brave United States servicemen and servicewomen who allow us to lead our wonderful lives here in peace and freedom.
With heartfelt regards,