Katherine DiPalo wrote -
Heart failure is an epidemic with an estimated 23 million people affected worldwide. It is a progressive, chronic syndrome that results in a poor quality of life and is more deadly than cancer. The symptoms of heart failure are alarming. Our patients wheeze and gasp because fluid accumulates in their lungs. They wake up from sleep with severe shortness of breath and coughing. They gain weight rapidly particularly in their legs and stomach. They are extremely weak, tired, anxious and afraid. They can't walk more than a few blocks or climb stairs without stopping to breathe or rest. Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalizations among patients 65 years or older and 1 out of 4 patients return to the hospital within 30 days. About half of people who develop heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis. The statistics are upsetting and we strive every day to take the failure out of heart failure.
Montefiore Medical Center delivers world class healthcare primarily to its patients in The Bronx. An area that is considered to be the most diverse in the country, The Bronx is well known for landmarks such as Yankee Stadium, Bronx Zoo, Arthur Avenue’s Little Italy and City Island. It also contains one of the poorest Congressional districts in the United States. We tell our heart failure patients that in order to stay healthy they need to take their medicine, watch their diet, monitor their blood pressure and weight, exercise and not miss their doctors’ appointments. However, over 30% of the 1.4 million residents in The Bronx live below the poverty line. For many of our patients the cost of staying healthy is simply more than they can afford.
Heart to Heart is a charity fund that provides financial assistance to our heart failure patients in need. Founded by Dr. Katherine Di Palo and Dr. Ileana Piña 100% of your donation will help patients obtain everyday essentials, such as medication, scales, pill boxes and blood pressure monitors, that keep them healthy and out of the hospital. The average cost of a heart failure hospitalization is over $18,000. Many of our patients end up in the hospital because they didn’t have a scale to monitor their weight or couldn’t afford their medications. A $50 donation could provide scales for 5 patients or a month’s worth of medication for 2 patients. Most importantly your donation prevents our patients from being in the hospital which improves outcomes and quality of life. A little goes a long way! We greatly appreciate any donation to the Heart to Heart fund and on behalf of our patients and their families we thank you for your generosity.