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2004 Press Releases
Mended Hearts Program at Morton Plant Hospital Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

CLEARWATER, Fla. (July 14, 2004)---For 30 years, volunteers of the Mended Hearts program at Morton Plant Hospital have brought a ready ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on for patients in the community with heart disease at home, recuperating in the hospital or in a support group setting.

"Our mission is to inspire hope in heart disease patients, their families and caregivers," said Phyllis Gerdes, co-president along with her husband, Hank, of Mended Hearts Chapter 25. "The majority of the members of the group are heart patients and so we know first hand that there is a rewarding life after heart disease is diagnosed."

Members of Mended Hearts listen, share their own experiences and talk to other heart patients on a voluntary basis about what they may face during the course of their disease. Annually, Mended Hearts volunteers of Chapter 25 make 1,010 hospital visits to patients and 513 visits to family members and caregivers.

"Since June 25, 1974, Mended Hearts has played an integral role in the care of Morton Plant's cardiac patients with emotional and educational support," said Philip K. Beauchamp, chief executive officer and president of Morton Plant Hospital.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. In 2003, Morton Plant was named a 100 Top Hospital in the "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success" study for the fifth consecutive year in cardiovascular care and for the fourth year for overall quality of care. In 2002, according to AARP Modern Maturity magazine, Morton Plant was one of America's Top 50 Hospitals.

In 2001, Morton Plant Hospital joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7500.

Contact: Phoebe Ochman/Beth Hardy

Morton Plant News Bureau

727 / 461-8538 Phone

727 / 468-7586 Pager