The statistics are startling. One Tampa-based organization saving more than 16,000 lives in more than 30 countries over the past 35 years. That’s what Heartbeat International Foundation has accomplished under the leadership of one Tampa cardiologist, Dr. Benedict S. Maniscalco.
Still, insists Dr. Maniscalco, we have to do more. “We just need the proper funding, and I think we can become the strongest force for cardiovascular disease in third-world countries that the globe’s ever seen,” says Maniscalco. “Through our program, just $585 saves a life. Imagine the lives we can save.”
The organization, which provides pacemakers and life-saving cardiac treatments to the under-privileged around the world, is just part of Dr. Maniscalco’s influential medical career. He has held leadership positions with the American College of Cardiology, taught at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and founded the pioneering St. Joseph’s Heart Institute.
But at this point in his career, Heartbeat International Foundation is Dr. Maniscalco’s passion. “I have grandchildren, and I would move heaven and earth to save one of their lives,” says Maniscalco. “The idea that someone’s child will die today because their family can’t afford a pacemaker is unacceptable to me.”
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