Dr. Midha’s team first to perform free Heart Defibrillators in an Ethiopian public hospital

From left to right: Gilenesh Haile, RN, Carl Turissini, MD, Sonja Moraca, RN, Brenda Marie Houde, Leon Ptazsek, MD from MGH, Greg Simokonis and Salil Midha, MD.
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BOSTON–A team of the Boston Cardiac Foundation, which is founded by Dr. Salil Midha, has just returned from Africa, and become the first medical team to implant free Defibrillators for hearts in any public hospital in Ethiopia.

Heart Defibrillators are life saving devices for the patients with decreased function who are at risk for sudden death. In addition, the team performed pacemaker operations, coronary stenting and angioplasty and helped advancement of cardiac care by educating local doctors to aid those in need. This included education for pacemaker insertions, Balloon angioplasty, ICU rounds and follow-up clinics, while teaching local staff about future follow-up practices.

Dr. Salil Midha

This year’s team included Dr. Midha, Dr. Carl Turissini,  Dr. Leon Ptazsek, Brenda Marie Houde, Sonja Moraca, RN, Gilenesh Haile, RN and Greg Simikonis. This year team included highly trained staff from Mass. General Hosptial Arrhythmia Service to help the team perform the lifesaving defibrillators for the poor in Africa.

The Boston Cardiac Foundation is a non-profit organization that brings medical technologies and services to less developed countries around the world. The BCF team, made up of physicians, nurses, and technologists, performs cardiac procedures such as pacemaker surgery and coronary stenting and angioplasty free of charge for patients who can’t afford the lifesaving treatment.

Members of the BCF team have been traveling around the globe on charitable missions for over 30 years. The BCF motto is ‘helping one heart at a time’.

Boston Cardiac Foundation team members have performed over 400 pacemaker implantations in India alone and over 300 cases in Paraguay and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ability to perform these procedures is due to the support from our communities both in the US and in India, as well as generous donations made by the support from Medtronic. Several companies have donated over 4 million dollars in equipment and supplies to sustain our efforts around the globe.

“The 2018 October mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was also a very successful one. The BCF team performed numerous procedures,” BCF said in a statement. “For the first time we were able to perform defibrillators to the poor in Ethiopia with help from Dr. Leon Ptazsek from Mass General Hospital. We are very thankful for the efforts and help from Dr. Carl Turissini  who coordinated coronary angioplasty and stenting.”

Ptients with pacemakers from prior years received a check-up to ensure their device was operating properly.

“For over 28 years I’ve gone on missions to help the poor and our team members have implanted 650 pacemakers in those who otherwise could not afford this lifesaving procedure,” said Dr. Midha. “It makes a big impact on people’s lives and that gives me the energy to go forward.”

From left to right: Gilenesh Haile, RN, Carl Turissini, MD, Sonja Moraca, RN, Brenda Marie Houde, Leon Ptazsek, MD from MGH, Greg Simokonis and Salil Midha, MD.


“Our future missions are to Asuncion, Paraguay and New Delhi and Meerut, India in the near future. We greatly appreciate the support we have received from Medtronic. MAP International and Ethicon,” the statement said. “BCF greatly appreciates the donations from so many of our friends, physicians and golfers who have supported us over the past several years. In partnership with all our local and regional partners, we hope to support heart healthier lives around the world.”


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