In 2015, the American Heart Association established the Heart Valve Patient Ambassador program, a small, volunteer-based group of patients and caregivers who offer support to the millions of Americans impacted by heart valve disease.
This inaugural group of volunteer ambassadors is made up of seven heart valve disease survivors, including myself, and one caregiver from across the country who represent the face of heart valve disease in America and show that heart valve disease can affect people of different ages, backgrounds and lifestyles.
As ambassadors, we are leaders in the patient community and work directly with the AHA to raise awareness about heart valve disease resources for patients. We reach out to the patient community – both online, through the Support Network, and at in-person events – to offer support and direct patients to resources that are available through the AHA.
Through firsthand experience, we are able to offer valuable perspective and insights to other patients and caregivers struggling with a recent diagnosis or recovery from surgery.
We spend a lot of time interacting with patients on the Support Network. The Support Network is an online support community dedicated to those who have experienced a heart event, heart disease, stroke or congenital heart defect as a survivor or caregiver.
We know educated patients recover faster and that there is a link between caregivers who feel emotionally supported and the level of care and they are able to provide to loved ones and family members. The Support Network provides a place for patients, families and caregivers to give and receive support, improve their own health and impact the lives of others.
The Support Network is more than a conventional support group, it gives individuals access to credible resources, experts via online chats and webinars as well as fellow survivors and caregivers.
Fyi: Heart Valve Ambassadors : recently selected: Debra North and Ray Rivera :
Meet the Heart Valve Ambassadors….
(please click the link below)
It is easy to join the Support Network, just visit www.heart.org/supportnetwork