Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Feature Article
WMRI launches pacemaker program in US, makes AC as cardiac center in CL
By Ashley Manabat

Nov 09, 2017

(Leading US Cardiologist Dr. Kim Eagle (left), the brains behind the pacemaker recycling program in the US under My Heart, Your Heart program (left) receives an Irene Auberlin Award from George V. Samson (right) and Michael Krause (center), president and CEO, and chairman of World Medical Relief, Inc., respectively.)

ANGELES CITY – Representatives from this highly urbanized city were in Michigan, USA on Monday to attend the 64th anniversary of the World Medical Relief, Inc. (WMRI) which was highlighted by the launching of a medical program that calls for the recycling of heart pacemakers and their eventual distribution to patients in developing countries, including the Philippines.

City Councilors Edu Pamintuan, who represented his father, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, and Joseph ‘PG” Ponce were on hand not only to attend the WMRI anniversary but also to start a process by the WMRI to make this city as a “Cardiac Center” in the region.

The two councilors were joined by WMRI volunteer Noel G. Tulabut, Clark Development Corp. communications manager.

The WMRI medical program dubbed, “My Heart, Your Heart,” is “a joint initiative by medical experts, health institutions and patrons of charity that could help save thousands of heart patients all over the globe,” the WMRI said in a statement on Wednesday.

My Heart Your Heart was formally launched during the 64th Anniversary and Gala Dinner of WMRI at its US headquarters in Michigan attended by leading cardiovascular experts, WMRI Ambassadors of Health from various countries, benefactors, sponsors, officials and volunteers of the charitable organization.

Dr. Kim Eagle, prime mover of the program and director of Cardio Vascular Center of the University of Michigan, said WMRI has been chosen to serve as pacemaker center.

“We are working with WMRI to create what we believe to be the first pacemaker recycling center in the entire world,” he said. Eagle is considered as a “master cardiologist” by his peers in the US.

Eagle described WMRI as “an outstanding global charity organization.” He said more than a million heart patients all over the world die each year for lack of pacemakers.

A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms.

This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.

The National Cardiovascular Data Registry estimates that from 2010 to 2012, some 63,500 devices were explanted or removed from deceased patients annually in the US alone.

He said the My Heart Your Heart program has received 25,000 units of pacemakers as of the present. WMRI president and CEO George Samson, a Kapampangan from Mabalacat City, said the program would enable the organization to achieve the mission of “helping God’s sick poor” as envisioned by its founder Irene Auberlin in 1953.

“Imagine what we can do to help needy people who don’t have money to get these devices. Brand new pacemakers cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000,” he said.

“We are glad to be a part of this program where sick people who don’t have access to these life-saving units could be helped,” Samson said.

Eagle has assured that pacemaker recycling is safe and that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the process to compare new and used pacemakers.

“It works and it’s safe. We developed a system to test devices. Make sure it would react to the conditions the human body may go through,” Samson said.

He added that they have published papers on how to properly remove, analyze, sterilized and repackaged pacemakers.

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