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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

AHN Cardiovascular Institute Clinicians Join Local Foundation to Spread Holiday Cheer and Deliver Gift Baskets to Hospitalized Heart Patients

Gift Basket Delivery from Joe Beretta Foundation Will Mark the Start of an Ongoing Collaboration to Better Support and Uplift VAD and Transplant Patients across western Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH – Representatives of the Joe Beretta Foundation (TJBF) met clinicians from the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute earlier today to deliver gift bags for cardiac patients hospitalized over the holidays. The bags, filled with comfort items, were delivered to spread holiday cheer to those undergoing lifesaving treatment for heart failure and simultaneously mark the start to an exciting collaboration between two like-minded organizations.

TJBF, created in 2016 and named after the Beretta family’s late father and husband, aims to ease the challenges that often accompany families faced with heart failure and its subsequent treatments of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implants and/or heart transplantation.

“After Joe’s sudden diagnosis of advanced heart failure in 2016, we quickly recognized the high costs associated with time and travel needed to properly carry out prescribed treatment paths,” said Lillian Beretta, wife of Joe, executive board member of the TJBF and a Pittsburgh native. “We were fortunate to live within minutes of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, but wanted to extend a helping hand to families who may be in similar situations but with much further commutes.  Following Joe’s passing, we fulfilled this promise by forming our Foundation in his honor to provide stability and support for families also battling heart failure.”

Since its inception, the Foundation has hand-selected health systems and organizations throughout Pittsburgh and Nashville, TN to best reach patients in need of emergency housing, emotional support, holiday outreach and short-term financial assistance.

“On behalf of the entire Cardiovascular Institute, we would like to thank the Joe Beretta family and the Foundation for its collaboration to better support our patients and their families as they face life-altering diagnoses and treatment paths,” said Stephen Bailey, MD, heart transplant surgeon and Chair of the Cardiovascular Institute. “As an Institute, we’re continuously working to develop community-based relationships with organizations that help our clinical teams deliver on our mission to provide remarkable patient experiences. Today’s announcement is the latest example of just that.”

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), the Network’s flagship academic medical center, is routinely ranked among the state’s top medical centers for three-year survival rates among heart transplant patients and just this year, AGH also became the first in Pennsylvania to earn the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Comprehensive Cardiac Care.

“As one of the top performing heart transplant Centers in the county, we’re often presented with patients who may travel long distances seeking care and, in doing so, incur significant expenses that can take an emotional toll,” said Allie Quick, chief philanthropy officer at AHN. “We are grateful to work with the Joe Beretta Foundation to help ease the financial burden for our patients, allowing them to focus solely on their recovery.”

AHN deploys an innovative care model across many of its clinical Institutes embedding a specialized social worker to conduct socioeconomic assessments, screening patients for areas like food, housing and financial insecurities during routine appointments. TJBF will join additional efforts like the AHN Healthy Food Center to wrap heart patients in coordinated, comprehensive care and provide them with vital community-based resources.

For more information on TJBF including its most recently launched holiday video, visit www.TJBF.org and for more information on the AHN Cardiovascular Institute, go to www.ahn.org.

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