Cardiac support group in Bellingham wins national honor

The Bellingham chapter of Mended Hearts has won a top award from the nationwide nonprofit organization that trains volunteers to visit and support heart patients and their families.

The award of the President Cup to the local chapter was announced during Mended Hearts’ national convention in Florida in June. The award will be presented at the Bellingham group’s meeting Oct. 3. Criteria for the award include number of patients served, increased membership, monthly meeting content and attendance, and ties to a local hospital.

“Our success as a chapter can be directly attributed to the relationship we have built with PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Medical Center and our members and volunteers who give so much of themselves to those in our community affected by heart disease,” said Marilynn Huffman, chapter president.

Chapter volunteers conducted nearly 3,000 patient visits last year. The chapter also established a satellite group in Anacortes and Friday Harbor, and started a new group for young adults with heart issues.

The chapter’s meeting Aug. 1 will feature Dr. M. Cristy Smith, who will discuss innovations in heart surgery. The meeting begins 10 a.m., with Smith’s presentation at 11, at St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Parkway, room A. The public is welcome. Details: 360-788-6928 or 360-933-1282.