Our Mission

Heartbeat International is a non-profit that saves lives globally by providing cardiovascular implantable devices to the needy people of the world.

Our Process

How Just $585 Saves A Life

In modern-day medicine these life-saving heart procedures can cost over
For the families around the world we serve, that’s just not within reach.
That’s why Heartbeat International has worked the last 35 years to develop a network of medical professionals and facilities across the globe willing to donate their time, equipment, expertise, and compassion. All for one purpose. To save lives.
It starts with our growing network of volunteer physicians.
These are doctors around the world committed to saving the lives of those in their own communities. They are often assisted by local Rotarians or other civic-minded groups in the region. When they learn of a family in need, they contact Heartbeat International and set our life-saving system in motion. Amazingly, these physicians donate far more than just their surgical skills. They also provide all the critical follow up care. In essence, they provide medical care for life.
We then turn to our generous corporate partners like BIOTRONIK. Also committed to saving lives, these generous partners donate pacemakers and other implantable devices. Normally tens of thousands of dollars, these advanced devices are provided and shipped to the physician for free.
The physician coordinates with a local hospital or surgery center to provide a surgical team at minimal costs.

Supplemental fees are paid by Heartbeat International through the generous donations from people like you.

As a result, a $60,000.00 procedure is provided for $585.00. A life is saved. Through the love and generosity of the Heartbeat International network, this process has been repeated more than 16,000 times.

Through your generosity and compassion, it will be repeated thousands more.


The statistics are startling. One Tampa based organization has saved more than 16,000 lives in more than 20 countries over the past 35 years. That’s what Heartbeat International Foundation has accomplished.

Since 2003, under the leadership of Tampa cardiologist Benedict S. Maniscalco, MD, our life saving mission has continued to grow.

Still, insists Dr. Maniscalco, we have to do more. “We just need the proper funding and I think we can become the strongest force for cardiovascular disease in third world countries that the globe has ever seen,” says Maniscalco. “Through our program just $585 saves a life. Imagine the lives we can save.”

The organization, which provides pacemakers and life-saving cardiac treatments to the underprivileged around the world, is just part of Dr. Maniscalco’s influential medical career. He has held leadership positions with the American College of Cardiology, taught at the University of South Florida School of Medicine and founded the pioneering St. Joseph’s Heart Institute.

But at this point in his career, Heartbeat International Foundation is Dr. Maniscalco’s passion. “I have grandchildren and I would move heaven and earth to save one of their lives,” says Maniscalco. “The idea that someone’s child will die today because their family can’t afford a pacemaker is unacceptable to me.”

History of Heartbeat

It started in the early 1970’s in Guatemala. Dr. Federico Alfaro, just home from his cardiology residency at Baylor University, was treating a 17-year old boy with a serious “heart block.”
Despite the condition being treatable, the boy’s family could not afford the necessary surgery, and the child died.
Dr. Alfaro soon realized this was not an isolated case. Many poor patients in his country were dying due to lack of access to modern medical technology, particularly pacemakers. He vowed to do something about it.

His efforts led to a reconnection with the former Chairman of Medicine at Baylor University, Dr. Henry Deane McIntosh. Also a founder of the first Florida Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. McIntosh came up with the idea of gifting used pacemakers to the cause. He invited Dr. Alfaro to a conference where he presented him with six used pacemakers, and a letter stating the pacemakers were gifts intended to save lives and further peace and understanding between countries.

About Founder
Fortuitously, sitting in the crowd that day was a Rotarian with connections at a pacemaker manufacturer called Intermedics, Inc. The company agreed to donate more than 400 pacemakers to the cause. At the same time, Rotary International pledged a $250,000 grant to the program and the program began to grow.
Heartbeat International Foundation was formally launched on October 18, 1984…
…at the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, where Dr. McIntosh practiced. From the start, it was a collaborative effort between several entities: The Watson Clinic, The Rotary International, pacemaker manufacturers (past and present), BIOTRONIK, Intermedics, Medtronic, CPI and Telectronics, and the American College of Cardiology.
In 1986, Dr. McIntosh retired and Heartbeat International moved its base of operations to Tampa, Florida. In 2007, Heartbeat International earned its 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status and created Heartbeat International Foundation. This made it possible for the organization to navigate the complex regulatory maze and expand to save lives in more countries around the world.

Our People

board members at hbi

Benedict S. Maniscalco, MD


Ariel Garcia

Vice President

Dr. Thomas Crawford

Medical Director

Dr. Federico G. Alfaro

Honorary Director

Dr. Joseph V. Messer


Sandra Kreul

Vice Chairperson

Jan Henderson


Peter Musaib-Ali

Director and Regional Distribution Center Manager

Laura DeLise

Executive Director

Michael Maniscalco


David Katcher


Jill Clements


Join Heartbeat

Help Us Save Lives And Make An Impact For Families Across The World

3225 South MacDill Avenue
Suite 129-250
Tampa, FL 33629