Surgeons of Hope Exceeds Goals for 8th Annual Gala!

Surgeons of Hope’s 2020 gala – its 8th annual gala and first virtual gala – was a great success! The Celebrating Our Heart Heroes gala, chaired by philanthropist and author Jean Shafiroff, exceeded its fundraising goals. The success allows Surgeons of Hope to continue training local pediatric cardiac teams and providing life saving surgery for poor children with heart conditions in Latin America in 2021 and beyond. To date, Surgeons of Hope has saved the lives of thousands of children in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Paraguay. The November 12th gala was virtual this year due to Covid-19. Hundreds of attendees joined the gala from the comfort of their own homes around the globe. All enjoyed the evening hosted by the renowned Jacqueline Towers-Perkins, who also ran the night’s live auction. Among the items bid on during the event were a vacation at a luxury villa in Mexico, a weekend escape with views of Connecticut’s Thimble Islands, ½-day New York Harbor excursion, and a cooking workshop with Patricia Cartin. In addition to the auction, attendees were entertained by a performance by the jazz-inspired Acute Inflections and saw heart-warming stories of some of the children the organization has helped and the medical teams who have made it possible. “Our virtual format this year allowed so many people who would not have been able to travel to New York to attend in person to join us on this celebratory evening. Some were across town, some were across the country, and others across an ocean. Everyone, no matter where they were, thoroughly enjoyed the evening and applauded the work of our great medical teams and celebrated the lives of the children we’ve helped,” said Surgeons of Hope Executive Director Victoria Flamant. “We are grateful for their participation and support, and thrilled they were passionate about our mission and ensuring we reached and surpassed our gala goals. We can’t thank everyone enough.” Publicis Groupe was the presenting sponsor for the 2020 gala. Additional sponsors were Full Circle, Soma, and Acker Wines.

Surgeons of Hope’s 2020 Gala Goes Virtual to Celebrate Our Heart Heroes

Mark your calendars! Surgeons of Hope is holding its 2020 Gala on Thursday, November 12th. This year, due to Covid-19, our Gala – Celebrating Our Heart Heroes – will be held virtually. You can attend our virtual Gala from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you call home. The Celebrating Our Heart Heroes Gala evening will be Thursday, November 12th from 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT. Philanthropist and author Jean Shafiroff will again chair this year’s Gala. The renowned Jacqueline Towers-Perkins will host the evening and run the fabulous Live & Silent Auction we have planned. Diego Luna, actor and producer and Surgeons of Hope Heart Ambassador, will make a special appearance. Of course, the Gala will also highlight many heartwarming stories of the children we’ve helped and the medical teams who have made it possible. “We’re excited to be able to hold this year’s Gala virtually. In our virtual format, many people who might not be able to come to New York for an in-person event can now participate and join us in recognizing and celebrating everyone who has helped Surgeons of Hope take care of poor children in Latin America who need heart surgery,” said Executive Director Victoria Flamant. “Our 2020 Gala is crucial to ensuring we raise needed funds to continue our work into 2021 and beyond. We encourage everyone to attend. We have a great evening planned.” Tickets for the 2020 Gala are free. Pre-registration is required, which you can do here: There are also Benefactor tickets to the Gala, which come with fabulous perks, such as a chef-prepared gourmet three-course dinner delivered to your home to enjoy during our Gala, a luxury-filled gift box, and entries into our great raffle. Get more details and purchase your tickets here: Every ticket and donation helps us save the lives of poor children needing heart surgery. There are still opportunities for organizations to donate items for the live & silent auction and/or sponsor the evening. For more information, reach out to Victoria Flamant at [email protected] or (212) 771-5805.

Surgeons of Hope’s COVID-19 Response – The Invincible Heart Guides Us Through the Shadows

For all of us, the past few months have been incredibly challenging as we have learned to navigate life in a global pandemic. In a matter of days, Surgeons of Hope’s plans for 2020 were turned upside down as COVID-19 began to spread rapidly throughout the world, and threaten the wellbeing of our pediatric cardiac programs and the patients and families we serve in Latin America. Such an unprecedented situation requires an unprecedented response, and at Surgeons of Hope we responded exactly that way! The strength of any organization, indeed its relevance, depends upon its ability to meet the needs presented by any given situation with creativity, efficiency and collaboration. Now, as the crisis continues to evolve at a serious but somewhat more manageable pace, I’d like to share with you several areas of COVID 19’s impact on SoH and our organization’s responses to them thus far: PRIORITIES: The safety of our staff, partners, healthcare workers, patients and volunteers is our top priority. Our team in New York City has been working remotely since mid-March and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. PROGRAMMING: As the coronavirus has impacted each of our country’s programs (Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Paraguay), our surgical missions have been temporarily halted. Abiding by local government requirements to suspend activities in local communities so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19, international travel has been suspended as well. This has disrupted the carefully-planned timeline for SoH’s 2020 medical outreach and overseas ICU nurse trainings. PARTNERSHIPS: COVID-19 has been devastating for the poor families we serve as their livelihoods and safety nets were already very fragile. We have remained in close contact with our international partners in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Paraguay to understand how we can best support them during this uncertain time. In early April, Dr. Nancy Garay, Head of Cardiology at the Acosta Ñu Children’s Hospital in San Lorenzo, Paraguay reached out to us with an urgent need. What initially was a request for food rapidly morphed into a comprehensive COVID-19 response, including food, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and medication. With the generous support of the SoH community, $10,430 was quickly raised to help patients served by SoH, and other poor children in need. With the unceasing efforts of Dr. Garay, care packages were distributed to over 50 families both inside and outside of the Acosta Ñu Children’s hospital. This fast and practical response in the midst of a crisis — unfolding in real time — enabled our cardiac patients and their families to remain healthy!Last month, partnering with CEPIA, SoH helped 30 families in Guanacaste — the second poorest region in Costa Rica – with care packages containing 30 days’ worth of food and cleaning supplies. Many of the recipients of these care packages were children who had undergone open-heart surgery at the Children’s Hospital SoH partners with in San José. Such collaboration has been the driving force of Surgeons of Hope since our beginning in 2001. This is how we work! PROGRESS: Our efforts to feed our patients and their families continues in Nicaragua as we see that there is nothing normal about our “new normal.” At Surgeons of Hope, we pride ourselves on our ability to pivot and provide for those we serve. But, we also know that heart disease is not taking a break, and that our mission of helping children with heart disease is more important than ever. While we wait for the lifting of global travel restrictions, we are working with our partners to find ways to support them remotely. Due to COVID-19, they are facing a severe shortage of supplies (such as specialized sutures for open heart surgery) and medication that will keep babies born with congenital heart disease alive long enough to undergo surgery. To ensure children can continue to receive the life-saving heart surgery they need, we are launching a new campaign – with a $15,000 goal – to help provide these critical supplies and medication. Thank you for continuing to support the patients we serve! We are moving forward with optimism, resilience and gratitude as the invincible hearts of the Surgeons of Hope community guides us through the shadows.

Surgeons of Hope’s 7th Annual Charity Gala – A Resounding Success!

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to our 7th Annual Charity Gala. With your generous support, we raised nearly $240,000 for babies and children in need of lifesaving heart surgery. On October 15th, dedicated donors joined with philanthropists and dignitaries for a fun-filled night at Essex House in New York City, celebrating and supporting the work of Surgeons of Hope. The night included both a silent and live auction with items donated by generous friends and merchants, and a paddle raise led by our energetic Heart Ambassador, Diego Luna, who has done so much to promote our message of healthy hearts for all in Latin America and in the entertainment industry. Both Diego Luna and Maurice Levy of the Publicis Groupe, one of our earliest and most ardent supporters, were honored for their contributions. Jean Shafiroff, noted philanthropist, activist, writer and long-time supporter of our organization served as chair for the event and lent immeasurably to its success. Among the evening’s highlights was a performance by junior dancers of Baila Conmigo, a high energy Latin Dance group. Their performance was a joyful reminder of what children are capable of when they have a strong and healthy heart. Sponsors of the event include: Publicis Health, Marina B, Full Circle, SOMA, and Acker. We thank them wholeheartedly for their support and belief in our mission! For more pictures of the evening click here.

7th Annual Charity Gala on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Your host's Diego Luna, Maurice Lévy, Jean Shafiroff

Surgeons of Hope Foundation will host its 7th Annual Charity Gala on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019. The Gala will be held at the iconic JW Marriott Essex House in New York City. We invite you to join us for an evening of delicious French cuisine and exquisite wine pairings as we honor Diego Luna, Surgeons of Hope Heart Ambassador and famed actor and star of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Narcos, and Maurice Lévy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe, longtime supporter and trusted partner of Surgeons of Hope. This year’s charity gala is chaired by Jean Shafiroff, philanthropist and author, whose commitment to our life-saving work has been integral to our success in recent years. All proceeds from the charity event will finance Surgeons of Hope’s work and mission, “To create a world in which every infant and child with a damaged heart has an equal opportunity to receive life-saving surgery.” For event information, ticket purchases and sponsorship opportunities, click here.

Win a Trip to Mexico City with SoH Heart Ambassador Diego Luna

We have partnered with Diego Luna, SoH Heart Ambassador, to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget! Diego Luna is an actor and filmmaker who stars in the Netflix hit series Narcos and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You and a companion could be flown out to Mexico City, stay in a 4-star hotel, and join Diego for an extraordinary dining experience at Pujol, one of the best restaurants in the world. At dinner, you will get to know Diego over a tequila tasting and seven-course meal! You will also have the chance to go on a private tour with a personal driver so that you can explore all that Mexico City has to offer. All entry proceeds from this fundraising campaign will go towards our mission to create a world in which every child with a damaged heart has an equal opportunity to receive life-saving treatment. All you have to do is click this link and enter now! Thank you for supporting Surgeons of Hope!

Surgeons of Hope Expands to Paraguay

Surgeons of Hope is thrilled to announce its recent expansion to Paraguay! Beginning on March 15th, the organization conducted a week-long surgical, interventional and training mission at the Children’s Hospital of Acosta Ñu, the only public hospital solely dedicated to infants and children in the country. This mission would not have been possible without the help of Surgeons of Hope’s partners from the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón and the Hospital Universitario La Paz, whose medical expertise and training skills made this mission a resounding success. Surgeons of Hope is also grateful to Medtronic and Bioline for their generous donation of much needed medical supplies, including catheters, guidewires, balloons and stents, and to Menudos Corazones, for the educational and emotional support it provided for the families on this journey of treatment and recovery. Initially, the mission planned to complete life-saving interventions on 20 children. However, due to the immense team spirit and dedication exhibited by the local and international medical teams, a total of 33 life-saving interventions –including 8 open heart surgeries and 25 interventional catheterizations– were performed. In just one week, more interventions through catheterizations were achieved than in the past three years, on patients ranging from one month to 17 years old. When undergoing cardiac repair or palliation through catheterization, patients are able to leave the hospital 24 hours post-intervention, as it employs a minimally invasive technique that leaves no scars on the chest. Instead, it is done by threading catheters through blood vessels until they reach the patient’s heart and vessels, allowing for a more comfortable and faster recovery. For every two open heart surgeries performed, four patients came out of the catheterization room. While the hospital has a Catheterization (Cath) laboratory, it does not have sufficient local expertise or the necessary supplies to routinely and efficiently use it. In order to resolve this issue, Surgeons of Hope is creating a fund to provide training and supplies to optimize the capabilities of the catheterization program. To this date, there are still over 300 patients on the waitlist for life-saving heart surgery or interventional catheterizations. Additionally, we project around 500 newborn patients with a congenital cardiac malformation delivered every year. Surgeons of Hope needs your help to bring the Children’s Hospital of Acosta Ñu Catheterization Program to life, which, encompassed with an active cardiac surgical program, would ultimately ensure that all of these children have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. Surgeons of Hope would greatly appreciate any donations, small or big, to help them make this vision come true. Thanks to your generosity, our teams are saving more children than ever before. We are deeply grateful for your commitment to Surgeons of Hope.

Victoria Flamant Appointed Executive Director of Surgeons of Hope

The Board of Directors of the Surgeons of Hope Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Victoria Flamant as Executive Director. Victoria comes to Surgeons of Hope (SoH) with deep and relevant international nonprofit expertise from her experience working with Malala Fund and serving as a focal point for civil society and foundation engagement at the World Bank Group (WBG). She has represented both organizations at key global meetings, such as the United Nations General Assembly and the Summit of the Americas, and has built successful life-changing initiatives from the ground up, including the WBG Youth Summit and One Journey Festival. Ms. Flamant holds a Masters Degree from the New School in Non-Profit Management and a Bachelors Degree in International Development Studies from the University of East Anglia. “SoH is excited to take its multinational life-saving pediatric cardiovascular services to the next level with Victoria’s leadership and fundraising skills. We see the fit as perfect for both of us,” said Judith O’Neill, Vice President of Surgeons of Hope. “Given Surgeons of Hope’s important mission, its global reputation and track record of saving thousands of children in Latin America, I am honored to join the organization. I look forward to leading its work as Executive Director to ensure as many children as possible are given an equal chance for a healthy life”, added Ms Flamant. CONTACT: Judith O’Neill, 212-977-4424

Volunteer Oportunity at our Administrative Office

Special Events and Program Coordinator Intern Position: We are looking for someone enthusiastic to join a dynamic team for a part-time or full-time internship opportunity. This position will be performing creative thinking; fundraising; marketing; administration; other duties as required to get the job done! It is important the applicant be organized and have an eye for detail. Previous experience in development or special events preferred. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: Assisting with data entry and administrative tasks associated with the events Assisting with event invitation, program, and registration materials Help manage donations and acknowledgements & interact with donors Submit periodic reports to Executive Director regarding program and volunteer activities Assist with other administrative duties as required Applicants should possess excellent oral and written communications skills, a positive attitude, and enthusiasm for humanitarian work. Experience Working knowledge with Microsoft Office Suite; experience with eTapestry is a plus. Applications are for the fall session, with a commitment needed for February – June. Applications will be accepted until midnight February 28, 2019. Qualifications and Skills Education Level: Junior/Senior Undergraduate. S students welcome to apply Job Type: Internship Your support means everything to us Please visit our website at Donate to our cause at

A Light of Hope

Two weeks ago, a 6 month old patient from Matagalpa came to our Health Center in Nicaragua. He was diagnosed with an Obstructed Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR), a congenital heart defect that affects the pulmonary veins. If left untreated, this disease will inevitably prove fatal. Unfortunately, our next mission in Nicaragua won’t be until this coming August, the baby simply could not wait. The local team, however, had never performed a surgical repair on a TAPVR before so they were very hesitant to try. With teamwork, support, and extraordinary bravery, they decided to go ahead with the surgery. There was no time to wait. We are exceedingly proud to say that the courageous team of doctors in Nicaragua successfully finished the repair. The baby boy, who was extubated last Tuesday, now has a healthy heart and is on the road to recovery towards a full and vibrant life. Even in the toughest conditions, and time running against them, these doctors gave him a chance of life and we are so honored that they are a part of Surgeons of Hope! #NoChildDeservesABrokenHeart