Please note that applications are now being accepted for the 2024 academic nursing scholarship through September 30, 2024. The scholarship winner will be announced in October 2024.

Massachusetts General Hospital nurse awarded $5,000 scholarship to support career advancement in cardiac care by the nonprofit dedicated to advancing treatment of and education for congenital heart defects

Hollis, NH (November 29, 2023) –  Heartfelt Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the treatment experience for congenital heart defect (CHD) patients and their families, is proud to announce Hannah Dowd as its 2023 Academic Nursing Scholarship recipient. A staff nurse in the Cardiac Interventional Unit at Mass General Hospital, Dowd was awarded $5,000 toward her nursing studies for the next academic year as she is pursuing an advanced degree at Simmons University. 

Dowd was selected as the scholarship recipient from a field of over 300 applicants. Dowd is expected to receive an advanced degree from Simmons University in May 2025 and continue her career in cardiac nursing. She has gained nursing experience at UMass Memorial Medical Center and Mass General Hospital. Heartfelt Dreams Foundation selected her application in part due to her desire to understand the nuances of cardiac diagnoses in different life stages.

“We are thrilled to award Hannah with our 2023 Academic Nursing Scholarship and supporting her career goal of becoming a nurse practitioner who will bring positive impact to heart patients,” said Eric Ankerud, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of Heartfelt Dreams Foundation. “Hannah stood out because of her emphasis on connecting with each patient on a human level. We believe that Hannah will not only provide quality care for congenital heart defect patients, but increase the overall care of cardiac patients throughout her nursing career.” 

Since 2019, Heartfelt Dreams Foundation has awarded an annual scholarship through a competitive application process to a hospital-based cardiac care nurse or nursing student pursuing a career in cardiac care. The Heartfelt Dreams Foundation Academic Nursing Scholarship was created to further the development of cardiac nurses in hospitals throughout the country with financial assistance that will support the applicants’ goals to advance their nursing careers. Scholarship recipients will be making a genuine difference in the delivery of quality healthcare for congenital heart defect patients.

“It’s such an honor to have the Heartfelt Dreams Foundation support me on my journey and select me for this scholarship,” said Dowd. “Each patient has their own battle and their own story. I’m excited to continue my studies and prepare to make a difference in the lives of cardiovascular patients.”

Heartfelt Dreams Foundation strives to see every CHD patient lead a long, healthy and meaningful life. The Foundation is committed to facilitating greater access to care and treatment for CHD patients of all ages and strengthens the network of specialty heart centers and physicians across the country. For more information about the Heartfelt Dreams Foundation Academic Nursing Scholarship, please visit

About Heartfelt Dreams Foundation:

Founded in 2019 by Lori and Eric Ankerud, Heartfelt Dreams Foundation (HDF) is the only nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to the dual mission of improving the CHD treatment experience for patients and families, and advancing CHD education within the medical community. Congenital heart defects are the number one birth defect in the United States and there are more than two million Americans living with CHD. Heartfelt Dreams Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for these patients and their families, increasing the number of cardiologists and medical facilities capable of properly treating CHD, and facilitating connections between patients and the medical community. Please find more information at and follow HDF on Facebook and Twitter

Contact: Drew Naisuler,, 781-858-4697

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