Expanding the Medical World


Lori and Eric, founders of Heartfelt Dreams Foundation are grateful to Dr. Richard Liberthson, Lori’s first cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, not only for the knowledge that he provided to us about Lori’s care, but also for his professional and personal dedication to educating patients and doctors around the world in proper handling of congenital heart defects. Inspired by this devotion, Heartfelt Dreams Foundation has interestingly learned that there is an important need for ongoing training in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD) in both infants and adults. Our Foundation is also aware of efforts underway in major academic hospitals, such as Massachusetts General Hospital, to increase education to cardiology residents and fellows as well as to practicing general cardiologists. Heartfelt Dreams Foundation is dedicated to supporting such an important mission for providing the best care to congenital heart defect patients.

Heartfelt Dreams Foundation believes that a multi-pronged approach to medical education will better serve to “Expanding the Medical World™” in addressing the needs of patients and their families, as well as medical professionals in cardiology. Our Foundation will be growing our participation in and support of programs, including:

ACHD Education for Cardiovascular Fellows in Training. Our Foundation recognizes the dedicated work of Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologists Dr. Doreen Defaria and Dr. Ami Bhatt in writing a comprehensive Handbook of ACHD Management in Clinical Practice published by Springer (https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319674186). The audience is cardiovascular fellows in training and general cardiologists as the Handbook provides a framework for how to think about ACHD patients, and know when to refer them.

ACHD Education for the General Cardiologist, Cardiac Nursing and Sonographers.

ACHD Education at National Cardiology Conferences including the American College of Cardiology National Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association Annual Meeting, American Society of Echocardiography Scientific Sessions.

Patient Education and Advocacy at the local, regional, and national level

Expanding the Medical World™ Webinar Series

Heartfelt Dreams Foundation is proud to announce the launching of our Expanding the Medical World™ Webinar Series. Throughout the year we plan to support cardiology experts in educational webinars addressing issues including cardiovascular health and congenital heart defect patient care.

Congenital Heart Disease in the Adult: The importance of education and access to care

Presented on July 16, 2019, by Dr. Doreen Defaria at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Congenital Heart Disease and Pregnancy: An evolving story of success and new challenges

Presented on December 19, 2019, by Dr. Doreen DeFaria at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Telemedicine for Adult Congenital Heart Disease: A New Dawn for Healthcare

Presented on October 20, 2020, by Dr. Ami Bhatt from the Corrigan Minnehan Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Meet the Cardiology Experts

Doreen DeFaria, MD

Doreen DeFaria, MD

Dr. DeFaria currently serves as the Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship, Associate Director for the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and the Co-Director of the Cardiovascular Disease and Pregnancy Service. She is an active clinical cardiologist, clinical investigator and educator.

Dr. DeFaria graduated from Duke University, obtained her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and then completed Internal Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Cardiology and Echocardiography fellowships at the University of California at San Francisco. She trained in Adult Congenital Heart Disease at University of San Francisco California. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Adult Cardiovascular Disease and Adult Echocardiography. She has received Certification from the National Board of Echocardiography for Adult Comprehensive Echocardiography.

Dr. DeFaria was selected as one of the American College of Cardiology 2012 Emerging Faculty and received the Brian A. McGovern Memorial Award from the Department of Medicine in 2012 for Excellence in Clinical Teaching in cardiology. She also received the Mass General Department of Medicine Fellowship as part of the Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowships for Scholars in Medicine from Harvard Medical School. In 2013 she was awarded the Clinician Teacher Development Award, a 4-year grant supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization and Center for Diversity and Inclusion, project titled: Redefine Education of Congenital Heart Disease in Adults in Massachusetts. Dr. DeFaria and her colleague, Dr. Bhatt, are the primary editors of the textbook, Adult Congenital Heart Disease in Clinical Practice. Her clinical focus is Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Disease and Echocardiography with expertise in Adult Congenital Echocardiography. Dr. DeFaria speaks regionally and nationally (American College of Cardiology and American Society of Echocardiography) on these topics.

Ami Bhatt, MD

Ami Bhatt, MD

Dr. Bhatt currently serves as the Director of Outpatient Care and Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease program in the Cardiology Division. She is the inaugural incumbent of the Richard R. Liberthson, MD Endowed Scholar in Adult Congenital Heart Disease and is an active clinical cardiologist, clinical investigator and educator.

Dr. Bhatt graduated from Harvard University, obtained her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine and then trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children's Hospital of Boston and Mass General in internal medicine, pediatrics, cardiology and adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Dr. Bhatt is also the Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and has developed a robust multidisciplinary curriculum at Mass General for training cardiologists in ACHD.

Dr. Bhatt has been nationally recognized for excellence in teaching by the American College of Cardiology in 2015 and by the American Heart Association in 2016 for ACHD program building and design efforts. Dr. Bhatt and her colleague, Dr. DeFaria, are the primary editors of the textbook, Adult Congenital Heart Disease in Clinical Practice. She is internationally recognized for authoring statements and training guidelines, and for her research in ACHD care. At the MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, the program has established a multidisciplinary infrastructure with heart failure, cardiac transplantation, electrophysiology, structural heart & valve specialists, as well as obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, genetics, and pediatrics. Importantly, Dr. Bhatt promotes the use of telemedicine, digital health and wellness programs to ensure patients receive state of the art, holistic care, no matter where they live.

Cardiac Nursing

Heartfelt Dreams Foundation Endowed Fellowship Fund for Cardiac Nursing

Through years of medical and surgical treatment of Lori Ankerud’s congenital heart defect condition, cardiologists and cardiac nurses have provided the treatment and care needed for the high quality of life that she has enjoyed with her family. With these wonderful memories in mind, especially during her years as a patient at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, Heartfelt Dreams Foundation has established in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, the Heartfelt Dreams Foundation Endowed Fellowship Fund for Cardiac Nursing.

This financial support will fund cardiac nurses’ protected time to engage in a project or initiative that will enhance cardiac nursing practice, education, research, or community service.

Please consider supporting this endowed fellowship fund with a financial gift. Donate to Heartfelt Dreams Foundation today. Thank you!