Date: November 7-15, 2015




The International Management Committee representing CardioStart is pleased to announce the mission to The Clinica Corazones Unido Hospital in Santo Domingo. The mission will focus on managing pediatric cardiac presentations.


Facts about the country

Capital: Santo Domingo

Dialing code: +849

Population: 10.3 million.

Language: Spanish

The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq. mi.) and an estimated 10 million people, one million of which live in the capital city, Santo Domingo. Inhabitants have dwelled in, what is now the Dominican Republic, since the 7th century, and much of the architecture is quite old. The Colonial City, located inside Santo Domingo, is the first city of the America’s; it features the first street, hospital, university and cathedral in the Americas. It is believed that the body of Christopher Columbus still resides on this island where he landed, hundreds of years ago.

There are many historic museums and buildings that take a unique look into Dominican culture. Among them are the Alcázar de Colon (Fortress of Colon), the Reloj de Sol (the Sun Clock) and the Monasterio de los Padres Dominicos (the Monastery of the Dominican Fathers). The Dominican Republic has the ninth largest economy in Latin America and the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for sugar production, the economy is now dominated by services.

The country’s economic progress is exemplified by its advanced telecommunication system, and transportation infrastructure. Nevertheless, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems. The country also has “marked income inequality”. International migration affects the Dominican Republic greatly, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues. A large Dominican diaspora exists, most of it in the United States. They aid national development as they send billions of dollars to their families.


img2Despite an impressive role in tourism, the delivery of cardiac services remain constantly short of targets, and is particularly disadvantaged in its struggle to provide complex pediatric heart disease management. CardioStart is invited to provide advanced pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery to those being accomplished in other local centers. The Clinica Corazones Unido is already receiving and managing adult cardiac cases. CardioStart’s team will essentially be doing procedures, but in all cases, will also strong emphasize skills training and development for local cardiologists, the local cardiac surgeons and ICU doctors, nurses and allied professionals. Team volunteers will be expected to participate in teaching and demonstration in all areas within their expertise, including Emergency Resuscitation techniques.


CardioStart will be assisting The Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Orphanage, a purposefully designed to resemble a small town. Casa Santa Ana is situated in the middle of two extremes; poor migrant sugar cane farmer settlements (bateys) and professional US baseball leagues. It serves the most vulnerable population, undocumented Haitian workers and their families who are smuggled through the border. Beginning in January 2003, the home began with seven children in a rented house in the town of San Pedro de Macoris. Today there are now 231 children living in 12 family-style homes on the property including an area for caring for children with special needs. CardioStart non-medical volunteers will focus on basic medical needs, music therapy and appreciation, and practical projects to assist the orphanage. (More details to follow)


Interested volunteers will be asked to fund their own airline ticket (Santa Domingo airport code is SDQ), required immunizations and one evening meal per day. All hotel and other meal costs will be covered. The hotel is The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Av. George Washington 218, Santo Domingo 2890. +1 809-221-0000. Communicate ONLY through the Mission Director.

The mission will begin Sunday morning, 7th November 2015, and ends Sunday morning, 15th November 2015. Volunteers may choose to stay longer to visit many of the interesting locations nearby at their own expense. 


Mission director: Aubyn Marath MD

Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon (+1)

Pediatric Cardiologist (1)

Pediatric Intensivist (1)

Pediatric Anesthesiologist(1-2)

Pediatric Perfusionist

Pediatric Intensive Care Nurses (with previous or current cardiovascular training experience) (3-4)

Nurse Educator (1)

Pediatric Respiratory Therapist (1) FILLED

Outreach Volunteers (2-3)

Data Research Coordinator (1)


Our hosts, Fundacion Heart Care Dominicana Inc., have severe financial restrictions that have limited how many rooms in the hotel they can support. For this reason, we are agreeing to same sex room sharing, where possible. Team numbers will therefore be more restricted than usual. Please apply so that we can juggle the accommodation and team issues accordingly. As usual, teams are assembled strictly on the “first come – first served” basis. Volunteers who cannot be included for this mission will be given priority consideration for future mission locations.

Go to the “Volunteer Interest Form” and complete the application form for Dominican Republic Pediatric 2015. Questions or notification of interest may be sent to:


As the first city founded in the Americas, the Dominican Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo boasts an impressive collection of museums, historic sites, art and music, as well as beautiful beaches and ocean views. Upon completion of the mission, you may wish to take a few days vacation to see these many beautiful sites. However, we cannot assist with the tourism arrangements.