The Heart Foundation of Barbados originated in 1985. Founded initially as just the Heart Foundation, by 2006 it would expand to include stroke in its overall effort to combat cardiovascular diseases in Barbados and would from that point on be known as The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc.
With heart disease and heart attacks identified as the leading cause of death in the country, by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for several consecutive years, the need for the Foundation was and remains critical. It was established with support from The Lions Club of Barbados South (Health and Social Services Committee) and the leadership of Mr. H. (Dru) Symmonds, SCM, J.P., and Professor Trevor Hassell (now Professor Sir Trevor Hassell), cardiologist.
At the time, Mr. Symmonds, SCM, J.P, served as the chairman of the Foundation and Professor Sir Trevor Hassell was the Head of the Department of Medicine and the Cardiac Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.
The Foundation is a non-governmental organisation and apart from a formal contractual agreement to provide cardiac rehabilitation services, receives no grant or special funding from the Government of Barbados. Therefore the organisation is very heavily dependent upon donations, fundraising and fees for services to carry out its work and relies considerably upon the financial support of generous individuals and corporate entities.
- To develop a broad scientific and medical programme in the field of heart disease and stroke. This programme will produce new knowledge, and help to disseminate new and existing knowledge to benefit persons suffering from these diseases.
- To engage in a nation-wide programme of public education and awareness to inform people of the importance of heart disease and stroke, and what can be done to prevent or control it.
- To develop a nation-wide organisation through which these purposes are realised.
- To secure the funds needed to finance the Foundation’s programmes and operations.