Two more amazing guest speakers who will be at our Feel the Beat event on October 14 are Diane Pickles and Annie Ritchings. We are very excited to have them and can’t wait for you to also hear what they have to say.
If you haven’t registered for Feel the Beat, make sure you do so before September 22. For those of you who can’t attend in person, you are in luck because we will be streaming our guest speaker panels on our Facebook page. Stay tuned for more details.
Diane Pickles is mom to Jake, a 22-year-old living with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Diane joined the board of Sisters by Heart in 2014 and has been actively involved in the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC) leadership team since 2012. She is a Vice President of M+R, a national advocacy consulting firm and has extensive experience leading both state and national public policy campaigns. A long-time volunteer for the American Heart Association, she served as a Massachusetts Go Red spokeswoman in 2013, is Chair of the Massachusetts chapter’s Statewide Advocacy Committee, and received the Ray and Gina Driscoll Heart and Minds Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Diane has volunteered on several initiatives with Boston Children’s Hospital and was a Faculty Editor of “Pediatrics in Practice: A Health Promotion Curriculum for Child Health Professionals”. She is a Public Member of the American Board of Pediatrics Board of Directors.
Annie Ritchings was born in Lima, Peru in 1979 with HLHS, pulmonary stenosis, double inlet right atrium and double outlet right ventricle. She was adopted and had the two stage HLHS process, BT Shunt and classic Fontan at Boston Children's Hospital. She later developed CHF and cardiac cirrhosis. Annie works full-time as a dual executive assistant and project coordinator for a prominent Boston health care system. When she's not working, she is studying to get into nursing school or can be found volunteering at Quincy Animal Shelter. Annie is also an admin to the "Post Fontan CHD & Liver Challenges" on Facebook.
The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies. To learn more or to participate in the research, email HLHS@mayo.edu and follow the HLHS program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.