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The HeartBrothers Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping Heart Failure patients and their families navigate the complex journey of Heart Failure, mechanical circulatory support, and heart transplantation. It is our sole mission to bring resources together to help Heart Failure patients and their loved ones survive life with Heart Failure and all its challenges.

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Bob Romer & Pat Sullivan 

We are Pat Sullivan and Bob Romer, Co-Founders of the HeartBrothers Foundation. We met during our yearlong hospital stays on LVADs, vowing that if our heart matches came up—and if our bodies could endure the wait, procedure, and recovery—we would start a nonprofit foundation to create the financial, educational, and emotional support system surprisingly lacking yet so desperately needed by Heart Failure patients and their families.

We received our donor hearts on Thanksgiving Eve 2012 and Valentine's Day 2013, dedicated our renewed lives to our fellow patients, launched the HeartBrothers on September 1, 2014, and have been embracing, uplifting, and supporting the Heart Failure community ever since.

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Dr. David DeNofrio is a founding member of the HeartBrothers Foundation's Board of Directors.  

In addition to providing the transplanted hearts of Co-Founders Pat Sullivan & Bob Romer, Dr. DeNofrio and his team at
Tufts MC's Heart Failure + Cardiac Transplantation Center perform roughly 20 heart transplants annually. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology and is both a longtime member and current Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

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As Pat's caregiver, Leslie Sullivan has extensive knowledge of HF patients and families. She taught & directed preschools around the country for 19 years. Leslie holds a BA in Education from Wheelock College, and is on the Massachusetts American Heart Association's Advisory Committee.

Prior to co-founding HBF, Pat Sullivan was a tech executive, running multi-billion-dollar sales and marketing campaigns. He attended Northeastern and Arizona State University, served on the Board of Directors of several major corporations & 501c3s, and is on the Massachusetts American Heart Association's Advisory Committee.

Prior to co-founding HBF, Bob Romer was a CFO and Controller for manufacturing firms. He attended New Hampshire College and UMASS Lowell. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, and is on the Massachusetts American Heart Association's Advisory Committee.

As Bob's caregiver, Susan Romer understands HF patients and families. She lends years of management experience to HBF. Susan has a BS from Boston College, an MS in Business Administration from Indiana University, and is on the Massachusetts American Heart Association's Advisory Committee.



Read the stories detailing our Co-Founders' Heart Failure transplant & caregiver journeys, and why they were determined to start the HeartBrothers Foundation:

Board of Directors


James Campbell
Senior Consultant
Brakeley Briscoe, Northborough, MA

Rich Carlson
Carlson Communications, Northborough, MA

Heather Cote, RN, BSN
Cardiac Transplant Coordinator
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Deborah Fleck, RN, BSN
Cardiac Transplant Nurse
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Kerry Gaj, DNP
Medical Science Liaison
Natera, Boston, MA

Michael Kiernan, MD, MS
Medical Director
Ventricular Assist Device Program
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Linda Ordway, RN, MS, NP
Clinical Care Manager
Cardiomyopathy Center
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA


William Pollack
Chief Strategy Officer
Billaway, Andover, MA


Duc Thinh Pham, MD
Surgical Director
Center for Advanced Heart Failure
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Advisory Board
Team HeartBrothers Map
Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors
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Our 90+ Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors—Heart Failure survivors who journeyed through VADs, heart transplant, and beyond—provide emotional support and education to fellow HF patients and families.

In person or virtually, they visit hospitalized and homebound HF, LVAD, and heart transplant patients—delivering hope when all seems hopeless. These fully trained men and women educate patients on the physical and emotional Heart Failure voyage, the organ donation and transplant process, and draw from personal experiences to answer questions and empathize as only fellow survivors can.

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To date, our volunteer Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors have provided emotional and educational support by visiting, hugging, listening to, and counseling 1000+ families. As our interactive map above illustrates, Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors are everywhere, and our numbers continue to grow.

Whether you're reading this seeking to connect with a HeartBrothers Team Ambassador for support or to become one yourself, get ready to feel healed, hopeful, and most likely, forge friendships to last a lifetime.

Scroll down for a peek at our Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors gallery.

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