About Mended Hearts of Southern Oregon

Mended Hearts of Southern Oregon, Chapter 137, is part of the national Mended Hearts Organization.



Mended Hearts of Southern Oregon has been serving the Rogue Valley and Northern California for more than 30 years

In 1977, noting the number of heart patients being sent to Eugene and Portland for surgery, a local group of cardiologists headed by Dr. Minor Matthews became convinced that Rogue Valley Medical Center could very well sustain a heart program of it's own. So, RVMC  located a young surgeon, Dr. Roger Millar, who was then a member of nationally prominent Dr. Denton Cooley's team at Baylor University in Texas. Estimating that around fifteen surgeries per year were possible here in Southern Oregon, Dr. Millar came to Medford to establish a surgical and care center known as Three West. As it turns out, he performed around 45 surgeries that first year and the RVMC program was off and running.

Dr. Millar was very familiar with another Texas-based organization called Mended Hearts, so together with two nurses, Sue Naumes and Judy Yates, he called a meeting to see if sufficient interest existed to have a chapter of Mended Hearts in Southern Oregon.  There was interest and Chapter 137 was established.

Our first President, Leon "Bud" Tiemen, worked mightily to get the chapter going. Other early members included Marcella Wheeler, Mavis Griffen, Leonard and Ruth England, Dale and Jeanette Williams, Blaine Breardsley, and Vern and Anne Wolthoff. Other long time participants were Maxine Anderson, Enid Edwards, Betty Rogers and many others we've most likely overlooked. 

Milestones along the way include incorporating the chapter as a non-profit in 1982 and the first visitor training program, run by Bob Cool, in 1983. The first training drew 38 attendees of whom 30 became certified visitors. The pace of visiting quickly picked up to around 40 per month and hasn't slowed since.


The purpose of Mended Hearts is to offer help, support and encouragement to heart disease patients, caregivers and their families.

The ways we achieve these objectives are:

  • With physician and hospital approval, accredited visitors visit recovering heart patients while in the hospital to offer encouragement, information and support to patients, their families and caregivers.
  • Distribute heart care educational information to members of Mended Hearts and to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers, and the public.
  • Partner with physicians, nurses, medical professionals and health care organizations in their ongoing support work with heart disease patients, caregivers and their families.
  • Cooperate with other organizations in education and research activities pertaining to heart disease.
  • Assist established heart disease rehabilitation programs for members and their families.
  • Plan and conduct regular programs of educational and social interest for members, patients, caregivers and the public.

Where We Meet

Our meetings are now held on Zoom, on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm. Information about joining the meeting will sent to members by email a few days before the meeting.

If you wish to join as a guest, email us to be added to the invitation.

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