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2008 a Year of Growth and Unprecedented Service for The Larry King Cardiac Foundation

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2008, The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding life-saving cardiac care to individuals with no health insurance, increased the number of men and women served by 120 percent over last year and continued to expand its national network of partner hospitals.

By directly investing donated funds into individual medical procedures, the Foundation helped save the lives of 313 patients last year. The Foundation also partnered with Life Line Screening to screen and counsel over 2,000 people in various cities nationwide to determine their risk of heart disease and guide them toward appropriate treatment, if applicable.

In September 2008, the Foundation forged an important partnership with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Rush joins 11 other premier cardiac centers in the country that have been selected to partner with the Foundation. The Foundation plans to add two more hospital partners in the U.S. in 2009.

"With 46 million people in the U.S. living without health insurance, there is a great need for organizations like ours to do whatever we can to provide people with the attention and treatment they deserve," said Larry King, Jr., president of the Foundation. "My father and I both share the same hope -- that one day there won't be a need for the Foundation. But until that day comes, we will continue to work toward our mission of saving a heart -- a life -- a day."

King, Jr. adds, "Our donors -- corporations and individuals alike -- are the lifeblood of the organization and we are very grateful for their continued support, especially in light of the challenging financial times our country currently faces."

In 2009, the Foundation plans a new fundraising approach that acknowledges the difficult economy, but allows it to continue its mission, which is even more critical during a time of rising unemployment and loss of health care benefits. Instead of hosting its annual fundraising gala event in Washington, D.C., it will host a virtual event, in which Larry King, founder and legendary talk show host, and his celebrity friends and supporters will host a special online version of the annual black tie dinner.

Attendees of the virtual event will receive exclusive messages and special gifts, which will be donated by sponsors and celebrities. St. Jude Medical, Inc., a longtime underwriter of the Foundation's gala events, has already joined the Foundation by underwriting the virtual event. These funds will now go directly toward patient care. All other gifts received through the virtual event will also be directly allocated to patient service. With this strategy, the Foundation can lower its operating costs and, as a result, save even more lives.

"Foundations must become more innovative when it comes to fundraising and achieving more results with the limited resources they have. With the help of our generous sponsors, like St. Jude Medical, Inc. and FedEx, as well as individual donors, we are helping more people in their time of need. We're also hoping to recruit even more supporters in our mission to save a heart a day in 2009," King, Jr. said.

Larry King launched the Foundation in 1988 after suffering from a heart attack. Since its inception, the Foundation has established unique partnerships with premier medical centers to identify and treat qualified candidates. King, Jr. has placed an emphasis on securing medical supplies at little to no cost and negotiating reduced rates with healthcare providers in order to assist as many patients as possible. Partner hospitals and clinics in the U.S. include:

    --  Children's National Medical Center and The George Washington
        University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
    --  Children's Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and LAC + USC Medical
        Center in Los Angeles
    --  Venice Family Clinic in Venice, Calif.
    --  New York Presbyterian: The University Hospitals of Cornell and
        Columbia in New York, N.Y.
    --  St. Joseph's in Atlanta
    --  Covenant Health System in Lubbock, Texas
    --  The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland
    --  Rush University Medical Center in Chicago

The Foundation receives funding through grants, corporate sponsorships, special events, individual donations, eBay(R) auctions, donations via its Web site and proceeds from Mr. King's books and speaking engagements. The Foundation has also forged partnerships with Cordis Corporation, Medtronic Inc., St. Jude Medical, Inc., Edwards Lifesciences and Abbott Laboratories to provide cardiac devices and procedures at no cost to the patient.

About the Larry King Cardiac Foundation

The Larry King Cardiac Foundation was established in 1988 to provide funding for life-saving treatment for individuals, who due to limited means or no insurance, would be otherwise unable to receive the treatment and medical attention they so desperately need. Since its inception, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation has served more than 700 individuals. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Larry King Cardiac Foundation
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