Sara Pitman, RN

Sara Pitman, RN, a Medical ICU nurse at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, has been a volunteer with Team Heart since the very beginning. Dr. Chip Bolman, met Sara as a nursing student in 2007 while she was discussing a recent medical mission trip to Kenya and recruited her on the spot. Sara volunteered as a nurse in Team Heart’s step down unit/ward, providing post-operative care for patients from 2009-2013. Sara is well loved by Team Hearts’ patients and is always encouraging the patients to get up and start moving after surgery, often leading the patients in-group walks around the hospital. She also keeps the patients smiling with her Kinyarwandan and English lessons. In 2013, her husband Justin joined us as a volunteer on Team Heart’s annual surgical trip. Justin, an emergency and wilderness medicine physician, assisted in the screening and pre-operative care of the Team Heart patients. After taking a year off  in 2014 following the birth of their son, Henry, Sara has returned to Rwanda with Team Heart multiple times in the role of clinical coordinator. As clinical coordinator, Sara tracks and organizes all the required licensure paperwork and background checks for every Team Heart volunteer. She also assists in the sorting, packing and shipping of Team Heart supplies. When asked about her experiences with Team Heart, Sara has said “meeting the patients before surgery, and guiding them through their surgical recovery is amazing, but seeing their healthy, smiling faces return year after year, and hearing their stories of success in school and work is the best thing, and embodies why Team Heart exists in the first place”. 

After I returned from Rwanda, each time I passed my to do list, my pencil hovered to cross off Rwanda–I could not do it. Rwanda was not finished.
MARIA STEELMAN 2012

I am thankful to Team Heart for saving my life and allow me to return to my studies energetically and it does me proud to be studying public health
TEAM HEART PATIENT

Rwanda can eradicate rheumatic heart disease in a generation-it is an achievable goal
DAVID WILSON

I consider being a part of Team Heart to be the biggest achievement in my nursing career, and one of the best parts of my life!
KRISTIN CALHENO RN