The Heart and Vascular Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center have formed a local chapter of the Mended Hearts program and will meet from 5 to 7 p.m., Jan. 18 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. in Portsmouth. The Mended Hearts, Inc. is a national nonprofit support organization that includes heart patients, spouses, healthcare professionals and others interested in helping patients with the emotional recovery from heart disease. With 280 community-based chapters nationwide, Mended Hearts has 24,000 members, making it the largest heart-related patient support group. “Members assist cardiac patients with an extensive accredited visitors program, support groups, health information workshops, social and special events and other volunteer activities,” Keri Imm, nurse manager of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at SOMC, said. “Mended Hearts has been offering hope and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers for 50 years and the outreach and support is a proven benefit to the community.” Imm adds that while heart patient-to-patient visits are the core of the Mended Hearts’ program, volunteers do not have to be a patient. Caregivers, family members of patients, physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals and anyone else interested are invited to participate. For more information or to reserve your seat, please call 740-356-7663.