50th Anniversary Year: Our Top Five Stories from 2019

2019 was our milestone year, our 50th year as an organization. Since 1969, when a first child was flown from Vietnam to Minneapolis for lifesaving heart surgery, we’ve been committed to treating children with heart disease. Thanks to our dedicated partners and supporters, our 50th year was a successful one. We saved and improved the lives of more children around the world.

These are our top stories from 2019:

1. Record number of children served

We served 171,580 children and trained 4,304 medical providers last year. Compared to the previous year, we reached 25% more children and trained 125% more medical providers. The number of children served at our partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam has doubled in just 4 years!


2. New partner hospital in India + Renewed support of our work in India, China and Malaysia from corporate funders

Photo by Scott Streble

Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in the city of Howrah became our sixth partner hospital in India and 17th partner hospital around the world (we also work in Brazil, China, Malaysia and Vietnam). The new partner hospital’s mentor team from Children’s Minnesota, focuses on increasing the number of children treated, the complexity of surgeries and the quality of care.

Medtronic Foundation has featured Children’s HeartLink as one of its partners that uses successful practices to strengthen health systems. Currently, the foundation supports our work in the Indian state of Kerala. It includes training for community health workers and developing newborn screening protocols for congenital heart disease. Boston Scientific has renewed its support for our work in Malaysia, where we also focus on developing the infrastructure for pediatric cardiac care. This ensures that high-quality care is accessible to all children in need in the country. ConocoPhillips China renewed its funding for our training programs at two hospitals in China: TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital, and Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital.


3. Governor’s International Trade Award

Children’s HeartLink is one of five Minnesota organizations that received the 2018 Governor’s International Trade Award from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. This award is given to honor Minnesota companies that “have exceled in the international marketplace.”


4. First Children’s HeartLink Scientific Summit unites medical professionals from Brazil to India

Over 50 leaders in global health and pediatric cardiac care came together at our first Scientific Summit in Minneapolis. The event outlined priorities for pediatric cardiac care and future strategic direction for us and our partners across the world.


5. Our 50th-year milestone: more than 1.5 million children served

In 50 years, we helped more than 1.5 million children receive the care they need. A staggering 90% of children born with a heart defect worldwide still lack access to care. In the next 10 years, Children’s HeartLink is committed to reaching one million more children.