Abbott Training Partnership Helps Improve Care in India

Photo by Scott Streble


Training in-country pediatric heart teams is at the heart of everything we do at Children’s HeartLink, and it’s how we help the most children the fastest. In India, only 1 in 4 children who needs heart surgery receives optimal care, and there is a great need for more trained heart specialists throughout the country. Our partnership with the global health care company Abbott and its philanthropic foundation Abbott Fund, supports training for pediatric heart teams at three of our partner hospitals in the cities of Bangalore and Kolkata, which helps improve care for thousands of children in the southwestern and eastern parts of India. 

“This partnership is critical to helping more children in India, where geographic distribution of pediatric heart programs is uneven. Our goal is to develop nine Children’s HeartLink Centers of Excellence in India by 2030. Support from Abbott provides advanced medical training and also helps increase clinical and administrative capacity in our partner hospitals in Bangalore and Kolkata,” says Anne Betzner, Children’s HeartLink Vice President of Programs and Evaluation. 

This partnership will train over 200 medical professionals at Children’s HeartLink’s Center of Excellence Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences in Bangalore, at Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences in Kolkata and Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Howrah, which is located in the Kolkata metropolitan area. Together, these hospitals every year help more than 39,000 children and provide more than 3,300 lifesaving surgeries.

“The clinical material and the experience of our training mentors are exceptional. Continuing the program will definitely help us sharpen our skills and improve our knowledge in the field of pediatric cardiology,” says Dr. Shravan Kanaparthi from Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences.

Dr. Amitabha Chattopadhyay from Narayana Superspeciality Hospital adds: “There seems to be a gap between the medical training process and the actual utilization of the knowledge, which apparently occurs across the country. It is our hope that this training will be a long-term collaboration between Children’s HeartLink  and our pediatric cardiac program as we work towards our common goal.” 

All three hospitals involved in this partnership with Children’s HeartLink and Abbott are part of the Narayana Health System, a network of over 30 hospitals throughout India. Medical volunteers from Children’s Minnesota are training partners in Kolkata and Howrah. Our Center of Excellence in Bangalore is now a training center and will conduct training for all eight of Narayana Health’s pediatric cardiology programs.

Abbott, which has leading medical device businesses advancing cardiovascular care, provides funding and product donations, including devices to treat children born with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a hole between the heart’s upper chambers.

Payal Agrawal, GM, India Subcontinent, Structural Heart, Abbott, says: “Abbott is a leader in the research and development of interventional cardiology solutions for pediatric patients, where we’ve seen a tremendous need for new innovation. To further support the communities we serve, we have partnered with Children’s HeartLink to share expertise, medical progress and training with pediatric teams and provide children with the highest level of heart care so they can live longer and fuller lives now and into the future.”

Read more about our work in India and other countries

Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world. Founded in 1969, we currently support 18 partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Last year alone, the medical providers we trained served 177,000 children with heart disease, more than ever before.