Cardiac Surgeons in Brazil Encourage New Partnerships with Children’s HeartLink

“We, the representatives of Brazil, have experienced firsthand the benefits of this partnership between Children’s HeartLink and our hospitals, with significant improvements in the quality of care we provide to our patients, increase in our multidisciplinary team expertise, as well as in the number of children treated,” say our three partners from hospitals in São José do Rio Preto, Fortaleza and São Paulo in the Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery.

Dr. Ulisses Croti is a pediatric cardiac surgeon at Hospital da Criança e Maternidade (HCM) in São José do Rio Preto in southeast Brazil. Our partnership with HCM began in 2009 and includes expert volunteer mentors from Mayo Clinic and Children’s Minnesota. The hospital is poised to become a Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence. Our over 10-year collaboration led not only to a significant decrease in infections after surgery but also to an increase in the number of children treated and the complexity of their surgeries, as well as a reduction in deaths.

Dr. Valdester Pinto Jr. is a pediatric cardiac surgeon at Hospital de Messejana in Fortaleza, our partner since 2015. With Seattle Children’s Hospital serving as their training partner, the team there works on improving the nutritional status of patients and strengthening postoperative care practices, including preventing infections.

Dr. Marcelo Jatene works at Instituto do Coração (InCor) in São Paulo. This is our newest partner in Brazil (since 2018), which collaborates with The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. InCor is one of the leading heart centers in Latin America and has the largest pediatric surgical program in the country.

These three hospitals served over 24,500 children with heart disease and performed over 1,000 heart surgeries last year alone.

“We are encouraged to see the leadership and accountability with which Children’s HeartLink thinks about the future of pediatric cardiac services around the world, and we are even more confident and hopeful about new possible partnerships with other pediatric cardiac centers in our country,” say Drs. Croti, Pinto Jr. and Jatene. In October 2019, they attended the Children’s HeartLink 50th Anniversary Summit, which was focused on priorities for the global field of pediatric cardiac care: increasing capacity to care for children, training the medical workforce, closing the data gap, and financing.