Children’s HeartLink is one of five Minnesota organizations that received the 2018 Governor’s International Trade Award on Thursday, November 7. This award is given out each year to honor Minnesota companies that “have excelled in the international marketplace.”
“These are the companies that are not just ones who created jobs, innovated, improved international trade, but they also created lasting friendships and relationships that reflect positively on Minnesota, and through philanthropy, corporate giving and the volunteer time of their employees have given back deeply in their communities,” said Governor Tim Walz at the awards ceremony.
“Children’s HeartLink’s story is a truly Minnesota story, and we are 50 years old this year. We started in 1969, when a Minnesota medic identified a child in Vietnam who was sick, and brought him to Minnesota to get treatment. Over the last 50 years, we reached more than 1.5 million children worldwide who received the care they needed,” said Children’s HeartLink President Jackie Boucher in her remarks after receiving the award.
“Every five minutes 10 children are born with a heart defect. Only one of these 10 children has access to the care they deserve. In Minnesota, we have a great corporate and social responsibility community, and wonderful, generous donors. Our state is one of the leaders in cardiac pediatric care and medical devices. We have 700 medical volunteers who support our mission and do training, and among them, there are three organizations from Minnesota: the University of Minnesota, Children’s Minnesota and Mayo Clinic. We couldn’t do our work without them. We are continuing to grow because the need is great for care for children born with heart disease.”
Caring for children with heart disease
Children’s HeartLink is a Minnesota-based, international, not-for-profit organization that has been caring for children with heart disease for 50 years. The organization leads medical training around the world to benefit children with congenital heart disease, which commonly requires surgical treatment. A staggering 90% of children born with heart disease lack access to the care they need. Currently, Children’s HeartLink works in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. The training is done in partnerships with top medical volunteer teams from the US, Canada and the UK. Last year alone, 4,000 medical providers were trained and went on to serve 171,000 children. In our 50 years, we have helped over one million children with heart disease. In the next 10 years, Children’s HeartLink is committed to reaching one million more children.