The Children’s HeartLink Strategic Plan to Reach One Million More Children by 2030

Published August 24, 2023

The comprehensive and ambitious Children’s HeartLink strategic plan for FY2023-FY2025 (July 2022 – June 2026) focuses on building capacity for improving pediatric cardiac care in underserved regions. Through our equitable and sustainable approach, more children born with congenital heart disease (CHD) will gain access to the care they need to survive and thrive.

An estimated 1.35 million children worldwide are born with CHD each year; it is the most common birth defect in the world, yet it’s one of the least recognized globally. In Children’s HeartLink’s first 50 years the organization reached one million children with CHD. Over those years the model evolved but our commitment to ensure children everywhere have access to high quality heart care has never wavered. In 2019, we committed to supporting even more children in need of care and set an aspirational goal to reach one million more children by 2030.

Photo from the perfusion training visit at Amrita Hospital in Kochi.
Photo from the February 2023 training visit hosted at Amrita Hospital in Kochi.

Imperatives to reach our aspirational goal

The five imperatives in the strategic plan are designed to help us reach that aspirational goal and include Grow Impact, Evolve Program Model, Advocate Globally, Operational Excellence and Sustainable Revenue. Here is what each means:

Grow Impact
By building local-level capacity at our hospital partners and adding new hospital partners, we develop pediatric cardiac care teams and increase the impact they can have. We’ll also leverage our Children’s HeartLink Centers of Excellence as local experts and regional trainers. And, lean into our medical volunteer teams and their institutions. We will strive to engage medical volunteers and partner hospital institutions to increase support for these partnerships which will ultimately lead to greater impact.

Evolve Program Model
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we improved our programming model to incorporate virtual learning opportunities. We will continue to innovate our programming by further developing our blended model and using technology to advance care.

Advocate Globally
We will continue to develop and strengthen government and key stakeholder relationships to grow advocacy alliances which make the health care needs of children with heart disease more visible worldwide.

Operational Excellence
Investing and developing our people, systems and processes will support us as we scale our program model to achieve our planned growth and impact.

Sustainable Revenue
The global nonprofit world is shifting, and we must too. We’ll execute a focused funding model that expands individual and corporate donors across the U.S. and other countries to help us reach more children.

Creating equitable access to heart care

Children’s HeartLink is working toward a world where all children have access to high-quality heart care, no matter where they are born. We are focused on building local capacity in partnership with hospitals, governments and Ministries of Health. Our work is different than a medical mission trip where a health care team goes in to treat or perform surgery over several days, because we are creating a pediatric cardiac care team equipped and ready to screen, diagnose, treat, perform surgery when necessary and provide the lifelong care required for children with heart disease.

FY23-25 Strategic Plan Guiding Principles

The results of what we do can be felt in our impact. We save children’s lives while prioritizing local context and regional systems to build sustainability in the countries where we work. By partnering with local teams to build regional trainers, governments to build programs and community leaders to influence the heart care that is available, we are collaborating to create systemic change for children born with CHD.

Developing our people, systems and processes will support us in retaining our staff and scaling our program model. The expertise and knowledge our team has is vitally important to the work we do and maintaining organizational excellence positions us to have the best team possible for growth and impact.

Our guiding principles of local capacity, partnerships, impact, local context and regional systems, sustainability and organizational excellence inform how we think about our intended growth over the next several years.

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About Children’s HeartLink
Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world. The global nonprofit organization (NGO), partners medical volunteers from top teaching and research institutions with doctors, nurses and health care professionals in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam to develop or improve pediatric cardiac care programs. Since 1969, the organization has reached more than 1.5 million children.