Medtronic Helps Children’s HeartLink Reduce Health Disparities: First Outcomes

Published April 3, 2022

It’s been a year since Children’s HeartLink received its largest grant from Medtronic Foundation to increase our impact on global pediatric heart care. This first-of-its-kind partnership between our two organizations is significant because it is multi-year, multi-country and engages Medtronic employees who are contributing their time and skills to accelerate quality patient care and outcomes.

“Children’s HeartLink’s partnership with Medtronic Foundation is fueling our capacity to grow to impact more lives of children born with heart disease. With their support, we’re innovating our program model, utilizing our Children’s HeartLink centers of excellence to provide more trainings, strengthening existing partnerships and adding new ones in supporting our goal to reach one million more children by 2030,” said Jackie Boucher, Children’s HeartLink president.

Specifically, the partnership is aimed to:

  • Provide heart surgery for 10,000 children, giving them the opportunity to survive and thrive.
  • Train 10,000 health care workers (pediatric surgeons and cardiologists, nurses and more) to provide heart surgery and quality outcomes, strengthening in-country hospital capacity.
  • Support Children’s HeartLink’s strategic growth and innovation, enabling the organization to scale in underserved countries—significantly increasing our impact between 2025 and 2030 by adding five new partner hospitals over 3 years.

As a result of the first year of this partnership with Medtronic Foundation, we helped serve over 42,000 children, conduct almost 2,400 heart surgeries and train over 2,100 health workers in India, Brazil and China. This support is aimed to reduce disparities in access to heart care and its quality.

“We met our first-year benchmarks determined by a grant. The Medtronic Foundation has supported Children’s HeartLink and our partners to operate on over 2,400 children in a 12-month period. They supported our partners during the extremely difficult time of COVID,  and this has helped our partners continue their service and advance their skills,” says Anne Betzner, Ph.D., vice president of programs and evaluation.

The Medtronic employees helped us transform our educational approach by focusing on a blended learning model that combines remote and in-person trainings as well as new technologies. Read a blog of Barry Jass, Senior Director of Global Training Operations at Medtronic and Children’s HeartLink extern. Barry helped us advance our new educational approach and add a digital library as a learning platform. He continues to partner with Children’s HeartLink as a volunteer.