Our New Partnership in China: The Patient at the Center of Care

A surgeon, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, nurses and other experienced cardiac specialists from UK training their peers at our new partner hospital in China


Our fifth and newest partner hospital in China, Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital (QWCH), with one of the largest children’s heart centers in the country, recently completed its first cardiac training! The Children’s HeartLink training was provided in partnership with our new medical volunteers from one of the largest cardiac units in England, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. This is a new facility in Liverpool that is adopting such advanced technologies in the operating room as holograms and mixed reality.

This first full-team training visit is the beginning of a long-term partnership that will help treat more children in this heavily populated region of 30 million in the Greater Qingdao area.

“Our first training visit to Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital was a great success,” says Children’s HeartLink Country Director Andreas Tsakistos. “The Qingdao team is highly skilled, motivated and are led by a very strong and capable group of physician and nursing leaders. We’re honored to be working with them and look forward to working together to increase access to quality pediatric cardiac care for the children of Qingdao, Shandong Province and beyond.”

Dr. Rafael Guerrero, chief and director of the cardiac team at Alder Hey Children’s says, “We were able to manage and perform complex operations together. We also delivered embedded medical and nursing teaching sessions in surgery, anesthesia, cardiology and intensive care. The environment created by the local team make us feel that we overcome the language barrier better than expected by using a bit of innovation, technology and imagination!”

Dr. Guerrero added that this partnership is to help Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital on increasing the volume of patients treated focusing in quality, safety and patient centered care, as well as expanding the surgical repertoire and complexity of cases treated. Particularly, the Alder Hey team will help develop a cohesive surgical team with contemporary techniques, a clinical cardiology team for the preoperative and postoperative management as well as expand an intensive care team to support the increase on volume and complexity cases.

“It is an honor to work with the QWCH cardiac team. They have an ambitious leadership with a team bursting with dedication and commitment to become a Center of Excellence, with a structured and sustainable multidisciplinary team,” says Dr. Guerrero.

Now, Children’s HeartLink has 5 Centers of Excellence in China, India and Malaysia – our partner hospitals that have become training centers for other pediatric cardiac specialists.

“We felt that the two teams match well in everything including personality, hobbies, passion for work, mutual tolerance, mutual trust and mutual sincerity. We believe the training program will definitely reach our aims in the end,” says Dr. Rui Chen, director of the Heart Center at Qingdao Women and Children’s.

Learn more about our work in China.