Three Experts Receive 2021 Founders Award

Published on November 12, 2021.

The 2021 Children’s HeartLink Founders Award recognizes three individuals who demonstrate extraordinary dedication and contribution to Children’s HeartLink mission.

Congratulations to Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, Chief of Congenital Cardiovascular Surgery at UCLA; Dr. Steven Schwartz, Head of the Division of Cardiac Critical Care Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children; and Dr. Jim Rice, Managing Director and Practice Lead of Governance and Leadership at Gallagher Integrated.

“All three of these individuals bring a new layer of strategic depth to our organization. Dr. Kiser’s legacy continues through their dedication, leadership and work,” says President of Children’s HeartLink Jackie Boucher.

The Children’s HeartLink Founders Award was established in 2019 in honor of the organizational founder Dr. Joe Kiser, a remarkable and visionary man and professional.

Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Van Arsdell worked together as medical volunteers and have been closely involved with our work for over 15 years. They helped develop pediatric cardiac services in China – at West China Hospital (our Center of Excellence since 2017) and TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital (TICH). More recently, Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Van Arsdell have provided training for our partners in Brazil at Instituto do Coraçao (InCor). Additionally, Dr. Van Arsdell has contributed significantly to the development of our train-the-trainer delivery model, which allows us to reach and serve more children. Dr. Schwartz continued to support our programs at TICH and InCor during the pandemic, playing an important role in developing remote virtual training for our partners.  

Doctor Jim Rice was instrumental in shifting Children’s HeartLink away from a traditional mission trip organization into the capacity-building program when hospitals become sustainable and develop high-quality pediatric cardiac services. Dr. Rice currently chairs the Children’s HeartLink International Advisory Board where he continues to propel Children’s HeartLink forward.

Our mission: We save children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world.

Children’s HeartLink delivers its mission by leading multi-year training partnerships between medical volunteer teams from top teaching and research institutions and hospital professionals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. When Children’s HeartLink was founded in 1969, we would fly children with heart disease to Minnesota. Since then, our model has evolved. Today, we send medical volunteer teams to partner hospitals to train their health care professionals. 

Founders Awards Winners

2020: Nurse Educator Dr. Sandra Staveski Receives 2020 Founders Award

2019: Volunteer for 23 Years: Dr. Joe Derani Receives Founders Award

Watch a video about Children’s HeartLink founder Dr. Joe Kiser: