Uniting Pediatric Cardiac Care Leaders in Low- and Middle-Income Countries | CoE Collaborative 

Published April 26, 2022 

Participants of the Center of Excellence Collaborative during the meeting

Children’s HeartLink has brought together pediatric cardiac leaders from low- and middle-income countries to share their knowledge with each other and other professionals in underserved communities. The Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence Collaborative includes four Children’s HeartLink Centers of Excellence in Brazil, China, India and Malaysia. These hospitals have achieved high standards of care and become regional training centers. This new initiative, supported by Medtronic Foundation and Boston Scientific, is aimed at increasing equitable access for all children to cardiac services.

What does a Center of Excellence stand for? 

With the help of our volunteers, Children’s HeartLink partners with hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, with the goal of them becoming a regional Center of Excellence in pediatric cardiac care and training. A Children’s Heartlink Center of Excellence in pediatric cardiac care and training delivers a full range of pediatric cardiac services with consistently good results. It has an excellent clinical team possessing solid knowledge, skills and capabilities. Most importantly, it has the capacity to serve as a training center in the country and the region. The sustainability of these centers should also be reflected in their links across the patient care continuum in the communities surrounding them. Centers of Excellence have strong links with professional organizations, government stakeholders, healthcare providers and patients, and are actively engaged in improving community-based screening and appropriate referral for children with heart disease in the region they serve.

The centers participating in the Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence Collaborative are Hospital da Criança e Maternidade (São José do Rio Preto, Brazil); West China Hospital (Chengdu, China); Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Kochi, India); and Institut Jantung Negara, National Heart Institut (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). 

How does the CoE Collaborative work?

The goal of the Center of Excellence Collaborative is to create a collaborative community of leaders in low- and middle-income countries, to increase equitable access to quality pediatric cardiac care by sharing knowledge and learning from each other. We aim to engage these experts with deep knowledge of the limited-resource environments through peer-to-peer learning and concepts of improvement science. The participating centers will share best practices, develop recommendations and participate in joint studies on topics relevant to pediatric cardiac care in low- and middle-income countries. So far the centers have discussed starting a fetal cardiology program and challenging newborn care cases. They are also discussing a study about reducing antibiotic use in complex newborns.

With this work, Children’s HeartLink Centers of Excellence will not only share experiences and learn from each other but will also advance pediatric cardiac services in low and middle-income countries.

Children’s HeartLink is proud to be spearheading this initiative to support these global leaders who are advocating for and providing pediatric cardiac care in their regions.