The Need

One in 100 children is born with heart disease. Only one in 10 has access to care.
Children's HeartLink is working to change that.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect and the birth defect that causes the most infant deaths. In most regions of the world, parents have nowhere to turn for appropriate medical care when their child is born with a heart defect, an abnormality of the heart that is also called congenital heart disease.

Every Child Deserves a Strong Start in Life

Sadly, many children with heart disease who don’t have access to care die soon after birth or during infancy. Others survive but don’t thrive. And as they grow up they can’t keep up with their peers on the playground or in school.

We can’t change the incidence of congenital heart disease. But we can reach more children who need lifesaving care.

Since 1969 Children’s HeartLink has been dedicated to caring for children with heart disease. On an annual basis, over 80,000 children are served at our partner hospitals and programs around the world. Over 5,000 medical professionals in underserved regions are now more equipped to care for children with heart disease.

Our approach has changed since our early days as a medical mission organization. But our commitment to helping children with heart disease has never wavered.

We’re proud of our accomplishments, but we need to do more. Ninety percent of the children born with heart disease still don’t get the care they need.

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Our Sustainable Approach

Treating kids with heart disease is the right thing to do. Training local providers is the smart way to do it.

Training and mentoring are the best way to leave a lasting impact in parts of the world where there are so many kids with heart disease and so few specialists in pediatric cardiology. Worldwide, the need for more specialists is great.

We lead training partnerships with medical volunteer teams from top teaching and research institutions. These volunteer teams commit to multi-year partnerships to train and empower their peers in the delivery of high-quality, team-based care.

When these local hospitals and programs consistently deliver high-quality, complex care, they become a Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence. Centers of Excellence commit to training other pediatric cardiac specialists from low-resource environments. This is the heart of our train-the-trainer delivery model. This is how we treat the most children the fastest.

We’re a Leader in This Field

Working together is at the heart of our model, and we work to make the right resources available to those who need them. Fighting congenital heart disease on a global scale is a big undertaking, and we want to equip our partners to have the greatest impact possible. As a leader in this field, we have helped to develop these useful and effective resources.

IQIC

The International Quality Improvement Collaborative was launched to decrease mortality and major complications after congenital heart surgery.

View IQIC
PEDI

The Parent Education/Discharge Instructions educate caregivers and families on pre- and postoperative care for children with congenital heart disease.

View PEDI

Our Medical Volunteer Teams

Our medical volunteer teams come from some of the finest teaching and research institutions in the world.

  • Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, India
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  • Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Gleneagles Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and National University Hospital, Singapore
  • The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
  • Institut Jantung Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington
  • Shizuoka Children’s Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan
  • University of California San Francisco

  • University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • West China Hospital, Chengdu

Want to know more about becoming a medical volunteer?

Contact Us