Last November, we were honored to receive the Large Circle Award for Heart to Heart’s “contribution to the development of pediatric cardiology in Siberia.” We consider our work with the pediatric cardiac team at the Tomsk Cardiology Institute over the last eight years a privilege. Our Tomsk colleagues have been excellent collaborative partners since 2006. We thank them for their inspiring dedication to their patients and for their persistent desire to continually advance the field of pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery throughout Russia.

On November 21-22, 2013, the Tomsk Cardiology Institute hosted the All-Russia Pediatric Cardiology Conference. More than 150 pediatric cardiologists from 32 Russian cities and the neighboring country of Kazakhstan attended. The program included 16 lectures and 4 workshops. All lectures were streamed live to a cardiac center in St. Petersburg.

Two dedicated longtime Heart to Heart medical volunteers, pediatric cardiologists Dr. Frank Cetta of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN and Dr. Stuart Berger of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, traveled across the globe to participate. In addition to providing four lectures, doctors Cetta and Berger consulted on 9 patient cases, reviewing treatment options and follow-up care for each patient. Both cardiologists were awarded gold medals for their personal contributions to the development of the children’s heart program in Tomsk.

Heart to Heart would like to especially acknowledge the remarkable efforts of the Tomsk team to spread knowledge to aspiring pediatric cardiac specialists throughout Russia and to neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union – we are particularly grateful for their mentoring of Heart to Heart’s colleagues in Rostov-on-Don.

The Tomsk team has earned national recognition for their excellent surgical outcomes. Working together in Russia and other countries we can develop new centers of excellence, realizing Heart to Heart’s vision that a child born with a heart defect – anywhere in the world – will have access to life-saving heart care.

Tomsk Cardiology Institute is Heart to Heart’s third children’s heart program in Russia to achieve self-sustainability. Their advanced pediatric team now annually treats more than 500 babies and children of all ages, including newborns, with complex heart defects.