Our program model: Cost-effective, replicable, and scalable
Heart to Heart pioneered our education-based program model over 25 years ago, to teach and train emerging teams of pediatric cardiac specialists. Heart to Heart guides each team we train to develop a self-sustaining children’s heart center within 5-7 years. Our teaching methodology utilizes every case as a valuable team-wide teaching opportunity as we exercise the privilege to save a child’s life.
Heart to Heart’s approach remains (1) data-driven, (2) education-based, and (3) implemented by professionally coordinated advanced specialists working as medical volunteers. Now, after 25 years, our program model has proven itself to be not only cost-effective, but also replicable and scalable. Its success continues to attract advanced pediatric cardiac specialists from leading U.S. children’s heart centers to travel halfway across the world, year after year, to transfer their knowledge and experience to develop life-saving programs.
The four components of our program model
Although Heart to Heart’s annual surgical-educational missions to each sponsored site are the highlight of each team’s programmatic year, much work is done year-round to support and evolve each team-in-training. While our colleagues at our partner sites abroad are putting new skills we teach into practice in between our visits, members of our medical advisory council in the U.S. are reviewing surgical outcomes to determine our next “educational” steps. The internet makes it possible for our medical volunteers to continue providing strategic guidance and mentoring of partner site department heads year-round as they implement Heart to Heart’s recommendations to reach the next level of complexity. Our program model components are:
In 2012, with funding from the World of Children Award, Heart to Heart established the Nilas Young World of Children Traveling Fellowship. This annual fellowship will enable Heart to Heart – in perpetuity – to bring aspiring cardiac specialists to the U.S. for training and education at leading heart centers.
The global potential of our program model
We welcome other cardiac professionals and humanitarian organizations to collaborate with us to benefit thousands of children worldwide. Our model has great potential to address global health inequities in other areas of need where (1) physicians are capable of collaboration, and (2) local governments are able to invest in a long-term skills and knowledge transfer. Our experience building Russia’s nationwide capacity to manage CHD can serve as a roadmap for others striving to modernize medicine for the next generation of children around the world.