A vision to transform care
Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Heart Institute is uniquely positioned to build its reputation as a destination heart center, known for delivering the highest quality and most innovative care to patients with congenital and childhood heart disease.
Here, we envision a future in which children with heart conditions thrive into adulthood with good quality of life, never questioning their survival or the outcomes related to treatments. With donor support, our groundbreaking research and world-class clinical programs will continue to grow and transform care for patients and families around the world.
Heart Institute care by the numbers
infant and neonatal survival rate
cardiothoracic surgeries annually
heart transplants performed
Priorities and opportunities to make an impact
Exceptional Clinical Care
Outstanding Quality and Outcomes
Leading the way for radical change
Through investment in these four critical areas, the Heart Institute at Children’s Colorado will continue to be on the forefront of treating congenital heart disease and will ensure recruitment of top clinicians to our center: adding to our national and international visibility and reputation. With a unique convergence of strengths, opportunities, and campus partnerships, Children’s Colorado is ideally positioned to lead radical change in transforming congenital heart care.
World-class care for children requires world-class talent: doctors, nurses, scientists, therapists, statisticians, and technicians who are specially trained in the field of pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, and fundamental and translational research. Donor support enables us to recruit and retain exceptional caregivers and researchers — the stars of their respective fields whose innovations help kids in our own backyard and around the globe.
The Heart Institute is home to leading researchers and world-renowned doctors who know their specialty areas better than anyone else. Donor support is critical to our institution’s ability to build, attract, train and maintain our expert team. For the parents of a sick child, that means peace of mind, knowing their child is in the very best hands. It means families can find hope in the fact that our team of superstars will never stop pursuing new treatments and cures. Our vision for talent and training:
Recruitment and Retention: Building and maintaining an extraordinary team can be challenging. National competition for top talent is intense, and we must be competitive to be the very best. Philanthropy is critical to our ability to attract – and keep – our world-class caregivers and researchers at Children’s Colorado. We believe we offer the best environment for top talent to do their very best work – from delivering exceptional care, to finding new discoveries, to training the next generation.
Education and Training: The Heart Institute is committed to educating future experts by producing well rounded clinicians and researchers in all areas of subspecialty. Our vision is to develop researchers and scientists who make meaningful contributions in academia that will advance the field of knowledge locally and globally, who are conducting and publishing novel research, and who create innovative approaches to pediatric cardiothoracic medicine.
The Heart Institute’s research profile is extensive, our laboratory resources are unparalleled, and the breadth and depth of our investigators’ expertise is a distinguishing feature of our program. With over 100 research studies occurring within the Heart Institute, researchers are committed to the discovery of age- and disease-specific diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic approaches that improve outcomes for fetuses to adults suffering from congenital and acquired forms of heart disease. The goal of Heart Institute researchers is to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop innovative treatments including newly-available devices, perioperative and surgical approaches, and medications that can be directly implemented at the bedside.
Performing high quality research requires significant infrastructure and financial support. The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is one of the top NIH-funded departments in the country (#2 in 2021). Within Children’s Colorado’s Heart Institute, we have over 100 active research studies, and have 10 federally funded investigators, including 4 NIH R01 grants (2021). We’ve also received extramural funding from the Department of Defense, Industry, and various foundations. However, one of the challenges faced by Heart Institute researchers is that in comparison to adults with heart disease, children with heart disease are considered a rare population, resulting in more limited funding opportunities. For this reason, donor support of Heart Institute research efforts is particularly impactful. Philanthropic funding can provide support for the equipment, personnel, and supplies needed to develop strong preliminary data that can then be leveraged into longer term support by large granting agencies. Therefore, a partnership between Heart Institute researchers and donors can result in an impressive return on investment and ensures that our patients are the first to benefit from scientific breakthroughs.
Researchers in the Heart Institute are committed to performing investigations that improve outcomes for children and adults suffering from congenital and acquired forms of heart disease. The goal of the Heart Institute. research program is to identify novel therapeutic targets and new treatments (e.g. medical devices, surgical approaches, medical therapies) that can be directly implemented at the bedside.
Our team is leading the pack in many areas of congenital heart disease care. We have been the “first, best and only” on many occasions, and we plan to continue doing what we do best – deliver exceptional care for every single patient across the state of Colorado, our 7-state region, and beyond. The team has also achieved tremendous advancements in digital health, including telehealth consultation for baby’s hearts in several Neonatal Intensive Care Units, interpretation of heart MRI and CT diagnostics for out-of-state children and fetal heart evaluations in remote cities through sonographers trained by experts at Children’s Colorado.
- Our dedicated Cardiac Intensive Care and Cardiac Progressive Care units are the largest and most comprehensive in the region, staffed by board-certified pediatric cardiac intensivists and pediatric cardiologists who deliver care to complex patients from neonates to adults.
- Our congenital catheterization laboratory is the only one in the nation that offers the combination of vessel navigation and advanced radiation-minimizing technology.
- Our single ventricle care program is the only multidisciplinary program in the region dedicated to caring for all the health concerns for kids who have a single functioning ventricle and/or have had a Fontan operation.
- Our ECMO Program is one of the very few across the globe to have reached Platinum status with Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) for the last several years.
- Our pulmonary hypertension program was the first multidisciplinary program for children in the United States and continues to be recognized as one of the preeminent centers in the world for this patient population.
- Our multidisciplinary Wellness Program is one of the most comprehensive and clinically integrated support programs in the region, offering support from our committed physicians, nurses, social workers, child life health specialists, psychology, and spiritual care teams.
We are proud of these achievements, but we also recognize that in order to continue leading the field in these ways, we need support. Clinical excellence requires continued investment in cutting-edge devices and lifesaving screenings that help children with special hearts survive and thrive, as well as team members to help ensure our operations are efficient and well-coordinated. Your support will help us build out our niche programs into destination centers.
In the field of congenital heart disease, we are fortunate to have access to data across numerous registries. However, participation in these registries is more than just contributing to databases. They are multi-institutional learning collaboratives that use data to support innovation in patient care. Data collection is a necessary first step in the process of improved quality. If we don’t measure it, we can’t identify targets for improvement or study the impact of interventions on outcomes. Participation in these multi-institutional collaboratives brings together a diverse group of leaders with a common vision of quality improvement.
Now more than ever, we also have access to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics – all of which can help us utilize our data in more meaningful ways to deliver safer, more effective, and more consistent patient care while protecting patients and staff from human errors and burnout.
Achieving excellent outcomes for patients with congenital heart disease requires coordinated effort and resources, and it requires a structure that facilitates improvement and measures progress toward optimal patient care. We’re prepared to implement these new partnerships, new technologies, and additional resources to improve our patient outcomes, however, we need the right staff and infrastructure in place to capture, analyze, and use data in a way that helps us achieve this vision.
Why invest in Children’s Colorado?
Our Heart Institute is a nationally ranked heart care and surgery program with cardiac surgery outcomes that are among the top 10% in the nation. Since our first pediatric open-heart surgery nearly 70 years ago, our physician-scientists have continued pioneering methods to diagnose and treat kids with congenital and acquired heart conditions. Our experts were among the first to use minimally invasive techniques to reach and repair heart defects in children – and we continue to make major advances in the field as one of only eight stand-alone pediatric cardiac research centers in the country. Academic success and national impact do not happen by accident. It requires the innate talents, creativity, and hard work of supported faculty. And yet that is not enough. We need your help.
Join us in transforming heart care on a global scale
We have the right team. We have the expertise. But your donation will help us realize our bold vision. Your support can mean the difference between making monumental leaps forward or continuing at a pace constrained by funding challenges.Give Now Connect to Learn More