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Gift of Life International

Our Work

What’s better than healing a child’s heart? Empowering local doctors and nurses to do it themselves. Gift of Life International creates country-specific strategies depending on the opportunities that exist in each country. Learn more about our work here.

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Sustainable Pediatric Cardiac Centers.

Our work and strategy is to develop sustainable pediatric cardiac centers of excellence and the empowerment of doctors and nurses to treat children in their country or region of birth. Together with our like-minded partners, we have created such centers in Uganda and El Salvador. We are continuing this work in Jamaica and Bolivia, and we are helping to ensure that reliable care will be provided to children in Eastern Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Legacy Program

The Legacy Program designation acknowledges that a pediatric cardiac program has the full backing of its government and hospital, the team has been fully trained, equipment and facilities have been dedicated for use solely by the program, and they are regularly and sustainably treating their own children. We are proud of the fact that Gift of Life International programs in Uganda and El Salvador have now achieved Legacy status.

Core Program

In 2009, Gift of Life International developed Core Programs, a strategy that allows us to maximize our capacity to treat more children. The goal of the Core Program is to strategically develop sustainable pediatric cardiac programs and regional centers of excellence. Our Core Programs in Jamaica and Bolivia have met the following four criteria. They must have a supportive and invested government, a motivated and involved hospital administration, an established pediatric cardiac surgery program, and an existing in-country, non-governmental organization to support the program.

Countries of Focus.

We strategically evaluate each country to review what is available, what the possibilities are, what the need is, and then we determine how we can structure our network in that country. Countries of Focus do not meet our criteria for consideration as a Core Program, yet they do demonstrate a dire need for pediatric cardiac care. Gift of Life International is currently working in the following Countries of Focus: Kosova, the Philippines (Manila and Cebu), Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Jordan, Romania, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

Nutritional Assistance Program

We believe that to truly impact the life of a child with heart disease, we must not only heal their heart but also help to ensure a healthy future for them. This unique component of our Salvadoran program provides needs-based nutritional assistance to ensure treated children receive sufficient and well-balanced nutrition during their recovery period. This program significantly improves the child’s ability to reach a healthy weight for the first time following treatment for their heart ailment.

Humanized Care.

Humanized Care is a compassionate program for children and families with a holistic approach to supporting medical care, before, during and after hospitalization. Empowering staff to provide this care in emotionally empathic and connected relationships and sustain their own emotional health through consultations and training is the core foundation of this program.

We thank the Rotaractor Rotary Club of the United Nations in NYC for their continued support of Gift of Life International. Recently, they supported our humanized care program by making medical play dolls for children in the Pediatric Cardiac program at Hospital del Nino in La Paz, Bolivia. These dolls allow children to draw their own faces or any face or animal they want to comfort them as they go through their heart surgery from intake to discharge and take them home for their own relaxation and fun.

Healing Little Hearts Around the World

Since 1975 we have helped more than 53,330 children from 80 countries across five continents receive treatment for their heart disease. Learn more about our global impact in the countries linked below.

We do whatever it takes to heal a child’s heart.

Screening Visits

Screening Visits are designed to identify children that are in need of treatment from a specific country. Screening teams evaluate and diagnose up to 100 children per week. Children who are identified as in need of treatment are then placed on their National Pediatric Cardiac waiting list and ultimately treated throughout our Global Network on a priority basis.

Surgical / Cath Visits

Surgical and Catheterization Visits have become an essential method for Gift of Life International to provide care to children in our Countries of Focus who otherwise have no chance of treatment. Children on waiting lists in those countries will be treated in a systematic and strategic fashion. Our goal is to provide care to as many children as possible on these medical visits.

Training Visits

Training Visits are essential to the development of our Core Programs. Through these Training Visits, we provide expert skills transfer to the local teams. Such visits enhance skills of the local team and empower doctors and nurses to care for children in their country of birth. Training teams are typically comprised of healthcare professionals representing each specialty of pediatric cardiac surgery. Visiting team members work side by side with local teams to provide mentorship. The frequency of Training Visits is mandated based upon the experience of the local team. Skills transfer during Training Visits has played an essential role in the sustainability of our Legacy Programs in Uganda and El Salvador.

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Thank You to Our Partners

We are able to maximize our efforts to heal the hearts of children around the world through partnerships with corporations, foundations, medical centers, governments, like-minded organizations, Rotary Clubs & Districts, healthcare professionals and generous individuals. 

Corporations and Foundations in the United States and around the world support our efforts to provide hope to children with heart disease. This invaluable support helps us to develop sustainable pediatric cardiac programs in our Legacy and Core Programs and to maximize our impact in our Countries of Focus.

Through the strength of our partnerships, we are able to maximize our impact and develop sustainable programs. Over the years, Gift of Life International has been fortunate to partner with the following like-minded organizations.

Abdali Hosptial
Duke University Medical Center
Albany Medical Center
Grigore Alexandrescu Hospital
Al-Khalidi Medical Center
Hospital Del Nino Doctor Ovidio Aliaga Uria
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Hospital Diagnostico
Benjamin Bloom National Children’s Hospital
Instituto Giannina Gaslini
Boston Children’s Hospital
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
Bustamante Hospital for Children
National Children’s Hospital
Philippine Heart Center
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of
Riley Hospital for Children
St. Francis Hospital
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
UCLA Medical Center
Children’s National Global Health Institute
University Clinical Center of Kosovo
Cohen’s Hospital for Children
Uganda Heart Institute
De Los Santos Medical Center
Westchester Medical Center

We are grateful for the support of The Rotary Foundation as well as 340 Rotary Clubs and 80 Rotary Districts around the world. Gift of Life began in the Rotary Club of Manhasset in 1975. Since then Rotary has supported our vision to become the largest humanitarian organization in the world focused on providing care to children with heart disease in emerging countries. Their partnership includes logistical and financial support, allowing us to access of over $15.1 million in grants from The Rotary Foundation. Their support has allowed us to maximize our impact in addressing the global crisis of congenital heart disease in 20 of the 80 countries where we work. We also wish to thank the hundreds of dedicated Rotary volunteers around the world.

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