Fixing Broken Hearts Globally: Pediatric Cardiac World Summit develops a plan

MONTREAL, June 16, 2008 — Pediatric surgeon, Christo Tchervenkov has a global dream; he wants to keep the hearts of all children – no matter where they were born - beating.  This isn’t an easy task as worldwide more than one million babies are born with heart defects or congenital heart disease and only 10 percent of them have access to adequate medical care. To address this discrepancy, more than 200 health care providers from around the globe will meet this week in Montreal at the World Summit on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Services Education and Cardiac Care in Children and Adults with Congenital Heart Disease (

“The goal of the summit is to develop a global action plan to begin the long process of improving cardiac care for children and adults with congenital heart disease around the world,” says Dr. Tchervenkov, director of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC and president and founder of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, the organizers of the summit. “We will then present our plan to decision and policy makers for their endorsement and support.”

“Surgeons living in the Western world enjoy a fantastic experience when they go to third world countries and devote their time and share their expertise with local health care providers. But many of these countries lack the infrastructure and know-how to support patients long-term once the surgeon has returned home.”

Dr. Tchervenkov believes the best way to reach those in need is to improve the education and training of local health care providers. “We want to have an army of thousands, not just a few hundred, who are trained to repair congenital heart defects.”

Dr. Tchervenkov believes that part of the solution involves R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
·Care and Commitment
·Teamwork and Trust

The World Summit involves delegates from approximately 50 countries and will take place June 19 to 21 at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal. 1201 Boulevard Rene-Levesque West.

The primary objectives of the meeting are:
·To build a global coalition to improve cardiac care for children and adults with pediatric and congenital heart disease around the world.
·To establish a multi-societal World Federation for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.

Worldwide, it is estimated, one percent of children are born with congenital heart disease, which, if untreated, is usually fatal. The treatment options available today, such as surgery, save the lives of 90-95 percent of patients.

The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre and is affiliated with McGill University. The MCH is a leader in providing a broad spectrum of highly specialized care to newborns, children, and adolescents from across Quebec. Our areas of medical expertise include programs in brain development/behaviour, cardiovascular sciences, critical care, medical genetics and oncology, tertiary medical and surgical services, and trauma care. Fully bilingual, the hospital also promotes multiculturalism and serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages. The Montreal Children’s Hospital sets itself apart with its team approach to innovative patient care. Our health professionals and staff are dedicated to ensuring children and their families receive exceptional health care in a friendly and supportive environment.

Dr. Christo Tchervenkov will be available to do media interviews on Tuesday June17 or Wednesday June18. If you would like to speak with him please call:

Lisa Dutton
Manager, Public Relations and Communications MCH
(514) 412-4307