The Children’s Heart Foundation and Cardiac Networks United continue partnership to accelerate improvements in care for children with congenital heart defects

Northbrook, IL – February 12, 2024 –  The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF), the nation’s leading organization dedicated to funding congenital heart research, has committed to $900,000 in funding over the next three years to support large-scale research and quality improvement initiatives led by Cardiac Networks United, a collaborative pediatric and congenital cardiovascular network.

Congenital heart defects, or CHDs, are the most common type of birth defect in America, affecting nearly 40,000 babies each year. Although outcomes for babies born with CHDs have improved considerably over the past few decades, many children still experience significant health issues over the course of their lifetime.

To address these challenges, leaders from across the country collaborated to form Cardiac Networks United with the goal of accelerating scientific discovery and improvements in congenital heart care. The initiative brings together data, expertise, and resources spanning several congenital heart networks and includes nearly two-thirds of U.S. congenital heart programs, or more than 85 hospitals nationwide.

The network is led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The Co-Directors are Michael Gaies, MD, MPH, MSc, and Jeffery Anderson, MD (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital), along with Sara Pasquali, MD, MHS (University of Michigan).

Michael Gaies, Division Director of Pediatric Cardiology and Co-Executive Director of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Heart Institute, praises the Foundation’s support of CNU. “The Children’s Heart Foundation is a critical ally for Cardiac Networks United as we continue to pursue our aspirational scientific goals. Their support allows us to perform research that directly impacts and improves the lives of patients and families touched by congenital heart disease.”

Efforts to date include novel work to reduce cardiac arrest rates at children’s hospitals across the country, elucidating the factors related to patient follow-up to optimize important neurodevelopmental outcomes, and supporting the first clinical trial in the field comparing surgical versus catheter-based options in infants requiring intervention, among other initiatives.

“The Children’s Heart Foundation has led the way in funding research that enables patients with congenital heart disease to live longer, healthier lives, and we are grateful for their continued partnership in this exciting work.” says Sara Pasquali, M.D., M.H.S., professor of pediatric cardiology at Mott and the University of Michigan Medical School.

Through the continued collaboration between The Children’s Heart Foundation and Cardiac Networks United, organization leaders strive to make a lasting impact on the lives of patients and families impacted by congenital heart defects.

“This partnership means that doctors and researchers at the participating intuitions will be able to connect and access the data needed to move research forward in a quicker, more efficient manner,” said Gail Roddie-Hamlin, President and CEO of The Children’s Heart Foundation. “And that means better outcomes and quality of life for children across the country.”


About The Children’s Heart Foundation

The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) is the country’s leading organization solely dedicated to funding congenital heart defect (CHD) research. The mission of CHF is to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHDs by funding the most promising research. Since 1996, CHF has funded nearly $18 million of CHD research and scientific collaborations. For more information, visit and follow us on FacebookInstagram, X, and LinkedIn.

About Cardiac Networks United
Cardiac Networks United aligns and integrates efforts across networks in pediatric and congenital heart disease to foster novel science and accelerate translation to improvements in care. Formed in 2017, Cardiac Networks United is a “networks of networks” providing infrastructure for discovery and improvement work to participating networks and hospitals which is scalable to accommodate a diverse group of collaborative partners and data sources. The 5 founding networks represent more than two thirds of all US congenital heart centers and span multiple phases of care across the lifespan. To learn more visit:

About U-M Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
The $754 million hospital opened in 2011 and features a 1.1 million square foot, 348-bed facility that is home to both C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. The hospital features a 12-story inpatient tower and nine-story clinic tower, a dedicated pediatric emergency department and an on-site Ronald McDonald House. The hospital offers specialty services not offered anywhere else in Michigan for newborns, children and pregnant women. To learn more about C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, visit

About Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks first in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report's Best Children's Hospitals. Cincinnati Children's, a non-profit organization, ranks second nationally in number of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at . Connect on the Cincinnati Children's blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.