Dr. John Costello
Reflections on The Children's Heart Foundation's 25 years of funding CHD research from Dr. John Costello of MUSC Children’s Health, Chairman of The Children’s Heart Foundation’s Medical Advisory Council:
“In the early years, The Children's Heart Foundation primarily focused on funding the research efforts of individual attending physician investigators. More recently, in addition to funding individual researchers, CHF has supported Cardiac Networks United, a multicenter research collaborative. This approach allows large teams of investigators to capitalize on the resources that exist at multiple centers, resulting in a more rapid return on investment and much more impactful research. CHF is also collaborating with the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association, which allows us to further fund leading scientists, as well as help develop the next generation of investigators.
CHD research has evolved quite a bit over the last few decades. In the 1990s, many research efforts were "siloed" at individual centers. In the current era, extensive multicenter collaboration is the norm, which is critically important given the relatively small number of patients with specific types of congenital heart defects who receive care at individual centers. Today, patients cared for at many different centers are efficiently studied and analyzed, leading to more rapid research advances.
I have been incredibly fortunate to spend my professional life taking care of children and young adults with congenital heart disease. I remain in awe of this responsibility and have tremendous gratitude for the trust that these families place in us as providers. In my current role as chair of The Children’s Heart Foundation’s MAC, I am striving to build upon the tremendous success of my predecessors, Dr. Carl Backer and Dr. Jennifer Hirsch-Romano. I hope to continue to strengthen the MAC and ensure that we utilize the funds raised by the Foundation’s many supporters to fund the most promising and impactful research.”