ICHF: A Man on a Mission: [2]

Author & Message:  Courtesy of Mr. Brian Forsberg, MPH, CCP

ICHF Mission

It is every child’s right to be born into a world where he or she can thrive, grow to be strong and make their parents proud. It is not, however, every child’s destiny.

One in every 100 children born in the developing world will never see his first birthday because of congenital heart disease. His parents will mourn the loss. They are powerless to save him because the resources required to treat and cure congenital heart disease are not easily accessible in developing countries and remote regions. Medical team skills, money to transport and house patients and their families, medicines, equipment and facilities are scarce.

Status Post VSD- Odessa, Ukraine

Since 1994, the mission of the International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF) is to bring the skills, technology and knowledge to diagnose and care for children with congenital heart disease to developing countries that request our help. ICHF does this regardless of country of origin, race, religion or gender.

Our teams are assembled from world class cardiac care centers.  We implement our informational curriculum by operating with and educating local health care professionals.  With this training, they in turn can care for the local children.  Since inception, over 5,000 operations have been performed in countries that span all continents.

As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the ICHF enlists your support to provide hope and life for children throughout the developing world. Let our passion become yours!

Gift of Life Mission

Flight for Life” is a program of the Philadelphia-based Gift of Life International, a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization,  that funds medical projects in developing Countries. Specifically, “Flight for Life” promotes the creation or the enhancement of cardiac surgery programs for the benefit of children with heart disease, particularly those of low income families.  

The care provided to the children is free. The officers of our Organization and the medical team are volunteers. The medical team is led by Dr Russo, former Director of Cardiac Surgery at two University Medical Centers in the USA, and it includes experienced nurses, perfusionists, and other medical specialists as needed.

Our projects provide financial and logistic support to our partner hospitals abroad through grants and medical equipment. In addition, we teach cardiac surgical techniques, perioperative care and, whenever possible, modern health care management. At the onset, our projects offer substantial financial and technical support, but our long term goal is always to make sure that our partner programs eventually achieve independence and self sustainability, while providing high quality pediatric cardiac surgery care.

Finally, we work with local government and private agencies to secure sources of reimbursement to hospital and physicians, so that families can continue to enjoy subsidized and free care even after we have completed our project.


Since our 1993, we have initiated projects in the following Countries:

  • Riga, Latvia (completed)
  • Baranquilla, Colombia (completed)
  • Cluj Napoca, Romania (completed)
  • Bucharest, Romania (completed)
  • Tanzania, Africa (ongoing)
  • Chennai, India (ongoing)
  • Kenia (scheduled to start in 2011)

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