/R E P E A T -- Fixing Broken Hearts Globally: Pediatric Cardiac World Summit develops a plan/

    MONTREAL, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - 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 (www.wspchs.org.)
    "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

    - Respect
    - Education
    - Sustainability
    - Partnership
    - Empowerment
    - 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

    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.

For further information:

For further information: Dr. Christo Tchervenkov will be available to do
media interviews on Tuesday June 17 or Wednesday June 18. If you would like to
speak with him please call: Lisa Dutton, Manager, Public Relations and
Communications MCH, (514) 412-4307, lisa.dutton@muhc.mcgill.ca

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