The Dominican Republic is located in the El Cibao region of the Hispaniola Island. The poverty level is greater than 60%. This country has an infant mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1000 births. Congenital heart disease is the fourth leading cause of death.

Dr. Juan Ramirez invited The International Children’s Heart Foundation to visit the Children’s Hospital of Santiago, Hospital Infantil Regional Universitario Dr. Arturo Grullon. After five years and 296 surgeries in Santiago, we can see great growth in the local staff. The local surgeon is developing his abilities, and is now able to provide operations to children with simple defects during our team’s absence. The ICU staff has become more comfortable with taking care of post-op pediatric cardiac patients, and a local physician was inspired to get his perfusion certification in Chile.

The local anesthesiologist, intensivist, and cardiologists are dedicated to the program we’ve established in Santiago, Dominican Republic. We hope to continue training the local specialists in order to create a permanent, sustainable and efficient program that no longer requires the help of ICHF teams.

Medical Mission Trip:

October 30 – November 17, 2010

An International Children’s Heart Foundation team visited the Children’s Hospital of Santiago for the 16th time. The team was led by Dr. Rodrigo Soto. During this visit, 18 children received operations and 7 received cardiac catheterizations. This trip would not have been possible without the support of our many sponsors, including The Gift of Life New Jersey, District #7470, Maplewood Rotary Club.