News Release

Conquering CHD, Children's Hospital Colorado encourage others to provide cardiac outcomes

Transparency about cardiac outcomes, including surgical volumes, survival rates overall, survival rates by surgical complexity and length of hospital stay post-surgery help families make informed decisions about the best care for their child

Reports and Proceedings

Children's Hospital Colorado

Aurora, Colo. (Oct. 15, 2020) - Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect in the United States, occurring in approximately one in every 100 babies. However, hospital data regarding short- and long-term outcomes for patients has been limited and oftentimes difficult to access and/or interpret.

"Children's Hospital Colorado has long been committed to transparency about our outcomes," said Dunbar Ivy, MD, chief of pediatric cardiology at the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado, which is ranked #6 by US News & World Report. "We believe open, honest reporting and dialogue is key to improving outcomes for all patients."

On the heels of the 2020 Summit on Transparency and Public Reporting of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Outcomes, the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado and others children's hospitals have partnered with Conquering CHD (formerly known as the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association) to develop a public, online tool using outcomes data from hospitals and centers across the country, so patients and their families can make informed decisions about where to go for cardiac surgeries or other interventions. This tool, called the Hospital Navigator, provides access to critical, reliable and understandable data.

"Of the 42,000 babies diagnosed with CHD each year in the United States, more than 13,000 will require a life-saving intervention in the first weeks or months of life," said David Kasnic, executive director of Conquering CHD. "My daughter was one of those 13,000, and since she was born it has been my goal to improve education, awareness, research and advocacy for all those living with CHD. The Hospital Navigator will help patients and their families have the information they need to choose the right center for their child's care."

Currently, 15 hospitals with CHD programs have shared their outcomes data with Conquering CHD. The Hospital Navigator is not intended to rank surgical centers or hospitals, but instead, provide data to support an educated conversation between families and care teams.

"When Oliver was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the Hospital Navigator did not yet exist. We were distraught and deeply saddened by how many doctors saw prognosis for the future," said Becca Kalivas, mother of 3-year-old Oliver. "We did a lot of research on our own and luckily, found Children's Hospital Colorado. For families looking for the right care now, the Hospital Navigator will most certainly make their search much easier. We are so grateful to our team at Children's Hospital Colorado for continuing their commitment to transparency by participating in such an important resource."

By raising awareness about the Hospital Navigator, Children's Hospital Colorado and Conquering CHD hope to encourage more hospitals to be transparent about their outcomes, including surgical volumes, survival rates overall and survival rates by surgical complexity, as well as the length of time patients stay hospitalized post-surgery. With this information, more families can make informed decisions when choosing a hospital to care for their child.


Learn more about the Hospital Navigator in this interview with Dr. Ivy and David Kasnic.


Conquering CHD's mission is to conquer congenital heart disease. We are accomplishing this through collaboration with patients, parents, providers and partner organizations to improve quality and outcomes through CHD education, support, research and awareness. Founded in 2013 as the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, Conquering CHD quickly filled a niche as the voice of the congenital heart patient. We are both changing the national landscape and empowering patients and families, locally. Learn more at


Children's Hospital Colorado is one of the nation's leading and most expansive pediatric healthcare systems with a mission to improve the health of children through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and recognized as a top ten children's hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Children's Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children's Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including its location on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and across the region. In 2019, Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs, opened as the first pediatric-only hospital in southern Colorado. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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