The Texas Children’s Heart Center hosted the Uganda Heart Institute Ltd (UHI) last month as part of an initiative sponsored by the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), The Rotary Foundation, The Rotary Club of Kampala North and The Rotary Club of West U., in order to present best practices in pediatric cardiac care. The group from UHI, which included six doctors and nurses, was led by Rotarian physician Dr. Isaac Okullo.
A $34,100 Rotary Foundation Vocational Training Team grant provided the funding necessary for UHI to visit Houston and observe how the Texas Children’s team works and conducts its operations in an effort to bolster the support personnel for Kampala hospital’s cardiac surgery teams. In addition, the UHI team worked to improve their skills in detecting congenital heart disease in children earlier in the disease progression, reducing mortality during and post-surgery, and educating patients and families on post-operative care.
Texas Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Daniel J. Penny, chief of cardiology at and section head and professor of pediatrics-cardiology at BCM, led the Center’s group, facilitating meetings with Heart Center physicians, patient consultations, and some time with Dr. Denton A. Cooley, the world renowned heart surgeon and founder of the Texas Heart Institute.
“It was a pleasure hosting the Ugandan Heart Institute team for two weeks,” said Penny. “I hope that they learned valuable lessons that they can take back to Uganda that will enhance the care their patients receive every day.”
This new initiative will not be the last — a second group of Ugandan physicians and nurses will attend the Center in March 2014 for a visit as well.