Strategic Plan 2017/18

Supporting heart kids through life

On behalf of HeartKids I am pleased to release HeartKids Strategic Plan for 2017 – 2020.  The three year plan, approved by HeartKids Board of Directors last month maps a positive way forward for HeartKids and the congenital / childhood heart disease community more broadly.  HeartKids understands that each families’ journey is unique and our purpose is to help you navigate your congenital / childhood journey throughout your lifetime.

Our plan builds on the strengths of the past 35 years and aligning an integrated model of care to support the eight babies born each day with childhood heart disease, the growing number of young people and young adults also living with and impacted by the disease, and those families that have lost a child or young person.

HeartKids will continue to strengthen our important work with families in hospital, supporting parents of newborn infants and children when they are at their most vulnerable – at the point of diagnosis and during numerous hospital stays.  We will continue to support those experiencing financial hardships that need assistance to cope with the stress of living away from home.

In this regard our hospital work continues but with increased emphasis on evidence of impact, and where we can do the greatest amount of good.  Our reach for families will grow to include more ‘Parents as Mentors’ in both hospital and in regional and rural remote communities.

Heart Angel families to congenital / childhood heart disease are also a critical part of HeartKids going forward with new resources and information, referrals to support, training for staff and the extension of financial assistance for grief and loss counselling for the family.

Looking forward, the plan also seeks to broaden our services to young people in transition from paediatric to adult care, and young adults living with childhood heart disease.  The evidence is very clear that young people are at great risk of premature death and/or a less fulfilling life.  The Board and Cardiologists strongly believe it is critical that our services are extended to support them.  It is important to stress that these new services for young people and young adults are not at the expense of hospital services or our support of families with infants and children. It is not a case of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, but rather, finding new sources of support such as grants and government funding, to strengthen our service across the board and include all heart kids regardless of age.

In the last six months HeartKids has raised an additional $1.15 million through major gifts, grants and donations and has put in place new processes that have saved $400,000 pa in administration. Our revenue growth and administration savings since unifying the organisation has addressed deficits and allowed economies of scale to take effect.  We have now been able direct more funds to our core program priorities in advocacy, information, research and support.  Our team have been working very hard since unification in November to bring about positive change for the future.

As a modern charity, with all the business and compliance requirements of any other company we are working hard to improve our sustainability and increase investment from corporate Australia and government.  We have a plan to connect with more people using technology and video health services for rural and isolated Australians and will be able to invest funds in professional development for our hard working team of staff and volunteers.

Whilst HeartKids is known to those impacted directly by congenital / childhood heart disease, very few in the community know of, and understand the physical, emotional, social and financial burden caused by childhood heart disease.  Our plan includes working with new and existing partners to improve the visibility of congenital / childhood heart disease by creating new national campaigns in support of the Congenital Heart Disease Registry.   As your voice we have dedicated expertise and resources advocating to the Australian State and Territory Governments for a new CHD Action Plan, access to NDIS for parents, and improved patient travel assistance subsidies for rural and remote families.

HeartKids wishes to thank the heart kid families; young people and adults living with childhood heart disease; clinical and health advisors including hospital executives, Cardiologists and Surgeons; the Board’s Consumer and Health Advisory Committees, public health policy experts, researchers and HeartKids staff who took part in discussions and meetings regarding the plan.

We hope that you will continue to support HeartKids, and we look forward to sharing more our success into the future.

Mark Brooke

Chief Executive Officer

Click here to view our complete Corporate Plan for 2017 – 2020 (PDF 1.9MB).