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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Clinic—a recognized centre of excellence in treating the disease. To celebrate this milestone, the Golden Heart Affair, a fundraiser to benefit ACHD patients, recently recognized Dr. John Evans, who established the clinic. The event also recognized all health care practitioners involved in the ACHD program at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, which is considered a model for clinics around the world.
"The event was a tremendous success in that we raised twice as much as we set out to," says Dr. Erwin Oechslin, Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. "We also raised awareness of congenital heart disease, which is important for a disease that is rarely in the spotlight."
The Golden Heart Affair, held at the Windsor Arms Hotel, was organized by the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Campaign and the Toronto General and Western Foundation. Event proceeds equalled $215,000 plus funding for a clinical fellow valued at $250,000.
The Congenital Heart Disease Program, established in 1959 at TGH, is one of the world's largest congenital heart disease centres with a longstanding commitment to clinical care, education and research. Dr. Gary Webb, who served as program director from 1986 to 2004, transformed the program into an international hub for ACHD patients and experts. Today, the clinic provides care for more than 6, 500 patients and welcomes more than 400 new patients annually.
"We have led the world in adult and pediatric heart care, but there is a new paradigm that will bring care delivery to the next level," says Dr. Oechslin. "It is my vision that one day there will be a consolidated facility for core diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, operating in collaboration with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Sick Kids that is dedicated to congenital heart disease patients from infancy to adulthood, providing patients and families with even better care."