Who We Are
Passionate People Determined to Better the Lives of Those with CHDs
The Congenital Heart Alliance of Cincinnati is made up of a dedicated group of volunteers, most of whom have been affected personally by CHDs. We are loved ones, parents, or grandparents to children born with CHDs, adults surviving with CHDs, and medical practitioners who work tirelessly to care for those with CHDs.
To inspire heartfelt hope in patients and families impacted by congenital heart defects, as well as the medical practitioners that care for them, through the funding of groundbreaking research, global collaboration, and holistic well-being initiatives.
Overcome congenital heart defects.
- We believe that the heart ALWAYS speaks the truth, and that the truth is LOVE.
- We believe the more you KNOW about what endangers a child’s life, the BETTER you get at helping them survive and thrive.
- We believe the quicker you INTERVENE to ease others’ suffering, the SOONER you forget about your own.
- We believe the more we DARE to show up inside every minute, the more GREATLY our journey fulﬁlls us.
- We believe the more we freely SHARE the gift of learning, the MORE we magnify our worth.
- We believe the more we EXPLAIN how research, practice, and support are all intrinsically connected, the CLEARER everyone’s importance becomes.
- We believe the more we WISELY challenge each other’s compassion, the faster we generate the resources needed to WIN this ﬁght.
- We believe hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and our purpose is to provide the world with HEARTFELT HOPE.
- We are CONGENITAL HEART ALLIANCE OF CINCINNATI.
Changing the World from Cincinnati, Ohio
On February 19, 1940 a visionary group of individuals gathered at the University Club, inspired to establish an organization dedicated to support children with cardiovascular birth defects. By leveraging an initial donation of $200, the group began a proposal that led to the formation of ‘Children’s Heart Association of Cincinnati.’
Initially, medical patients benefitting from the work funded by the association were mostly children, because at that time the majority lost their battle to survive congenital heart defects (CHDs) during childhood. For the next 60 years the organization grew, and leaders worked diligently to raise funding that would provide resources for trailblazing cardiac research, fellowship training, continuing education, and life-saving equipment — significant amounts supporting The Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Additional resources went to affiliate organizations, in other parts of the United States, and abroad, all closely vetted and aligned with the objective to improve the odds for those born with CHDs.
Thanks in part to the foresight of those caring pioneers who became change agents back in 1940, in the last two decades, in the U.S., the premature death rate for those born with a heart defect has decreased by more than 37%. Now, an average of 50% of those with CHDs in the U.S. are living healthy, active lives into adulthood. Patients served by the research and programs funded now range from fetus to adult. Through early diagnosis and follow-up care, the overall cardiac health of those living with CHDs has improved greatly.
In 2020, knowing that significant numbers of those living with CHDs were no longer children, it became joyfully clear that the foundation’s name ‘Children’s Heart Association of Cincinnati’ should be revisited. In acknowledgement of ongoing, global advancement brought about through work and programs funded by the organization, and in recognition of their 80th anniversary, the name ‘Congenital Heart Alliance of Cincinnati’ was mindfully adopted.
The initials, CHAoC, are still the same, and so is the work remaining to help more children and adults overcome CHDs. Globally, with 70% of babies born with CHDs still likely to lose their lives during their first year, the fight continues — at full swing.
CHAoC Founding Members
Mr. Harold Comey, Mr. Joseph Austin, Dr. Floyd Allen, Dr. Charles Iliff, Dr. Louise Rauh, Dr. Irvin Itkoff, Mrs. Kavel, Mr. Bleecker Marquette, Dr. Robert Lyon
Many of our past fundraising efforts have been steeped in Cincinnati history, and have included the famous Reds Rally, hosted by then-owner Marge Schott on her Indian Hill estate; Dancing with the Stars, a Builder Auction and a Walkathon, hosted by the Homebuilders Association (HBA); Dinner/dance/live-auction hosted by the Old Timers; and the Thundering Hearts Motorcycle rides, just to name a few.