Purpose and Goals
Little Hearts Family Group Inc. is made up of parents and families of children with acquired or congenital heart disease. We are based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The purpose of the group is to offer peer to peer support to families that have children with acquired or congenital heart disease. We are here to answer questions and discuss what to expect when traveling to Edmonton for surgery or what may lay ahead for you and your family in the future. We are parents going through the same thing as you are and are here to talk.
Another component of the group is our collective voice. We work with Pediatric Cardiology, the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, the Mending Little Heart Fund of Saskatchewan, CHAMPS camp, the Western Canadian Children’s Heart Network and more.
If you are interested in talking or becoming a part of our group, please email or join us on Facebook
The Little Hearts Family Group provides peer support, raises awareness, shares information and advocates for quality care of children with acquired or congenital heart conditions and their families in Saskatchewan.
The success of the Little Hearts Family Group (LHFG) and its ability to
support children with congenital heart disease and their families would not
have been possible without the support of our volunteer board members.
Today, we honor their achievements.
The LHFG was established a decade ago when the Nurse Clinician at
Pediatric Cardiology saw that families of heart children needed more
support, and resources for Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease
(CHD) were limited or non-existent. Together with parents of heart
children, they started the first family support group for children and
parents in Saskatchewan.
The founding board members included Charlotte Vogt (Chair), Kim Simon
(Vice Chair), Maureen Prokopowich (Secretary), Brenda Thibodeau
(Treasurer), as well as Jason Vogt and Lynne Telfer (Members at Large).
Lynne and Charlotte are still active in the group.
Over the past 10 years, the LHFG supported families across Saskatchewan
- Family-friendly activities such as Halloween parties, picnics, bowling,
and gymnastics to connect heart children and their families with each
- Donations of DVD players, movies, books, and activity packages to
create a more family-friendly and positive experience for the children
at their cardiology appointments
- Educational sessions led by psychologists to help children and their
parents with the emotions associated with serious health conditions
- Family expos, Radiothons, and online platforms to raise public
awareness of CHD
- Formation of a website and Facebook page
- Providing input on the design of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital
- Advocating for government funding/travel expenses and clinic staff
- Participating in the Family Advisory Committee for the Western
Canadian Children’s Heart Network (WCCHN), which is made up of
family support groups from the four western provinces. Through
this Committee, WCCHN has identified common issues for heart
children and their families, including emotional, social, physical
and educational needs, and are working to address these.
- CHAMPS camp
- Advocating for family friendly systemic changes that align with
the principles of Patient and Family Centered Care, including
family involvement in clinic care, hospital care and life-long self
The CHAMPS camp was created with Pediatric Cardiology and the
College of Kinesiology in Saskatoon, with input from the LHFG. The
camp was created to help heart children and their families live
healthier, well-balanced lives. Children learn their exercise potential,
healthy eating habits, how to deal with the emotions of having heart
issues, and how to maintain their health throughout their lifetime. The
camp also provides a network for heart children and their families to
connect with each other.
A decade ago, the LHFG’s vision was to form a network in Saskatchewan
that provided emotional support and helped build connections between
families of children with heart issues. The group has grown through
sharing stories and creating sustained friendships. We are proud of our
accomplishments. We know that continued support and awareness for
heart families in Saskatchewan is needed, and are excited to see where
the next decade takes the group.