Cardiovascular Bridge Program

Cardiovascular Bridge Program

The Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and the Heart Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago have partnered to establish the innovative Cardiovascular Bridge Program.

The Cardiovascular Bridge Program allows specialists from the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Lurie Children’s Heart Center to meet and collaborate with patients between the ages of 16–26 with congenital heart disease to ensure continuity of care as these patients transition from pediatric to adult care.

For many patients, the transition from pediatric to adult care can be confusing and frustrating, often resulting in gaps in treatment. By bringing pediatric and adult cardiologists together in one clinical program and setting, pediatric patients are seamlessly integrated into the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute for adult congenital heart disease care. This continuity will be beneficial for patients throughout their lifetimes, allowing for improved patient care.

The Cardiovascular Bridge Program currently works with congenital heart disease patients diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve disease within these two programs:


Comprehensive care

The Cardiovascular Bridge Program offers comprehensive care to create knowledgeable, accountable, empowered young adults who can benefit from:

  • Communication with both pediatric and adult medical providers
  • Concierge care, including personal appointment and care reminders
  • Continual access to multiple clinical specialists
  • Family screening
  • Multidisciplinary referrals

Research

Using data collected from the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Lurie Children’s Heart Center, the Cardiovascular Bridge Program studies trends in patients’ clinical data over time. This long-term research can help determine the best courses of care for a patient throughout his or her life. Physician-scientists also use the data to learn about the natural history, physiologic and genetic mechanisms of congenital heart disease to help improve outcomes for future generations.