Advance Patient Care and Medical Research

The Emerson Rose Heart Foundation is on mission to make substantial improvements in outcomes for children affected with CHDs. The ERHF® funds quality improvement projects to support CHD research, and also supports family-centered care by finding innovative ways to help parents better care for their children while they are in the hospital. Our goal is to find innovative, yet cost effective, means to make significant improvements in the outcomes and lives of these children.

Below are examples of Research and Quality Improvement Projects the ERHF has funded.

Cardiac Neurodevelopment Clinic at MUSC

This clinic provides care starting with the inpatient procedures and continuing once the child has left the hospital to ensure full development and successful growth. This is important because babies who spend a long time in the hospital are at an increased risk for neurodevelopment delays and deficits. The ERHF supports this clinic by providing equipment and materials for neurodevelopment testing and therapies. Examples of materials include mats, swiss balls, oral brushes, etc.

Perioperative Exposure to Plasticizers

There is evidence to suggest that chemicals used to manufacture many plastic medical devices leaches into the blood stream and may have adverse effects on the development and function of multiple organ systems, including the brain. MUSC & CHOP are performing a pilot trial to determine the exposure to these contaminants in babies undergoing cardiac surgery for HLHS and TGA. If these contaminates are proven to be determinantal, there reduction offers an immediate and actionable means to improve not only cardiac surgical outcomes but potentially any patient with contact to medical plastics.

Pulse Oximetry Equipment

The ERHF purchases pulse oximeter machines for hospitals around the state of SC and has expanded to hospitals in other states and even in Honduras to aid in the early detection of critical congenital heart defects. All newborns are now screened in South Carolina using pulse oximetry equipment before being discharged as a result of the Emerson Rose Act, which was implemented in 2013.

Simulation Laboratory at MUSC

The simulation laboratory at MUSC has high-fidelity simulation mannequins that can be used by physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and students to “practice” medical emergencies and procedural skills. The mannequins respond to computer generated scenarios and can be programmed to emulate the clinical characteristics of real-life patients during medical emergencies.

Below are examples of Family–Centered Care Projects:

Recliner Chairs

The ERHF purchased four recliner chairs for the PCICU at MUSC, allowing parents of the most chronic children, often waiting on heart transplants, to stay at the bedside of children and rest instead of leaving the hospital. Special thanks to the Bradley family, who spent seven months with their daughter in the PCICU, for assisting the ERHF with this donation.


Bedside Radios

The ERHF provided bedside radios for each bed in the PCICU at MUSC so lullabies can be played for the babies. Music can create a very soothing environment, and parents can be at ease knowing their baby is in a more relaxing environment.

We are proud to collaborate with the Children’s Heart Program of South Carolina to fund quality improvement projects. The Children’s Heart Program of South Carolina is a collaborative effort by all children’s hospitals and local pediatric cardiologists in South Carolina to provide the state’s children with the best clinical cardiac care. South Carolina is very fortunate to have a dedicated Heart Program for our children living with heart defects. CHDs are the most common birth defect in the world and many states do not have dedicated pediatric heart programs. Learn more here.