Children's Heart Disease Outreach Programs

Having heart disease can give your child and family the chance to meet new people and form special interests.

Note: As we continue to manage COVID-19, the Heart Institute may revise its plans for Heart Camp or the Family Picnic in order to keep patients, families, staff, and volunteers safe.

Heart Camp for Kids

Each year, more than 150 kids with heart problems attend the Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Kids.

Children, ages 8-16, come from across the U.S. and Canada to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of Camp Kon-O-Kwee.

The YMCA camp is in Fombell, Pa., and offers fun and friendship for kids with heart disease.

Family Picnic

At the Annual Heart Institute Family Picnic, kids meet other kids with heart conditions. And parents get the chance to meet and talk in an informal, relaxed setting.

Doctors, staff, and friends of UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh attend too. They answer questions about heart disease and offer guidance to kids and parents.

Beads of Courage® Program

Beads of Courage is a program that awards our brave, young Heart Institute patients.

Each time they complete a treatment milestone, they get a bead to place on a necklace.

Beads of Courage started out as a program to help children endure cancer treatment. UPMC Children's Hospital was the first heart program in the U.S. to adopt Beads of Courage to support our Heart Institute patients.

Reading Corner

You and your child may want to read about heart disease and being in the hospital.

There are many engaging books and pamphlets that can help you learn more about your child's heart problem.

To find books that best suit your needs, talk to: