Heart Kids CEO Rob Lutter to Lead International Team
Nz Ceo to Lead International Team
Heart Kids CEO Rob Lutter has been appointed co-chair of a working party looking into streamlining “not for profit” services and support around the world.
At the World Paediatric Cardiology Conference in Barcelona, more than 30 NFP organisations agreed they needed to provide a unified international voice for the approximate 1.3 million babies born every year who don’t have access to any surgical services.
Rob Lutter will join Amy Verstappen, the Past President/CEO of Adult Congenital Heart Association, USA, in leading the working party.
“Our aim is to lobby the World Health Organisation and other similar organisations on the issues around the lack of medical services for these babies that are dying just because of where they were born,” says Mr Lutter.
Mr Lutter says as a New Zealander leading the working party he’s able to bring a fresh and unique perspective to the group. “As a small organisation from a small country we’ve learnt how to work collaboratively and efficiently with others. And we also have the kiwi ‘can do’ attitude, which really helps.”
Strategies and directions will be decided at the working parties next meeting in the new year.
New Zealand challenges
In New Zealand alone 12 babies are born each week with CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) and more than 550 major heart surgeries are performed at Auckland Children’s Hospital.
Heart Kids looks after 2500 heart kids and families at any given time, providing 20,000 hours of direct family support every year. The organisation receives no government funding and relies solely on sponsorship and fundraising.
Mr Lutter says for many families having a heart child enter their lives is a life-changing experience. “They need our support not only at the hospital but also when they get back home and have very little other assistance.”
Mr Lutter says there are big issues and challenges facing New Zealand.
• Growing numbers of Maori and Polynesian Families require support due to advanced Rheumatic Heart Disease
• Transition from Paediatric to adult services is both a challenge to health services and Heart Kids NZ
• Declining Volunteer resources
• Managing member expectations against economic/financial reality
• Meeting the needs of our multicultural society; European, Maori, Polynesian and new migrants
• Meeting the needs of our adult Heart Kids
• Trying to provide equitable service