CHD and Mental Health Webinar

‘Getting to the Heart of Mental Health and Wellbeing’ was hosted live on Monday, May 15th and is presented in partnership with The Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, The Cardiac Learning and Early Development (LEAD) Program at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware and The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“It was incredible to hear from such renowned children’s hospitals and their specific expertise with CHD and mental health. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to this topic and, as parents, having access to tools and resources like this provided by Camp Odayin is tremendous – and needed! I really was so grateful for the opportunity to listen in.” 

Natalie, parent of a young adult with CHD

In celebration of mental health awareness month and an ongoing effort to support the journey of individuals living with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD), the Camp Odayin Diversity Council presented a free learning opportunity. During ‘Getting to the Heart of Mental Health and Wellbeing’, our three presenters, Dr. Nadine Kasparian, Dr. Erica Sood, and Dr. Catherine Ullman Shade shared their mental health research as well as ways to support heart heroes in school and at home.

Nearly 200 people with CHD, their family, friends, care team, and members of the community (age 18+) registered for the webinar. All are invited to view the recorded webinar!


Presenter Slides

Blogs and Reading Materials


Children’s Activity Book

Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week Activity Workbook



Dr. Nadine Kasparian is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She received her PhD in medical psychology from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice at Harvard Medical School. In 2007 at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Nadine established one of the first mental health programs dedicated to pediatric and congenital heart disease. Nadine serves as co-vice chair of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Collaborative, research co-lead for the Fontan Outcomes Network, and associate editor of Psychology and Health.

Dr. Erica Sood is a pediatric psychologist at Nemours Children’s Health and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. She directs the Nemours Cardiac Learning and Early Development (LEAD) Program, a neurodevelopmental follow-up program for children with CHD. Her research focuses on partnering with families of children with CHD to understand their experiences and needs and to identify strategies and supports to meet these needs. She is Vice Chair of the Database Committee of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative and serves on the Medical Advisory Board for Mended Little Hearts and on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Conquering CHD.

Dr. Catherine Ullman Shade has a PhD in Child Development and an MEd in Language and Literacy, and 20 years of experience working with young people as a teacher, curriculum designer, instructional coach, academic evaluator, professional development provider, and hospital/school liaison. As Director of Education at the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, she conducts educational evaluations of young people with complex heart disease, trains their teachers in understanding and helping these diverse learners, co-leads intervention groups for young people and their families, and coordinates with families and schools through classroom observations and school meeting attendance to help young people to receive the services they require.

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Camp Odayin: For Children with Heart Disease

We provide fun, safe and supportive camp experiences and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease and their families. 

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