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Thrive Program: Resources for Heart Center Patients and Families

The Thrive program provides comprehensive support for patients and families who are navigating the overwhelming emotions and complexities of coping with a heart condition.

We understand that caring for your child (and the rest of your family) involves much more than meeting their medical needs. The Thrive team can help you maintain resilience, self-care practices and emotional wellbeing throughout your child’s treatment.

Our team meets regularly to coordinate care for every Heart Center family.

Your Thrive team may include members from:

  • Social work

  • Psychology

  • Child life

  • Music therapy

  • Financial counseling

  • Chaplaincy

  • Palliative care

Thrive Program Illustration
The Thrive Program includes many elements to support your child and family

Support services at the hospital and after you go home

Our goal is to assist families in making their heart condition fit into their normal daily lives. We provide support and help with adjustment to life in the hospital through various supports, such as psychology, child life, and music therapy. Once families leave the hospital, we want to ensure that they continue to feel supported in living normal, fulfilling lives. We can provide support during clinic visits, or meet with children outside of normal clinic visits if needed. We are also happy to collaborate with schools and outside care providers, like counselors and speech/occupational/physical therapists, to ensure that children are thriving at home, school, and with friends.

The Thrive team will connect you with a wide range of resources that Children’s Mercy offers to families. Here are some of the ways we can help.

Advice and support from parents who have been there

The Parents Offering Parent Support (POPS) program pairs you with a volunteer parent mentor who has been through a similar situation with their child. Your mentor parent can share their experiences and help you with all kinds of questions. Whether you’re struggling with a long hospital stay or wondering about readjusting to life back home, they can listen and offer support. Please contact us at (816) 302-8229 or

Learn more about POPS and how to apply for a POPS Mentor.

Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program

The Thrive Program collaborates extensively with the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program (CND) to provide consistency of care and ensure families have the resources and support they need. The Thrive Program can refer your child to CND when neurodevelopmental concerns are present, and provide education and support to families related to developmental and learning concerns in our pediatric heart patients. The Thrive Program also attends the monthly CND team meetings to discuss patient and family needs, and assist in ensuring that families have the resources necessary to manage CND concerns.

Additional Resources

Some of the Heart Center families have found these resources to be helpful.

Help when you’re home

Leaving the hospital can be both a relief and a challenge at the same time. The Thrive team is always available to help you prepare for discharge, answer questions as they arise, and guide you during a crisis situation.

We can also assist with your child’s transition back to school and other daily activities, including educating school staff and peers in age-appropriate ways if desired.

Transition to adult care providers

We begin working with your child early in the teenage years on helping them understand their medical condition, advocate for themselves, and manage their medications and appointments. Then, when they’re ready to transition to an adult provider, we’ll help them find a care team who understands their medical history and can continue to give them the quality care they need.

Honoring your journey through the Heart Beads Program

Through the Heart Beads Program, children and families can use colorful beads as symbols to share their unique experience at Children’s Mercy. 

Parent Guides: resources to help you prepare for your child's heart journey

Children's Mercy has worked closely with the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvment Collaborative and families to provide support and resources throughout your child's heart journey. We've created various resources related to congenital heart defects and hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). We encourage you to look through these, share and discuss with your care providers. 

Partnering with patients and families 


The Heart Center team is fortunate to be able to collaborate with our cardiac patients and families through the Cardiac Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). If you are interested in learning more about this council or would like to engage in specific Heart Center projects, please send us an email at


Contact the Thrive Team

(816) 302-8064

Parent letter

The Cardiac Patient Family Advisory Council invites you to view our parent letter and video. These were created to show heart families with a recent cardiac diagnosis that although this journey can be a difficult one, we are here to offer hope and solidarity as fellow members of the heart community.