Congratulations to Beatrice Nai-Chung, a second-year student in the Master of Science in Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto, for receiving a Vesalius Trust Research Grant!

The Vesalius Trust provides grant funding to students enrolled in medical illustration programs. These competitive grants are intended to help fund student research projects and masters’ theses.

Beatrice received a grant for her project titled “A Road Map of Health Care Transition to Adult Care for Adolescents with Pediatric Heart Disease.”

Photograph of Beatrice

The Long & Winding Road from Family- to Patient-Oriented Care

When a child with heart disease turns 18, their medical records are transferred from pediatric to adult health care. This transition of care is a purposeful, planned process that equips patients with the skills to functioning independently in an adult care setting.

However, high volumes of pediatric heart patients can mean that not everyone who needs transition assistance are able to receive it.

This important transition time from family-oriented care to patient-oriented care can be stressful and confusing, and adolescents who do not develop skills of self-management are at high risk of getting lost in the system.

Beatrice’s project aims to bridge this gap and support the pediatric-adult care journey. Working with Dr. Aamir Jeewa (Cardiologist, SickKids) and Dr. Sahr Wali (Research Associate, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research), Beatrice is exploring patient needs and vision for health care transition, and translating her findings into an educational animation and app.

“The animation will help prepare patients on what to expect during the transition process, and the app will become a resource they refer to while self-managing,” explains Beatrice.

Both the animatic and prototype app will be available in July 2024 for pediatric heart patients to evaluate.