Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia-American Heart Association Collaboration Advances Efforts to Enhance Pediatric Resuscitation Programs in Philadelphia

The Ferrier, Nicoletti and Peruto Families Donate $1 Million to Promote Next Generation of Pediatric Emergency Cardiovascular Care and Resuscitation Practices

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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the American Heart Association have announced an enhanced collaboration to advance the next generation of pediatric emergency cardiovascular care and resuscitation practices. The initiative is supported by a $1 million donation from Philadelphia philanthropists Joseph J. and Donna Nicoletti Ferrier, Lori Nicoletti Peruto, Esq., and Mark R. Nicoletti, Sr., in honor of their mother, the late Beatrice F. Nicoletti, who deeply believed that children should receive the best healthcare possible. Funds will help accelerate CHOP’s current world-class emergency cardiovascular care systems into a new innovation incubator, learning laboratory and training academy rooted in the latest resuscitation science developed by the American Heart Association, the global leader in the field.

“This initiative will build upon many years of productive collaboration between our hospital and the American Heart Association to improve the quality of resuscitation practice and cardiac care dedicated exclusively to children,” said Madeline Bell, President and CEO of CHOP. “This generous commitment from the Ferrier, Nicoletti and Peruto families will not only help us advance survival and quality of life for children here in Philadelphia, but also for those across the country and throughout the world.”

Each year, 15,000 children in the United States experience cardiac arrest, with wide variability in the care they receive and survival outcomes [1]. The chances of survival after in-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest can range from 29-44% and differs greatly between hospitals [2]. High-quality CPR delivery and training, as well as adherence to the latest evidence-based guidelines, helps improve patient outcomes by approximately 42% [3].

Vinay M. Nadkarni, MD Vinay M. Nadkarni, MD “We are incredibly grateful for the generous funding from the Ferrier, Nicoletti and Peruto families,” said Dr. Vinay Nadkarni, founding director of the Center for Pediatric Resuscitation at CHOP. “Their support will allow us to deepen our collaboration with the American Heart Association to implement next-generation interventions for pediatric cardiac arrest and share our knowledge widely to help children and families who need these services the most.”

The strategic CHOP and American Heart Association initiative is designed to accelerate the mission of CHOP’s emerging Center for Pediatric Resuscitation to discover, establish, implement, disseminate, sustain and assess evidence-based resuscitation guidelines and pioneer new interventions that improve survival and quality of life for children and their families. The American Heart Association is the leader in resuscitation science, and brings a full complement of training, education and quality improvement programs to measure and improve clinical performance and evaluate best practices [4].

“The child mortality rate from cardiovascular disease in Philadelphia is 45% higher than the national average, making the Nicoletti family’s gift especially critical and timely,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “We look forward to elevating pediatric cardiovascular care and improving outcomes for children in Philadelphia, as well as transforming best practices and standards of care across the country. This important collaboration supports the Association’s vision of a world where no one dies from cardiac arrest and we are honored to join CHOP in this meaningful work.”

In 2020, the Association recognized CHOP with the Get With The Guidelines® - Resuscitation Gold Plus Award for meeting specific quality improvement measures in treating patients who suffer in-hospital cardiac arrest.

“We are proud to support both CHOP and the American Heart Association to help deliver best-practice resuscitation training and produce next-generation interventions,” said Lori Nicoletti Peruto, Esq. “The mortality rate from in-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest needs to improve and be consistent throughout all hospitals. We believe CHOP’s Center for Pediatric Resuscitation, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, will create meaningful advancements to current practices in Philadelphia and throughout the world.”

About Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 595-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800- AHA-USA1. 

Contact: Jennifer Lee, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6084 or