Services & Specialties
Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center

Support and Care for the Whole Family

Living with or managing congenital heart disease can be stressful and challenging, whether you're a patient, parent, sibling, partner or caregiver. While it’s common for people with heart disease and their families to experience emotional challenges, our research shows that the right support and treatment can make all the difference. That’s why we developed the Sparks Family Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center.

We provide emotional support and mental health care that is critical for families affected by heart disease. You never have to feel you’re facing heart disease alone.

We help children, teens and adults with heart disease and their families manage times of difficulty or uncertainty, regain a sense of hope and control, and improve their overall health and wellbeing.

As part of the world-class Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, the Sparks Family Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center is transforming heart care—changing outcomes for people with heart disease by addressing both their physical and mental health. This one-of-a-kind center is dedicated to supporting patients and families each step of the way.

The Sparks Family Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Sparks family, including longtime Cincinnati Children’s supporter Nancy Sparks. Nancy and her family were particularly inspired by the connection between physical and mental health for patients in our Heart Institute. The family hopes that through the power of philanthropy, they can help change the outcome for all.

Hear From Our Patients

"Offering this kind of care is a game-changer. The psychological impacts last longer than the medical needs – treating the whole family is so important.”

Mom of a boy with CHD

Who is This Service For?

Our team of experts work together to provide specialized psychological care for people of all ages with heart disease and their families, including: 

  • Expecting parents who have received a prenatal diagnosis, whether through our Fetal Heart Program or another healthcare provider 
  • Infants, children and teens with heart disease
  • Adults referred through our Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program or another healthcare provider
  • Inpatients and outpatients 
  • Parents, caregivers, siblings and partners of people with congenital heart disease 

While living with heart disease can be overwhelming, we are here to provide care and therapy during periods of wellness or poor health, and during times of transition and adjustment.

Hear From Our Director

“Our goal is to support families through diagnosis, treatment and transitions, so they feel informed, empowered and supported."

—Nadine Kasparian, PhD

Why Combine Mental Health and Heart Care?

We know that a heart care journey comes with ups and downs—from when you first hear the diagnosis, through medical and surgical care, to ongoing day-to-day life. The challenges that can come with this journey can deeply affect a person’s physical and mental health, their relationships, and their experiences at home, school and work.

You are not alone in this journey. Many children, teens and adults with heart disease, and their family members, experience psychological challenges at some point. And our research shows that mental health support along the way can make a big difference and improve overall health and wellbeing. This is why we’re doing the work we’re doing: to transform health outcomes for people of all ages with congenital or childhood-onset heart disease and their families. 

We have insight into the support you need because we understand heart disease. You will receive care that is tailored specifically to you and your condition.

Invested in Families 

The Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center is led by Nadine Kasparian, PhD, an international expert in mental health and heart disease who pioneered this work in her homeland of Australia. She has led extensive research in this field and is passionate about ensuring that everyone who needs mental health care receives it. Her team of psychologists, social workers and child life specialists, as well as the Center’s clinical coordinator, have significant experience providing care for patients and families.