Why is Research Important?

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is a leading type of birth defect – and an increasing number of these children are living into adulthood as a result of advances in surgical interventions. However, children with CHD are predisposed to developing modifiable risk factors later in life such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Cardiac rehabilitation programs for adults are well established non-pharmacological treatments for individuals with various cardiac conditions. Yet, there is little research to show the effectiveness and feasibility of a pediatric physical activity and mental wellness program.

The research team of the Mending Little Hearts Fund is made up of doctors and researchers from the College of Kinesiology, College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and the Department of Psychology at the University of Regina. The research team contributes to and helps facilitate programming at CHAMPS Camp, in addition to numerous research initiatives outside of camp involving children, youth, and adults with CHD.

The Goals of CHAMPS Research


Determine if we can change important health measures (exercise capacity, body composition, blood vessel health, psychological health, nutritional habits, etc.).

Answer the question “Is it feasible to deliver regular year-round congenital heart disease management programming for children and their families?”

Increase the impact of health benefits that CHAMPS can offer for children and adolescents with CHD.

Participate in a Study

Participants Needed: Parents of children 0-4 years with and without CHD

Project Title: Exploring the wellbeing and service needs of parents of young children with and without congenital heart disease

To participate in this study, you must be living in Western Canada (i.e., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, or British Columbia), be able to read in English, be above 18 years of age, and have at least one healthy child between the ages of 0-4 or one child with CHD between the ages of 0-4. This study has been approved by the Research Ethics Board at the University of Regina. 

The study consists of a questionnaire regarding you and your child’s demographic information, your wellbeing, and other factors that may be associated with your wellbeing. Participation will take 30-45 minutes. You will be entered into a draw for 1 of 3 $50 Amazon gift cards as a thank you for your participation. For additional information please contact myself at or my supervisor, Dr. Kristi Wright, Registered Doctoral Psychologist at

Although we have asked your organization to share information about our study with you, they are not involved in the study whatsoever. They will not be informed whether or not you chose to participate in the study. If you do choose to participate in the study, your organization will not have access to any of the information you share. Your current or future care/services will not be impacted in any way regardless of whether or not you chose to participate in this research opportunity.


Please click the link below to participate in this study:

Primary Investigator:

Danielle Caissie, M.Sc.

Ph.D. Student in Clinical Psychology 

University of Regina

Participants Needed: 6 month physical and mental wellness program for children with CHD

Project Title: A chronic disease management program for children with congenital heart defects: a CHAMPS study

We are inviting children with Congenital Heart Disease to participate in our current research study, looking at the effects of a 6-month physical activity and health behaviour program intervention.

Participation Eligibility:

  • 7-17 years of age
  • Clinical diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease

Participation will include:

  • 2 research testing sessions measuring body composition, bone health, heart health, and mental wellness (all non-invasive)
  • **6-month physical activity & mental wellness program designed specifically for children with CHD

**We are also recruiting participants to complete the research testing sessions ONLY. Please contact us for more information.

This study has been approved by the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board. Your current or future care/services will not be impacted in any way regardless of whether or not you choose to participate.

Interested in participating? Contact: 

Matthew Chapelski, M.Sc.

Ph.D. Student in Kinesiology

University of Saskatchewan

Research News

Research: Our next CHAMPS Study

Research: Our next CHAMPS Study

CHAMPS 6 Month Exercise & Mental Wellness Study The Mending Little Hearts Team was thrilled to be awarded funding from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) & the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) for our next CHAMPS study....

CHAMPS 12 – week home based exercise training pilot study

CHAMPS 12 – week home based exercise training pilot study

2018 - CHAMPS 12-week home based exercise training pilot study In 2018, the second large scale research project was launched involving CHAMPS camp. Researchers were interested in how a more frequent chronic disease management program for children with congenital heart...

Research funding provided by: