Callie J. Chiroff, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing, has been appointed to the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association board of directors.
Founded in 2013, the PCHA is a national organization dedicated to conquering congenital heart disease through collaboration with patients, parents, health care providers and partner agencies.
“Being part of PCHA leadership is an incredible honor both professionally and personally,” Chiroff said. “As nurses, we are continuously looking for ways to further advocate for patients. I also know what it’s like to have a loved one faced with a serious heart defect, and understand the devastating impacts of this health condition. I would consider congenital heart disease to be a community crisis that no one knows about. It is the most common birth defect and number one cause of infant mortality.”
In 2017, Chiroff’s six-month-old son Theo lost his life to congenital heart disease and other complications. Chiroff has since devoted her life to helping children and families battling CHD.
“I am dedicated to empowering and creating positive outcomes for patients and families through education, support and increased community awareness,” she said, adding that she wants to give a voice to the CHD community and create opportunity for improvement where healthcare policy and CHD intersect.
As a board director, Chiroff will define and guard the mission of PCHA, determine its direction, monitor performance and continue to fundraise to reach organizational goals.
“The Marquette nursing community congratulates professor Chiroff on her well-deserved new role with PCHA,” said Dr. Janet Wessel Krejci, dean of the College of Nursing. “She offers a unique perspective to the organization and will undoubtedly provide valuable knowledge, experience and expertise in its endeavors.”
Chiroff received both her master’s degree (2012) and her doctorate (2015) in nursing from Marquette and has more than 10 years of nursing experience. In 2019, she was the chair of Milwaukee’s first-ever Heart and Sole 5K Run/Walk, which raised $95,000 for PCHA. The second annual Heart and Sole 5K will be held May 30 at Miller Park. Chiroff and her team are hoping to raise $150,000.