Grateful Hearts

Grace Wheeler was born with a rare congenital heart defect. Thanks in part to the Infant High-Risk Home Monitoring Program, she is thriving today. | Photo: Annie O'Neill


Infants with severe forms of congenital heart disease (CHD) are at high risk of catastrophic events between surgeries. At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, these patients are enrolled in the Cardiology Infant High-Risk Home Monitoring Program. It requires parents to provide meticulous care and to keep track daily of their child’s weight, feeds, pulse oximetry, heart rate, prescription dosage and medicine administration.


Pediatric Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Jodi Zalewski at Cleveland Clinic Children’s is on the front lines of caring for these high-risk patients. She wanted to improve the infant home monitoring program for the care of CHD. In 2022, she applied for and received a $100,000 Catalyst Grant.  

Caregiver Catalyst Grants Logo

Cleveland Clinic’s CATALYST GRANTS pool donations to fund the brightest ideas from our caregivers to improve patient outcomes and experiences. To date, more than 250 grants have been awarded, representing a total of $11.2 million in support. 

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This technology has been very instrumental for our patients in pediatric cardiology and will help streamline the process for families at home along with the team. Having a system in place with a clinical process has improved the burden on the clinical team and will only continue to improve as we implement this further.”  — Jodi Zalewski, RN, MSN, CPNP-AC 


With this grant, the program aims to use novel technologies to expand and enhance at-home monitoring of patients, including:

  • A home monitoring app to reduce stress on the family by capturing daily information and keeping data structured and available to parents and the care team.
  • A remote monitoring device to improve two-way communication between parents and providers.
  • Wearable pulse oximeters and heart rate monitors to monitor infants’ vital signs.

Ultimately, the top priority was using these tools to help improve care at home while decreasing hospital visits and family worry.


The program has led to decreases in the number of times patients need to be readmitted to the hospital or visit an emergency department. Lexi Gill, the program’s care coordinator, recently presented findings on behalf of the team at the 8th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in Washington, D.C.