In 1989, a 7-year-old Russian girl’s life was hanging by a thread. She desperately needed heart surgery, but her doctors in Russia were unable to help her. California-based cardiothoracic doctor Nilas Young heard about her case and volunteered to perform the surgery, saving her life. Soon, he began receiving desperate pleas from hundreds of other Russian parents with children in need of cardiac surgery, and Dr. Young realized that he had a unique opportunity to help. Over the next ten years, he developed a world-class pediatric cardiac center in Russia and founded Heart to Heart International Children’s Medical Alliance. The organization quickly became a model for international humanitarian aid programs focused on pediatric cardiac care. Under Dr. Young’s leadership, Heart to Heart International Children’s Medical Alliance has annually coordinated teams of volunteer pediatric cardiac specialists to train hundreds of aspiring medical professionals in advanced cardiology, cardiac surgery and intensive care in Russia. To date, Dr. Young’s education-based approach and leadership have resulted in the development of three self-sustaining children’s heart centers and the life-saving cardiac surgeries of more than 13,000 children.