ACHD Support Group Resources

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Our specialists provide a wide range of treatments, including clinical trial therapies. Call 310-825-9011 to learn more about adult congenital heart disease treatment.

David Highfill, LCSW

UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Patient and Family Connections Support Groups by facilitator, David Highfill, LCSW

The monthly UCLA ACHD Patient and Family Connections Meeting are typically held the last Thursday of each month from 6:00-7:30 PM (Pacific Time). These meetings are designed to provide peer support for our ACHD patients and members of their support system, and to help connect members of the broader ACHD community. Meetings are virtual allowing anyone to participate from wherever they are.

UCLA ACHD social worker David Highfill is the group facilitator. David is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is also a CHD patient who underwent a modified Fontan procedure in 1990 and received a heart transplant in 2012, both here at UCLA. Connections Meetings are open to all Adult Congenital Heart Disease patients and their family members, no matter where they live or where they receive their congenital care. We currently enjoy participation from patients living in California, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, Washington DC, and Vancouver. We look forward to expanding our attendance and welcome patients from anywhere in the world.

We ask that you please RSVP to our office manager Yvonne Jose at (310) 825-2019 or [email protected] when planning to participate. We look forward to welcoming you to your new virtual family!

For those ACHD patients who may be considering, are being evaluated, are wait listed or who have undergone organ transplant, we also offer our monthly ACHD Transplant Focused Connections Meeting. These meetings typically occur on the second Thursday of each month also from 6:00 -7:30 PM (Pacific Time). These too are peer support open meetings for any and all ACHD patients who have undergone or may become transplant recipients. Like our Patient and Family Connections Meetings, these meetings are also virtual so participation is easy and can occur wherever you are located. David Highfill also facilitates these meetings and we enjoy wonderful, dynamic participation from up to 20 participants monthly.

If you are interested in either or both of these meetings, please send your email to our Office Manager, Yvonne Jose at [email protected] to be added to our patient distribution list. When doing so, please note where you receive your ACHD cardiology care and the city and state where you live. We do not share emails when meeting reminders are sent out. The link for each meeting will be included with the reminder emails that Yvonne send out approximately one prior to each meeting. We hope you will share your experience with us and look forward to seeing you very soon.


Resource Links:


The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has led to incredible significant changes to our everyday lives. Employment and insurance issues have been at the forefront of this historic time in our history as our everyday life, work, social and recreational activities have all been significantly limited. Due to social distancing, the need to remain sheltered from others has led to unforeseen business closures and job loss. For congenital heart disease patients, these losses have additional meaning as they may impede our ability to seek necessary medical attention and get the medication refills we desperately need to maintain our everyday lives and health. 

While we all wait for federal financial support to take shape, the UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center wants to be aware of some key resources that may be invaluable for you so that you may know about changes to existing benefits and other resources that may benefit your situation.  Please look through the list below to find what suits your needs. These links include information on changes made by each insurance provider to accommodate those impacted by COVID-19, applying for Medi-Cal, potential employment opportunities, unemployment, disability aids, and food information among others.

Unemployment health insurance info

Medicaid/Medi-Cal information

What are insurance companies doing in response to COVID-19?

Details of services provided by calling the resource hotline: 211-

Resources for coping support, housing, healthcare, taxes, homelessness, etc.

For those who were laid off from work:

Labor department info on COVID-19 for employees and employers:

Financial resources for residents impacted by COVID-19:

Job loss or reduced hours due to COVID-19

Unemployment, and state disability for COVID-19

Los Angeles employment opportunities/information:

Meals and other resources for persons 60 years of age and over

CalFresh emergency food aid information

ACHD Caregiver Support Information -  ACHA Caregiver Webinar by David Highfill, LCSW - November 18, 2020