Dhillon Jordan Shah Innovation Fund in Congenital Heart Disease

Dhillon Jordan Shah

This fund was created by his maternal grandmother, Bev Foster, and family, at the UNC School of Nursing to honor the memory of Dhillon Jordan Shah, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a severe congenital heart defect. His 12.5 years were a heroic series of hurdles and milestones, inspiring everyone around him every step along his remarkable journey. Dhillon received medical care in three world class institutions: UNC Health Care, the University of Michigan Health System, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Dhillon Jordan Shah Innovation Fund in Congenital Heart Disease, or Dhillon’s Gift, honors not only Dhillon, but the health professionals who contributed to his care.

Dhillon’s Gift provides seed money to fund innovative projects for faculty, students and practitioners at all levels related to congenital heart defects across the lifespan. Preference is given to projects that represent interprofessional efforts, are mentored by experienced faculty and have a plan for dissemination and sustainability of the work. Honors projects and graduate theses and dissertations will be considered. SON Alumni working with SON faculty members are also eligible to submit a proposal. Total awards will not exceed $8,000. Multiple projects may be awarded funding. No one project may exceed $8,000.

Awards will be made following a committee review. The goal of this initiative is to stimulate the career development and lifelong interest of health professionals in congenital heart disease (CHD), including prevention, patterns of occurrence, assessment, treatment, care across transitions, family resources and needs across the continuum of care, and the growth and development of the child into adulthood. It is estimated by some studies that there are currently over 2 million infants, children, adolescents and adults living with CHD in the US (CDC, 2019).

Learn more from Dr. Beverly Foster on Heart to Heart, a podcast dedicated to the congenital heart defect community. Listen here

Submitting a Proposal

The 2021 proposal deadline has passed. Please check back for updates for the 2022 proposal deadlines.

The project should positively impact nursing education, practice or science at Carolina and beyond. Projects can extend beyond direct care of the patient to include family and sibling support. The proposal should be no longer than three pages and needs to include the following information:

Investigator(s) with credentials and contact information Faculty adviser or agency mentor
Purpose, Goals, and Objectives
Interprofessional inclusion
Timeline for completion
Plan for sustainability and dissemination of results

Additional proposal guidelines can be found here. A brief progress report should be provided nine months following receipt of the award. A follow-up report is required at the conclusion of the project. The Dhillon Jordan Shah Innovation Fund in Congenital Heart Disease must be acknowledged in all presentations and publications. Dissemination products must be reported to the fund.

Previous Award Recipients

2017: Britt Pados and Reina Tan
2018: Marcia Van Riper
2019: Britt Pados and Marcia Van Riper
2020: postponed due to COVID-19
2021: Danielle Stolfi, Jessica Floriano, Pace Johnston and Ashley Kellish

Dhillon’s Story

On December 6, 2002, Dhillon Jordan Shah was born a brown-haired, brown-eyed, pink-cheeked baby boy. He came home, but a few days later, was rushed back to the emergency room at UNC Hospitals where he was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Surrounded by his family’s love and hope, Dhillon’s imperfect—but mighty—heart underwent what would become the first of many surgeries. In the waiting room, Bev Foster sat vigil not as associate professor and director of the UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate nursing program, but as Dhillon’s maternal grandmother. After his surgery, she and her family began a journey rich with bravery, joy and bold purpose until Dhillon’s death on July 23, 2015 from complications of a heart transplant.

Make a Gift

Thank you for your generosity. To make a gift to the Dhillon Jordan Shah Innovation Fund in Congenital Heart Disease, please visit our secure online giving page or you can mail a check, made payable to the UNC School of Nursing with Dhillon’s Fund in the memo line to: The UNC School of Nursing, c/o UNC Gift Services Office, P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0309.

 Make Your Gift Online

Please contact Bev Foster for questions about submitting a proposal and School of Nursing Office of Advancement about making a gift.