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Hands-on Surgical Training

Hands-On Surgical Training (HOST) in congenital heart surgery is an education platform designed to provide surgeons with an opportunity to practice surgical procedures on various congenital heart defects using simulation on 3D printed models.

Meet The Butlers

Peter and Fabiola Butler live in Toronto and have generously supported the Labatt Family Heart Centre and the HOST Training Program. Peter was born in 1959 with Tetralogy of Fallot. In 1960, Peter had his first surgery; a right Blalock-Taussig shunt followed by the full repair, performed by Dr. William Mustard at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1969. In 1988, Peter had a pulmonary valve replacement performed by Dr. William Williams of SickKids at The Toronto General Hospital.

Peter and Fabiola graduated from Ryerson University each with Business degrees in 1986. They married in 1989. Peter has worked in the technology industry for more than 30 years and in 1998 he co-founded VocaLinks Inc. VocaLinks Inc. is recognized as a leading integrator of speech recognition and assistive technologies for Business, Education, Healthcare, and Law Enforcement. Fabiola left a career in the Financial Services industry to join the fledgling company in 2002 and has quietly guided the team ever since.

Annual HOST Course

The annual HOST course is a 3 day program held annually at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Following the first course in 2015, the course has been run worldwide in countries including Canada, USA, South Korea, Vietnam, India, Thailand, UK, and China.


The 2024 Annual Course will be a hybrid program for both in-person and on-line attendance. Each session is led by experienced congenital cardiac surgeons who coach the surgeons through the surgical procedures for a variety of congenital heart defects. The number of attendees for each course is limited to maximum of 20 to secure close interactive interaction of the attendees with the proctors.

More informtaion about the 2024 Annual HOST Course will be availble soon.

Monthly In-House HOST Courses

Following the success of the annual HOST program we have incorporated a monthly HOST program as part of our congenital heart surgery curriculum for surgical fellows at SickKids.


The curriculum consists of 11 sessions, each covering a different congenital heart disease. 


This platform has also been incorporated to prepare fellow surgeons for their own real-life cases in the operating room.

We welcome the interested surgeons to attend our monthly courses. 



This course aims to provide physicians with an ample opportunity to learn congenital heart morphology by directly observing the pathologic specimens and 3D print models.

Annual Morphology Course

The annual contemporary morphology course utilizes heart specimens and 3D printed models to provide physicians with the opportunity to learn congenital heart morphology.


Each course consists of 4 hands-on sessions preceded by didactic lectures. Sessions are led by expert physicians within congenital heart disease with approximately 40 attendees.


To date we have run two courses each focussing on a particular morphology. Our 2018 course focused on septal and conotruncal anomalies and the 2019 course focused on abnormalities of the atrioventricular junction.

Monthly In-House Morphology Courses

From the summer of 2019 we have established a monthly in-house hands-on morphology course for local residents/fellows in pediatric cardiology, intensive care, cardiac imaging, pediatric pathology and cardiovascular surgery. In a similar format to the annual course, this incorporates both heart specimens and 3D printed models.


The curriculum consists of 11 sessions, each covering a different congenital abnormality. Each session is attended by approximately 20 physicians and is now part of the teaching curriculum at SickKids.


Education Sets

Education Sets

Learn more about the complexity of congenital heart diseases by using 3D print models

Models for Education

3D print models of various congential heart diseases are excellent resources for education of congenital heart morphology. Owing to the generous donation of the image data and supports from many institutions, we developed a few sets of educational 3D print models.


The currently available educational sets include: 12 cases of double outlet right ventricle, 14 cases of transpositions of the great arteries, 12 cases of twisted heart and related conditions, and 12 cases with various forms of surgical procedures.

Education Sets are for sale, please visit our store for more details.


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