New Transformative Leadership Team Announced for Texas Children’s World-Renowned Heart Center

Press Release

HOUSTON (May 3, 2024) – Texas Children’s Hospital is pleased to announce the new executive leadership structure at the Texas Children’s Heart Center, which has been ranked number one in the nation for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report for seven consecutive years. Dr. Daniel Penny, previously Chief of Cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital, was recently named as Executive Co-Director of the Heart Center. This summer, he will be joined by Dr. Caner Salih, currently Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Evelina Children’s Hospital in the UK, as Executive Co-Director.

“We are incredibly proud to announce our new Heart Center executive leadership team,” said Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, Pediatrician-In-Chief and chair of Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital. “These distinguished leaders are internationally recognized, world-class pioneers in pediatric cardiac care. At Texas Children’s, we are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes, and these outstanding leaders will continue to develop our exceptional heart program in order to provide the most advanced care and, ultimately, to make a life-changing difference for our patients.”

Dr. Salih joins Texas Children’s from the Evelina Children’s Hospital and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, where he served as Chief of Congenital Heart Surgery. Dr. Salih earned his medical degree at the University of Glasgow in 1993 and finished his general surgical training in 1997. He has trained in adult and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at top centers in the U.K. and The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. A Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (U.K.), Dr. Salih was awarded a research doctorate from the University of London in 2005. His clinical interests include the full range of complex congenital cardiac surgical procedures, surgical performance and outcome monitoring.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Salih to Texas Children’s and for this team of talented leaders to build upon the success and outstanding reputation that distinguishes our nationally ranked Heart Center,” said Dr. Larry Hollier, Surgeon-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. “Our new Executive Co-Directors will undoubtedly bring new opportunities for growth and innovation that will not only benefit our team but also, most importantly, our patients locally, nationally and internationally.”

"I am truly honored to join the leadership team at Texas Children's Heart Center,” said Dr. Salih.  “I look forward to working alongside some of the brightest leaders in pediatric care as we pursue new areas of excellence and innovation in the field of cardiology and heart surgery.” 

Dr. Penny — prior to assuming his new role as Executive Co-Director — served as the Chief of Cardiology at Texas Children’s Heart Center from 2010 to 2023. Before joining Texas Children’s, Dr. Penny served as Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. A native of Ireland, Dr. Penny earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the National University of Ireland in 1983 and his medical degree in 1986. He completed his PhD in neonatal cardiovascular physiology at the Monash University in Australia.  He is a globally respected leader in the field of pediatric cardiology who has throughout his career contributed to the development of cardiac programs not only locally but in under-resourced settings, most notably with the establishment of a cardiac hospital in central Vietnam. Dr. Penny served as Principal Investigator for the NIH Pediatric Heart Network for more than a decade, and has published scientific papers in top tier journals. He has edited five textbooks including Moss and Adams, one of the key texts in the field of Congenital Heart Disease.

“When it comes to pediatric and adult congenital cardiology, there is truly no better place than Texas Children’s,” said Dr. Penny. “For many decades now, Texas Children’s Heart Center has cared for the world’s rarest and most complex heart conditions. We are confident that our new executive team will help us continue to excel as a global leader in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with cardiac problems.”

Succeeding Dr. Penny as the new Division Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Jeff Kim previously held the title of Medical Director of Electrophysiology and Pacing at Texas Children’s for over 12 years and Chief of Strategic Operations for the Heart Center for two years. He is also a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He is on faculty with the Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine Department at Baylor College of Medicine as well as the Cardiovascular Research Institute. Dr. Kim received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. His research interests include arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, and he has published more than 130 papers in the field of pediatric cardiology and electrophysiology. In his new role as Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Kim will join Dr. Jeff Heinle, Chief of Congenital Heart Surgery, to continue to lead the teams of cardiologists and surgeons in the Divisions of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.  

Texas Children’s Heart Center has been ranked number one in the nation for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report for seven consecutive years. The center treats 23,000 patients and performs more than 800 procedures annually, providing the highest quality care for patients with complex heart conditions, and children and adults with congenital heart disease.  

Drs. Penny, Shekerdemian and Hollier are also faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, holding the titles of professor of pediatrics- cardiology, professor and chair of pediatrics and professor of surgery, orthopedic surgery and pediatrics, respectively.


Texas Children’s, a nonprofit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The system includes the Texas Children’s Duncan NRI; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston and Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin, the new state-of-the-art facility providing world-class pediatric and maternal care to Austin families. The organization also created Texas Children’s Health Plan, the nation’s first HMO focused on children; Texas Children’s Pediatrics, the largest pediatric primary care network in the country; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that is channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, visit www.texaschildrens.org.