Texas Children's Hospital ranks #2 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery among nation's best pediatric institutions by U.S. News World Report


HOUSTON - (June 11, 2014) - Texas Children's Hospital has again been recognized as a national leader in cardiology and heart surgery among pediatric hospitals by U.S. News World Report. Improving their national ranking, Texas Children's Heart Center placed second nationally in the Best Children's Hospitals 2014-15 survey. To learn more about Texas Children's Heart Center please visit texaschildrens.org/heart.

For more than half a century, the integrated, multidisciplinary team has combined cutting-edge technology with compassion and a family-centered approach to treat more than 17,000 children with congenital heart defects and perform more than 800 surgeries annually.

"We are thrilled that the dedicated work and passionate care our team provides children with heart diseases and defects has been recognized with this high ranking," said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., chief of congenital heart surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital. "We continually strive to improve the quality of care for our cardiac patients by tracking our outcomes and remaining committed to developing innovative cardiac interventions and surgical treatment options to ensure optimum results and outcomes for our patients."

Texas Children's Heart Center cardiologists and surgeons are world-renowned leaders in pediatric cardiology, congenital heart surgery and cardiovascular anesthesiology, and offer every procedure available for the treatment of pediatric heart diseases and defects for children of all ages, including preterm and low-birth-weight newborns. Some of the services offered by the Heart Center include cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, diagnostic and cardiac imaging, adult congenital heart disease treatment, congenital heart surgery, cardiac nursing, cardiac critical care (cardiovascular intensive care unit) and heart transplantation.

"Our cardiology team offers a multi-faceted continuum of care from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up for children with cardiac issues and heart failure," said Dr. Daniel J. Penny, chief of cardiology at Texas Children's. "We are committed to providing unparalleled care and less-invasive procedure options to children with the most complex congenital heart conditions."

Cardiovascular surgery program at Texas Children's Hospital

The surgical team at Texas Children's Heart Center tailors each procedure and treatment to the specific need of each individual child and his or her family. During surgery, this individualized approach includes cardiopulmonary bypass and neuroprotection strategies customized to each patient's condition and needs, helping to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved. Some of the heart problems the team treats include atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot and transposition of the great arteries.

Heart failure and heart transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital

Additionally, the heart failure and cardiac transplantation programs at Texas Children's Heart Center are among the largest and most successful programs in the world. More than 650 cardiomyopathy patients are cared for each year by a team of physicians, nurse coordinators and administrative personnel. When a transplant is not immediately available, a variety of circulatory support devices are used as a bridge to transplantation. Currently, Texas Children's Heart Center is able to offer a wide range of mechanical circulatory support devices, as well as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), to children whose hearts are failing: Maquet Rotaflow, Cardiac Assist Tandem Heart, Thoratec Paracorporeal VAD (ventricular assist device), Thoratec HeartMate II, Berlin Heart EXCOR, Heartware LVAD and Syncardia Total Artificial Heart.

In 2004, the Heart Center team implanted the first MicroMed/DeBakey ChildVAD. In 2011, the Berlin Heart was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children after a lengthy study led by Fraser who worked in cooperation with 17 hospitals in collecting and reporting data to the FDA regarding the safety and probable benefit of the pediatric heart pump. In 2012, Texas Children's became the world's first pediatric hospital to complete the first and second phase of certification to implant the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart as a bridge to transplant. This year, Texas Children's Hospital was named the first Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in Texas by The Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium, a distinction shared with only four other pediatric programs in the country.

Texas Children's Heart Center is committed to consistently achieving outcomes that are among the best in the nation. As part of this commitment, Texas Children's has a dedicated Surgical Outcomes Center devoted to tracking clinical outcomes and optimizing care. The team is transparent in sharing outcomes and passionately advocate for care where optimal results are achieved.

Cardiology program at Texas Children's Hospital

The cardiology program at Texas Children's Heart Center offers a wide variety of services including specialized catheterization labs where interventional cardiologists use minimally invasive procedures to repair certain heart defects, frequently sparing children from open heart surgery. Electrophysiologists offer the most advanced arrhythmia and pacing services for patients with heart rhythm abnormalities. Texas Children's is also the only freestanding pediatric hospital in the nation with a remote magnetic navigation system known as stereotaxis for precise catheter manipulation to difficult-to-reach areas of a child's heart. The system's magnet guides a thin, flexible wire to the exact location in a child's heart where physicians can ablate the problem area, often curing the child of the arrhythmia and giving them a chance to resume normal play or sports activities that were once restricted.

Preventive cardiac disease and events through early intervention

With more than half a century of leadership in the care of patients with congenital heart disease, the Heart Center team has pioneered many of the now-standard procedures and therapies related to the diagnosis and treatment of children needing cardiovascular care. The Center for Preventive Cardiology at Texas Children's Heart Center is focused on medically managing the risk factors of acquired heart disease in children with a strong family history of cardiac disease, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure or the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. The goal is to prevent future cardiac disease and events such as heart attack and stroke through early detection and intervention and by educating children and their families to better care for themselves.

The Texas Children's Heart Center team is led by Fraser, who is also professor of pediatrics and chief of congenital heart surgery at Baylor College of Medicine; Penny, who is also professor of pediatrics at Baylor; Dr. Emad Mossad, chief of cardiovascular anesthesia at Texas Children's and division director of pediatric cardiovascular anesthesia at Baylor; and Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, chief of critical care at Texas Children's and professor of pediatrics at Baylor.

In addition to Texas Children's Heart Center's #2 ranking, Texas Children's Hospital is ranked fourth among all children's hospitals nationally and one of only 10 hospitals to achieve the Honor Roll designation by U.S. News World Report. Texas Children's is also the only hospital in Texas - and the entire Southern region of the U.S. - awarded this distinction.

For more information, visit www.usnews.texaschildrens.org.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit 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 hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center 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; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.