NYU Langone Health has launched a comprehensive Pediatric Congenital Heart Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital to serve the medical and surgical needs of a growing population of children born with congenital heart disease.
The Congenital Heart Center team, which welcomed its first patient March 1, provides a seamless experience in the new, 5,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art location on the 7th floor of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital—34th Street, located within NYU Langone’s Kimmel Pavilion.
This new location, led by pediatric cardiologist and medical director James C. Nielsen, MD, accommodates outpatient care for physician visits, diagnostic testing, presurgical and postsurgical procedure appointments, and patient and family education. Children with congenital heart disease will still be able to receive outpatient care at Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center, while the new Congenital Heart Center will serve as an important specialty expansion for ambulatory services.
“Our center will leverage the expertise of our congenital cardiothoracic surgeons and pediatric cardiologists, while providing seamless care to patients with complex congenital heart defects and disease that require a constellation of well-coordinated care from fetal life to adulthood,” says Ralph S. Mosca, MD, the George E. Reed Professor of Cardiac Surgery and chief of the Division of Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Surgery. “The center will bring these services under one roof to ensure lifelong surveillance and specialized care.”
Congenital heart disease is the number 1 birth defect in the United States, and every year nearly 1 out of 100 babies is born with some form of this condition. Advances in medical and surgical technology have made it possible for people with congenital heart defects to live longer, fuller lives than ever before. Nationwide, 2.4 million people are living with congenital heart disease, but 90 percent of them aren’t getting the care needed to avoid sudden and severe health issues. The center aims to change this.
“The new center provides patients and families with the ability to have a preop visit in the same location where they are going to have surgery, making this challenging time easier for our patients and their families,” says Frank Cecchin, MD, the Andrall E. Pearson Professor of Pediatric Cardiology and director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology. “It further enhances our already robust Pediatric Congenital Heart Program with the advanced expertise to care for children with the most complex cardiac conditions.”
“Our vision for the design of the new Congenital Heart Center was of a welcoming, child-friendly, and family-centered space,” said Vicki Match Suna, AIA, executive vice president and vice dean for Real Estate Development and Facilities. “The playful artwork depicts New York City life as seen through a child’s eyes, an engaging design theme carried through on all pediatric floors of the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, which helps to create a comfortable, cheerful and healing environment for our young patients and their families.”
A national leader in pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery, the Pediatric Congenital Heart Program at NYU Langone has a 99 percent survival rate, exceeding those of the largest programs in the northeast region and the national average, according to statistics from the most recently validated Society of Thoracic Surgeons data. Experts at the Pediatric Congenital Heart Program diagnose and treat the most complex and rare congenital and acquired heart defects in patients from the fetal period to adulthood. The multidisciplinary team includes pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiac surgeons, pediatricians, nurses, nurse practitioners, perfusionists, social workers, and child life specialists, to ensure the unique social and emotional needs of every patient and their families are met.
“To optimize the health of patients with congenital heart disease, we have designed a center to ensure expert coordination across specialty areas within pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiac surgery, and adult congenital cardiology,” says Catherine S. Manno, MD, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “The new center will also support the changing needs of patients as they grow from adolescence to adulthood, transitioning from pediatric to adult care, allowing Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital’s Congenital Heart Center to seamlessly provide care to children and adults.”