News and Features A Spirit of Innovation and a Tradition of Excellence in Cardiac Care
Growth of heart care services
Presented by Gary Lofland, MD, Section Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery

Building on a half century of leadership in pediatric cardiac care at Children’s Mercy, the Ward Family Center for Congenital Heart Disease is advancing the frontiers of cardiac medicine. The Center capitalizes on the synergy between Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery in clinical programs, research and education and features the recent addition of two new operating suites and two new catheterization laboratories with hybrid capability.

Under the direction of Cardiac Surgery Section Chief Gary Lofland, MD, two cardiac surgeons have performed more than 500 procedures per year at Children’s Mercy, while 13 board-certified cardiologists, led by Cardiology Section Chief R. Gowdamarajan, MD, have seen more than 10,000 patients annually.

Our outstanding Collaborative Research Program excels in areas such as tissue engineering and gene expression as well as imaging strategies that include digitally enhanced 3-D reconstruction of cardiac and vascular anomalies. The Center also continually performs outcomes research using hazard function modeling and competing risks analysis of time-related events for multiple cardiac lesions. The research program draws upon a vast database of information from its patented HeartCenter software along with a repository of DNA samples and tissue specimens collected from every cardiac patient.

We have a particular expertise in treating the increasing number of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease. This includes adult patients with previously unrecognized congenital heart disease as well as those who were previously treated as children. These patients present with altered life and natural histories due to residual structural defects or anatomical and physiological consequences to their cardiovascular systems that are fundamentally different than those caused by typical acquired cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis. This evolving field requires extensive knowledge of complex congenital cardiac anatomy and the altered physiology of hearts that, in essence, have never been “normal.”

Children’s Mercy also has an outstanding Medical Education Program including a new Cardiology Fellowship. This three-year training experience is designed to promote the fellows’ expertise through outstanding clinical, academic, investigative and administrative instruction.

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