STANFORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Adult Congenital Heart Program at Stanford Children’s Health and Stanford Health Care now has seven board-certified specialists in adult congenital heart disease, making it one of the largest groups of such doctors in the country. The seven physicians are among the caregivers who passed the first-ever board certification exam in their field, which is newly recognized as a subspecialty by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Results for the October 2015 exam were announced by the board in early January.
It’s a timely achievement. Although many congenital heart defects were once fatal in childhood, dramatic improvements in surgeons’ ability to repair such defects has increased the number of U.S. adults living with them to more than one million. Yet a successful childhood surgical repair does not cure most congenital heart disease patients, doctors have learned. And congenital defects can interact with cardiovascular problems acquired with age.
“These are patients who need ongoing monitoring and treatment to help them navigate the risks of living with lingering heart problems,” said cardiologist Daniel Murphy, MD, who was instrumental in advocating for the new subspecialty to be formally recognized. The population of adults living with heart defects they were born with is growing by about 20,000 people per year as adolescents graduate to adult care, he noted. And such patients are seeking care at destination programs like Stanford’s.
“This new board certification exam is the result of over a decade of really hard work by leaders in the adult congenital cardiac community,” Murphy said. “It enforces training and knowledge standards that we think these patients have a right to expect when they seek medical care from a specialist.”
The Stanford physicians who obtained their board certification are George Lui, MD, the program’s medical director and a clinical assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine and pediatric cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine; Ian Rogers, MD, clinical assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine and pediatric cardiology; Doff McElhinney, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery; Anne Dubin, MD, professor of pediatric cardiology; Kara Motonaga, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatric cardiology; Scott Ceresnak, MD, assistant professor of pediatric cardiology; and Nikola Tede, MD, a pediatric cardiologist who sees patients at California Pacific Medical Center through its alliance with Stanford Children’s Health.
Stanford’s program, a collaboration between Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Health Care, has a long history as a national leader in the care of adult congenital heart patients. “This is a field which requires people to bring a lot of different kinds of skills, experience and knowledge to their interactions with patients,” Murphy said. “I’m really proud of our physicians. Their success validates the training we have here and shows that we’re on the right track for providing care for this important group of patients.”
* Read about Christy Sillman, RN, who brings extraordinary personal experience to her work. Sillman is a nurse coordinator for the program, and has adult congenital heart disease.
* Find out why a 61-year-old man received heart surgery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
About Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
Stanford Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its core, is the largest Bay Area health care enterprise exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Long recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best, we are a leader in world-class, nurturing care and extraordinary outcomes in every pediatric and obstetric specialty, with care ranging from the routine to rare, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Together with our Stanford Medicine physicians, nurses, and staff, we can be accessed through partnerships, collaborations, outreach, specialty clinics and primary care practices at more than 60 locations in Northern California and 100 locations in the U.S. western region. As a non-profit, we are committed to supporting our community – from caring for uninsured or underinsured kids, homeless teens and pregnant moms, to helping re-establish school nurse positions in local schools. Learn more at stanfordchildrens.org and on our Healthier, Happy Lives blog. You can also discover how we are Building the Hospital of the Future. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.