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Pediatric Heart Transplant Program

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If your child has a congenital heart defect or end-stage heart disease, transplantation offers a second chance for life. Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital’s heart transplant program provides cardiac transplantation and heart failure management for children. The program combines the collaborative experience of a dedicated healthcare team that includes cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, intensivists and all pediatric subspecialties.

Under the leadership of Frank Scholl, MD, Chief, Pediatric & Congenital Cardiac Surgery; Surgical Director, Pediatric Heart Transplant, and Maryanne R. K. Chrisant, MD, Medical Director of Pediatric Heart Transplant, Cardiomyopathy & Heart Failure Services, our program is known both for its excellence and for its comprehensive approach to care.


We evaluate each child as an individual. During the evaluation process and before your child is listed for a heart transplant, we review all of your child’s information and meet with you and your child. We will explore other treatment options that could improve your child's health and quality of life, including medical therapies and other types of surgeries, which may prevent the need for transplantation.

For some children with heart defects, even the most aggressive treatment with medication or conventional cardiac surgery is not enough to restore health and maintain a good quality of life. These children may be considered for heart transplantation.

The main reasons why a heart transplant is needed are:

  • Structural congenital heart defects that cannot be corrected with conventional surgery
  • Cardiomyopathy, or a primary disease of the heart muscle, that results in end-stage heart failure
  • Persistent life-threatening arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) that are not responsive to medication or other ablation therapy

Program History

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the leading children's hospital in Broward and Palm Beach counties, received federal approval from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) to launch a pediatric heart transplant program on December 10, 2010. Prior to federal approval, statistics showed that a large number of children did not have sufficient access to heart transplant services, and many had to seek services outside South Florida and even out of state. In December 2011,
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital received CMS accreditation. Now, more families will benefit from having a specialized team closer to home.

We are participants in

  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
  • The Pediatric Heart Transplant Study (PHTS)
  • The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR )
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS )
  • International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHCT )
  • PediMACS – Instrumental in the scientific analysis of pediatric data, and direct dissemination of results via abstracts, publications and other forms of media

Evaluations

At the time of evaluation, you and your child will spend a full day at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, meeting with members of our team, including a transplant cardiologist, advanced practice nurse, social worker and psychologist, child life specialist and members of other medical subspecialties as needed.

List of cardiology services

It is likely that your child will need an echocardiogram and/or other imaging and diagnostic studies such as cardiac MRI and cardiac catheterization. Evaluation will include specific blood tests to assess your child's immunologic function, liver and kidney function, blood type and exposure to viruses and vaccines.

This can be a difficult time for both your child and family. Our goal during the pre transplant period is to help your child remain in the best possible health and to support your family through this difficult time with close medical monitoring, nutritional guidance and psychological support. Our Transplant Patient and Family Guide (link to family guide PDF) is available online and gives a full description of our services and policies.

Referrals

If pediatric heart transplantation is being considered, please request an evaluation at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital as early as possible by calling 954-265-3437 or sending us an e-mail at JDCHheartTransplant@mhs.com. If you are a physician and would like to refer a patient, please call 954-265-2079 or send an e-mail to Maryanne R. K. Chrisant, MD Medical Director, or to the Nurse Coordinator, Chris Mashburn.

Meet our organ transplant team:

  • Chief, Pediatric & Congenital Cardiac Surgery; Surgical Director, Pediatric Heart Transplant
    Frank Scholl, MD
  • Medical Director of Pediatric Heart Transplant, Cardiomyopathy & Heart Failure Services
    Maryanne R. K. Chrisant, MD
  • Transplant Surgeons
    Richard Perryman, MD Medical Director of Memorial Cardiac & Vascular Institute and Chief of Adult and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
    Steven Bibevski, MD/PhD
  • Chief of Pediatric & Congenital Cardiology & Interventional Services
    Kak-Chen Chan, MD
  • Cardiac Critical Care
    Gerald Lavandosky, MD
  • Transplant Coordinator
    Chris Mashburn, RN
  • PICU Transplant Nurse Specialist
    Eileen Watkins, RN
  • Child Life Specialists
    Shannon McCarthy, BS, CCLS
  • Pediatric Psychologist
    Gloria Chiang, PhD
  • Social Workers
    Anna Jedlinski-Reyes, MSW
    Marcy Horowitz, MSW
  • Transplant Financial Counselor
    Janine Lettman
  • Nutrition
    Heidi Feuerman
  • Pharmacy
    Juan Carlos Rodriguez, PharmD

Other pediatric subspecialties include:

Resources and Other Links

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the Heart Transplant Program at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, please call 954-265-3437.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
1005 Joe DiMaggio Drive
Hollywood, FL 33021
954-265-JDCH (5324)
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