Our Heart Institute Story

Walk through our door, and you’ll feel it. Something in the air here is a little different. From our doctors, nurses and clinicians to all the other staff members you might pass in the hallways, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Heart Institute prides itself on that difference.

We provide great heart care, but what’s different here is that you and your child are everything. With every action and every decision, what matters most to us is that your child does well. We also strive to make you and your family feel empowered and included. That is the essence of family-centered care, and it’s why we built our program the way we did.

Quite simply, we sprang from a need: Florida’s children with congenital heart disease needed a world-class place to go in their own backyard.

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History of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Heart Institute

Our cardiac program was started in 2005 with the help of the late Mark Boucek, MD, and Richard Perryman, MD, so that children who needed specialized cardiac care had a place to go.

Dr. Boucek passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009, but not before setting the foundation for a pediatric heart surgical program right here in Florida.

We received United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) accreditation for pediatric heart transplant in December 2010 and completed our first transplant 5 days later, with great success.

The pediatric heart transplant program was the first solid organ transplant program in Memorial Healthcare System. As a result of the program’s success, Memorial added an adult heart transplant program.

The consistent care we offer, from our pediatric transplant program through our adult congenital heart program, benefits the growing number of children and adults in this region who need specialized congenital heart care.

Our ability to offer a full range of care allows us to give families real hope for a brighter future.

Who We Are Today

As a heart institute, we bring all the disciplines of heart care together in one place, including cardiology, surgery, electrophysiology and heart imaging.

That’s what we do. As for who we are? We are people who want to make a difference.

We bring compassion to work every day. Part of that commitment means we treat your children the way we would treat our own. That means we use the least invasive means available. When children need more complex treatment, like surgery, we will explain each step.

We are transparent. Parents want to have confidence, and it’s your right to know how a program stacks up. We show you our outcome data. Have questions? Ask, and we will give you an honest answer.

Finally, we do our best to make children laugh and help them feel like kids while they’re with us. After all, a child living with a heart condition is still just that – a child, who is at the heart of your life, and the heart of our work.

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