New Help for Children with Congenital Heart Disease in New Jersey

CUIMC/NYP Announce New Collaboration with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Leading surgeons from NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital are collaborating with the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (CHoNJ) to perform pediatric cardiac surgical procedures. 

“In addition to the many families who want care closer to home, there are families who want to bring their children to New York City for surgery, but cannot because of insurance restrictions, and this often causes a delay in treatment,” said Dr. Emile Bacha, director of pediatric cardiac surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and chief of the division of cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel has long had a very active pediatric cardiology program. Our goal is to further strengthen a very strong pediatric cardiac surgery unit within the state.”

“For the past 20 years, we have dedicated ourselves to developing a center of excellence for the care of children and adults with congenital heart disease in New Jersey,” said Dr. Rajiv Verma, director of the Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. “This collaboration will go a long way in helping us complete our mission.”

The Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel is the only center of its kind in the state of New Jersey, providing all forms of advanced imaging services for congenital heart disease in prenatal, pediatric and adult patients. In addition, physicians at CHoNJ perform a complete array of transcatheter therapeutic interventions for congenital heart disease in children and adults. The Center also offers the state’s only extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy program for children and emergency transportation for critically-ill infants and children throughout the region.  

Dr. Bacha and his team will also provide ongoing care for adults with congenital heart disease. “Thanks to recent advances, more children born with congenital heart disease are living well into adulthood,” adds Dr. Bacha. “Many will need follow-up procedures. At Newark Beth Israel, we will monitor these patients over time, and intervene, when necessary, to make sure they have the highest quality of life.”  

In addition to Dr. Bacha, the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital team includes: 

  • Dr. Paul Chai, an expert known for his work on the Berlin Heart, a mechanical assist device that takes over the pumping action of the child’s heart; 
  • Dr. Damien LaPar, pediatric cardiac surgeon whose research interests include stem-cell and myocardial regenerative therapy;
  • Dr. David Kalfa, cardiothoracic surgeon with a sub-specialization in pediatric cardiac surgery and a pioneer in the development of artificial pediatric heart valves that grow with the patient over time.

These surgeons will perform a wide range of open-heart pediatric procedures at CHoNJ; these include the repair of: atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect (VSD), which involve holes in the wall between the heart’s upper and lower chambers, respectively; tetralogy of Fallot; and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which affects the circulation between the heart and the lungs.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital ranks among the top in the nation for children’s care in every specialty evaluated in the U.S. News and World Report’s survey, which includes cardiology and heart surgery. Its surgeons have the highest patient survival rate in New York state, and one of the highest nationwide, while performing the most complex procedures.

The NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital team will work closely with Dr. Rajiv Verma, pediatric interventional cardiologist, director of the Pediatric Cardiac Cath Lab and director of the Children’s Heart Center.

The state's premier children's health facility, Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel provides state-of-the-art care in nearly 30 pediatric subspecialties.