New Help for New Jersey Children Living with Congenital Heart Disease

Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center collaborates with

NewYork-Presbyterian cardiac surgeons

Newark NJ (January 17, 2019)- 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.

To learn more about the new Pediatric Heart Surgery Program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, or to make an appointment, please call (973) 926-3500.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, is a 665-bed regional care teaching hospital that provides comprehensive health care. Newark Beth Israel is home to one of the nation’s top ten heart transplant centers, which has performed more than 1,000 heart transplants; RWJBarnabas Health’s Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program; New Jersey’s only Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program and a Valve Center that performs complex cardiac valve procedures, including minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs). Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is also home to Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ), which cares for children from birth through adolescence, with more than 30 specialized pediatric services including New Jersey’s largest Valerie Fund Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders; and the Children’s Heart Center that offers a complete range of medical and surgical treatments for the most complex cardiac abnormalities. The Newark Beth Israel robotic surgery program is the most experienced in northern New Jersey. RWJBarnabas Health and The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Breast Health Center, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. Newark Beth Israel also offers many preventive health programs that promote wellness in the community, including The Beth Greenhouse, which provides access to fresh produce and health and wellness education to local residents.

Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ), located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, cares for children from birth through adolescence, with more than 30 specialized pediatric services including New Jersey’s largest Valerie Fund Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders; and the Children’s Heart Center that offers a complete range of medical and surgical treatments for the most complex cardiac abnormalities. Children’s Hospital of New Jersey also includes a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a Level IV Regional Perinatal Center that offers New Jersey’s only Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy; and the highest level of intensive care for both mothers and newborns.