UNM CH Heart Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary

December 8, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690 or cell (505) 220-1093


Albuquerque, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital Heart Center (CHHC) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary Friday, December 8.

Developed in 1996 by Dr. J. Deane Waldman, the CHHC is a center for pediatric cardiology in New Mexico, offering care for pediatric patients with congenital heart disease.

Dr. Waldman’s vision was to create an accessible center that would service children with heart disease and their families. Today, CHHC staff and faculty provide care for over 1,170 patients through inpatient and outpatient services.

The CHHC offers diagnostic and therapeutic services for infants, children and young adults with cardiovascular disease. Services include clinical diagnosis electrocardiogram interpretation, non-invasive echocardiography and Doppler studies, cardiac catheterization and interventional therapy in the catheterization laboratory.

Services are provided to outpatients in Albuquerque and through outreach clinics in Gallup, Las Cruces and Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque. In addition, educational seminars are provided to physicians and other healthcare professionals statewide.

Since November 2003, the UNM Pediatric Cardiology department has been affiliated with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) at Stanford to provide cardiac surgery for UNMH patients. This affiliation has allowed UNM to provide New Mexican children with state-of-the-art care and outstanding clinical outcomes.

Dr. Waldman performs catheterizations on UNMH patients and maintains a repository of over 750 human heart specimens which he uses to teach students and residents on the anatomy of the heart.

Dr. Beth Goens is currently the Interim Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the CHHC. She is also the Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at UNMH. Dr. Goens is specially trained to perform fetal echocardiography to study the heart of a fetus before birth.

"The staff of the CHHC work to provide an atmosphere of familiarity for our patients and families," said Dr. Goens. "Families of patients can call directly to people they know to make appointments. Our nurse, medical assistants, Child Life team and sonographers get to know the children well and provide kid-friendly activities to distract them from the scary medical aspects of their care. This allows them to do more echocardiograms without sedation and prepare the children for procedures."

Here is a breakdown of what the CHHC has done in 2006:

- 41 children have had surgery at LPCH and returned for follow up care at UNM. Length of hospital stay and incidence of medical difficulties has been shown to have decreased with ongoing improvements made in the affiliation with LPCH.

- 1,500 cardiology outpatient visits in 2006

- 400 inpatient visits

- 2,000 echocardiographic studies performed

- 95 fetal echocardiographic studies performed

- March 2006, UNM Pediatric Cardiology hosted and co-sponsored with LPCH at Stanford a successful Continuing Medical Education (CME) conference to showcase the affiliation.

- In coordination with the CME conference, the UNM Pediatric Cardiology division organized a family reunion to celebrate all the children and their families who have traveled to LPCH for heart surgery.

For more information on the CHHC, visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/som/pediatrics/cardioth/

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