In honor of February being “heart month,” the February 21, 2014 episode of ABC’s The View, entitled “Barbara’s Heart to Heart,” featured Emile Bacha, MD, Director, Congenital and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian.

In this episode, Dr. Bacha escorts Barbara Walters through the hospital where she underwent heart surgery four years ago. She says that while most of us think of heart disease as affecting adults, babies can have heart disease too. Dr. Bacha introduces her to three such patients in the pediatric surgery ward, which treats children born with serious heart defects from before birth up to age 18.

According to Dr. Bacha, 99% of patients recover “very well” after surgery for congenital heart defects. But the team’s goal is not merely recovery. “Most are able to live normal lives and participate in sports and other activities. That is very important to us,” says Dr. Bacha.

In his typical modest style, Dr. Bacha says, “I am just the front person. The real work is done by everybody else — it truly takes a team.”


Transplant Patient Reunites with Care Team

by Columbia Surgery on January 30, 2014

Twenty years after receiving a heart and double-lung transplant at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, grateful patient Sean Kunzli and his family came to New York City for a celebratory reunion with his surgeon, Craig R. Smith, MD, and the team that performed this lifesaving surgery. Born with congenital heart disease, Mr. Kunzli underwent the risky and rare transplant in December 1993. Today, Mr. Kunzli is healthy and, according to Dr. Smith, one of the longest surviving recipients of a heart and double-lung transplant.


Sheila Ryan, Mr. Kunzli’s mother; John Siceloff and his wife, Birgit Jorgensen, NP, who was a transplant coordinator at NYP/Columbia in 1993 and is now at NYP/Weill Cornell; Deborah Songailo-Cottrill, Mr. Kunzli’s cousin; Dr. Craig R. Smith, Surgeon-in-Chief, NYP/Columbia; Sean Kunzli; Chelsea Kunzli, Mr. Kunzli’s daughter; Wendy Kunzli-Schaub, Mr. Kunzli’s sister; and Dr. Mark E. Ginsburg, Associate Director of Thoracic Surgery, NYP/Columbia

*Courtesy NY Press January 2014*


Adult Congenital Heart Disease: The Need for Follow-up Evaluation

July 23, 2013

TweetUpcoming BlogTalkRadio Features Marlon S. Rosenbaum, MD During the past three decades, advances in cardiac surgery have allowed most children born with structural heart defects to be successfully repaired. The success of cardiac surgery in childhood has led to the first generation of adults with congenital heart disease — a new population that simply did […]

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Fast-track Evaluation for Adults with Congenital Heart Disease

May 17, 2013

TweetOne-of-a-kind program provides single-day evaluation and consultation with senior ACH specialists. Adults who had childhood surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot or pulmonary stenosis should continue to be evaluated to ensure that their hearts are functioning well and to determine whether any further treatment may be needed. But many do not have regular follow-up with congenital […]

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The Power of Hospitality: Claire’s Tea Room

March 7, 2013

TweetSome people seem to have a gift for turning the most unlikely of circumstances into something beautiful. Claire Pace is one such person, having created a haven of warmth and comfort in the unlikely environs of a hospital floor where shell-shocked parents anxiously pace the halls and wait for news from their children’s heart surgeons. […]

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What types of heart diseases are treated with surgery?

February 8, 2013

TweetSometimes it takes more than medicine to treat heart disease. In this brief Sharecare video, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Emile Bacha discusses when and why heart disease requires surgery. Dr. Bacha is Chief, Division of Cardiac, Thoracic & Vascular Surgery and Director of Congenital and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Bacha […]

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2013 Cardiac Critical Care CME: Current Concepts in Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Critical Care

January 28, 2013

TweetCourse: Current Concepts in Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Critical Care Date:  Thursday, March 21, 2013 Time: 7:00am – 5:40pm Location: Columbia University Faculty House, 
64 Morningside Drive, 
New York, NY 10027 Course Director: Arthur J. Smerling, MD Program Director: Emile A. Bacha, MD Associate Program Director: Sandra M. McGill-Lane, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRN  NewYork-Presbyterian […]

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Colin’s Kids: Mothers of babies with congenital heart defects form non-profit to aid other families, fund research

May 31, 2012

TweetIn 2008, two families met in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, their infant sons each fighting for their lives. Andrew King, born with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), underwent surgery at four days old and is thriving today. Colin Molloy, born with hypoplastic left heart […]

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Heart transplant patient takes up new career; develops nutrition product to help other patients

May 29, 2012

TweetMost of us probably would not think of starting an ice cream company as a serious humanitarian gesture. But for Adrian Pace, his decision to leave a lucrative profession as hedge fund manager to start a healthy gelato company was just that. This is the story of Adrian Pace: a husband and father of two […]

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Spotlight on Pediatric Congenital Heart Surgery: Atrioventricular Canal Defect

February 24, 2012

Tweet“Ten fingers and ten toes” is the traditional measure of a healthy newborn. If only it were that simple. A more apt assessment would be, “four heart chambers separated by two functional valves and two complete septa.” It’s not quite as catchy, but when the count comes up short, it can make for a challenging […]

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