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Adult Congenital Heart Program

About Our Service

Thanks to advances in medical, surgical and transcatheter interventions, children born with congenital heart defects (disease) are now expected to live well into adulthood. In fact, the number of adults living with congenital heart disease (nearly two million) in the United States is far greater than the number of children affected and is expected to continue to grow each year.

Getting the Right Care
While the medical care and treatment for a congenital heart defect you received as an infant or child helped make things better, few defects are “cured." As an adolescent or adult with congenital heart disease, you need specialized, lifelong follow-up care provided by a regional Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) center of excellence. 

An ACHD center constitutes the medical ‘home’ required to identify and/or address not only the impact of a congenital heart defect, but also late onset complications commonly encountered. As a result, this type of specialized ACHD care has been demonstrated to improve quality of life and outcomes for ACHD patients. 

Our Expert Adult Congenital Care 
The Congenital Heart Center specializes in diagnosing and treating all congenital heart conditions regardless of age. In fact, we are one of the few centers in the country offering a seamless transition of care as patients mature into adulthood, and are proud to be one of the 112 self-reported adult congenital heart centers in North America, according to the Adult Congenital Heart Association

The adult congenital heart disease program was made to meet your special and complex needs through a multidisciplinary team of experts devoted to the lifelong care of individuals with congenital heart disease. Our team members received specialized training to understand and care for your heart and accommodate changes as you grow older. Our goal is to help transition age-appropriate adolescents (13 years of age or older) as well as adults living with congenital heart disease understand and successfully manage their own care, including:

• Description of congenital defect and prior surgeries
• Medications and preventing infection (endocarditis)
• Healthy lifestyle and exercise prescription
• Genetics, contraception and pregnancy
• Education and career choices
• Insurance counseling and financial resources
• Support systems available
• Planning advance directives, power of attorney

Expert Team Approach

Our adult congenital heart disease program is led by Stephen Cook, MD, FACC, a board certified specialist in adult congenital heart disease. Our multidisciplinary team includes a specially-trained adult congenital cardiologist, as well as a dedicated nurse practitioner, coordinator and medical social worker.

 Areas of expertise:
• Adolescent and adult congenital heart disease clinics
• Contraception and management of high-risk pregnancy
• Care of connective tissue disorders
• Cutting edge electrophysiology, transcatheter and surgical therapies
• Advanced heart failure therapy
• Cardiac transplantation evaluation 

ACHD Research

Dr. Stephen Cook’s research interests include assessment of quality metrics, patient-reported outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease and multi-program studies to assess residents’ knowledge and studies that examine current training practices of ACHD fellows.

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