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Smidt Heart Institute’s Adult Congenital Heart Care Earns Accreditation

Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program Expands to Also Provide Patient Care at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center

The Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai has earned accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association, becoming one of only six programs in California and just 50 in the U.S. to be awarded the organization’s highest distinction.  

Additionally, the program has recently expanded its expertise and is now offered in an outpatient setting at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center.

“This accreditation is a testament to years of hard work building an adult congenital heart disease program of excellence and Rose Tompkins, MDmarks the beginning of a lasting legacy of world-class care for these patients at Cedars-Sinai,” said Rose Tompkins, MD, associate director of the Adult Congenital Heart Program at the Smidt Heart Institute. “It helps ensure that the needs of a growing population of adults with congenital heart disease are being met.”

Patients with congenital heart disease are born with structural problems with their heart. For example, a patient could be born with malformed heart valves or problems with their arteries that restrict blood flow.

Although many congenital heart care programs are aimed at taking care of pediatric patients, the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program treats complex cases for patients of all ages—from before birth to older adulthood. Pediatric cardiologists work alongside adult congenital cardiologists to ease the transition of care as the patient ages.

“The continuum of care we offer to our patients is unmatched,” Tompkins said. “Patients with congenital heart disease receive care from the same providers throughout their lives, never aging out of the health system like they would at a children’s hospital.”

According to the Adult Congenital Heart Association, nearly two million adults in the U.S. have congenital heart disease—the most common birth defect. Thanks to advancements in surgery, clinical care and the field of pediatric cardiology, today’s survival rate into adulthood is upward of 90%.

Research shows that patients have better outcomes when they are treated at an accredited center by physicians specialized in the disease.

Accreditation requires specialized expertise among cardiologists, including advanced training, rigorous standards for outpatient Christine M. Albert, MD, MPHand inpatient care, access to specialized medical services and procedures, congenital cardiac catheterization as well as access to high-risk pregnancy care and a heart transplantation program.

“Our congenital heart program has seen tremendous growth, and we anticipate that growth to accelerate with this accreditation,” said Christine Albert, MD, MPH, professor, chair of the Department of Cardiology and the Lee and Harold Kapelovitz Distinguished Chair in Cardiology. “We are honored to receive this distinction and also gratified that we can now offer the same level of highly specialized care to adult congenital heart disease patients in the San Fernando Valley.”

Tompkins will oversee the program at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana and provide care alongside adult congenital cardiologist Prashanth Venkatesh, MD, and other congenital heart specialists in the Smidt Heart Institute.

The Smidt Heart Institute is ranked #1 in California and #3 in the nation for Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2022-23.”

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Continuity of Care Makes Future Brighter for Young Heart Patient