South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday October 24, 2017
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January 2011 - Volume 7 - Issue 7

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Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Receives Federal Approval to Open Pediatric Heart Transplant Program

With an expert cardiac transplant team standing by and one patient waiting for a heart, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital recently achieved an extraordinary milestone. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital received federal approval from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) to launch a pediatric heart transplant program, clearing the path for pediatric cardiac surgeons to perform the first heart transplant in the history of the hospital on December 15.

“This is a momentous occasion for our team, but it’s also great news for our surrounding communities and the patients and families we have the pleasure to serve,” said Frank Scholl, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. “The establishment of this program is truly an advancement in medical care in this community, and one that will impact the lives of many children and families in years to come.”
 
With this new program in Broward County, many families will benefit by having a specialized team closer to home. Prior to federal approval, statistics showed that a large number of children did not have sufficient access to heart transplant services, and many had to seek services outside South Florida and even out of state. 
 
The approval of the program is the culmination of years of strategic planning, including the formation of a pediatric cardiac transplant team with the right mix of expertise and compassion.
 

(l-r) Dr. Maryanne Chrisant, Chris Mashburn, R.N., and Dr. Frank Scholl.

On December 10, the program received UNOS accreditation. The first patient received a heart transplant at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital five days later. As of today, the child is currently recovering and doing well, according to Dr. Scholl, who was recruited in 2007 from Monroe Carrel Children's Hospital in Vanderbilt University, where he served as the Director of Heart/Lung Transplant Program and Director of the VAD (Ventricular Assist Device) Program, both at Vanderbilt University.
 
Dr. Scholl, together with Maryanne Chrisant, M.D., who was hired in 2010 as the medical director of the pediatric heart transplant team, and Chris Mashburn, R.N., who serves as the director of clinical programs and lead transplant coordinator, form the core of the transplant team.
 
Dr. Chrisant is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in pediatric transplantation and heart failure. Her career highlights include serving as the medical director for the Pediatric Heart Transplant and Heart Failure Services at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio and as director for the Heart Transplantation and Heart Failure Programs and co-director of the Transplant Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
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