Children’s National’s David Wessel Receives American Heart Association’s Meritorious Achievement Award Children’s National’s David Wessel Receives American Heart Association’s Meritorious Achievement Award November 07, 2012

November 7, 2012

Washington, DC—Children’s National Medical Center is pleased to announce that David L. Wessel, MD, has received the prestigious Meritorious Achievement Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Cardiovascular Disease of the Young. The award is a national career achievement award recognizing an individual who has made a significant impact in the field of pediatric cardiovascular disease. It was presented last night at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Dr. Wessel is Senior Vice President for the Center for Hospital-Based Specialties at Children’s National and is the Ikaria Distinguished Professor of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Wessel is board certified in four areas: anesthesiology, pediatrics, pediatric cardiology, and pediatric critical care medicine. He helped define and create the field of pediatric cardiac intensive care and has trained many of the leading practitioners in the field today. 

 “David has made countless contributions to pediatric medicine, and we’re delighted that he has been recognized for his tireless efforts,” said Kurt D. Newman, MD, President and CEO at Children’s National. “His work, both as a clinician and researcher, has advanced pediatric cardiac critical care and has impacted kids nationally and internationally.”

Dr. Wessel has extensive experience as a clinical researcher, designing, and leading several international, multi-center randomized trials. He currently serves as principal investigator and member of the steering committee for the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. He also led the CLARINET study, the largest prospective drug trial ever performed in children with heart disease. His research has led to the development of novel therapies for newborns with congenital heart disease, as well as advances in pulmonary hypertension. 

“I’m humbled to be recognized by the American Heart Association and to have my work honored,” said Dr. Wessel. “I hope that my work has helped increase awareness, improved outcomes, and brought hope to the thousands of children with congenital heart disease and their families.”

Dr. Wessel oversees 11 clinical divisions and a team of more than 700 physicians and hospital employees. He was recently honored by the French Society of Pediatric Cardiology in Paris and served as co-chairman of the recent International Symposium of Pulmonary Hypertension and Heart Failure in Children, held in Shanghai, China.


Contact Emily Dammeyer or Paula Darte, Public Relations: 202.476.4500.


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Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. Children’s National is a Magnet® designated hospital. With 303 beds and eight regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of acute pediatric services in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information, visit ChildrensNational.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


About Children’s National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National’s hospital is Magnet designated, and is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, eight regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as an advocate for all children.

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