Richard Jonas, MD Division Chief, Cardiac Surgery

Bio

Biography

Dr. Jonas is chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and co-director of the Children's National Heart Institute. He is a world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeon specializing in optimizing the developmental and cognitive outcomes of patients after surgery for congenital heart disease. He is a pioneer of corrective surgery, personally performing more than 350 complex congenital reconstructive procedures annually.

Dr. Jonas has trained a large number of cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows during his career and maintains active NIH-supported laboratory and clinical research programs. Dr. Jonas also has helped in the development of a number of international cardiac surgical programs around the world and is a coveted international speaker and guest surgeon. He is the author of the leading pediatric cardiovascular surgery textbook in the field, Comprehensive Surgical Management of Congenital Heart Disease. He is also a co-author of two other textbooks in pediatric cardiac surgery.

Safe cardiopulmonary bypass is critical to the success of a cardiac surgical program. Dr. Jonas maintains active laboratory and clinical research programs. He has spent his career studying ways to improve the safety of cardiopulmonary bypass, particularly as it relates to neurological development. His development of a clinical research program in cardiopulmonary bypass techniques has revolutionized the field of pediatric cardiac surgery. Using safer strategies for bypass has resulted in improved outcomes, quicker intensive care unit recovery, shorter lengths-of-stay, fewer neurological injuries, and better long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Dr. Jonas continues to study advanced bypass techniques within the Children’s National Heart Institute in a dedicated research laboratory. He also has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Education & Training

Education & Training

  • MD, 1974
    University of Adelaide
Patient Stories

Patient Stories: Richard Jonas

Ryan B.'s Story

"Ryan's life had been saved by an amazing team of doctors and nurses."

Ryan's Story

Ryan was born with a rare condition -- his heart developed outside his body. Find out how Children's doctors worked together to help Ryan thrive.

Turner's Story

"These people weren't just coming to work, they had a passion for making our son healthy."

Patient story

Violet's Story

"Our fears and concerns were handled by the team at Children's National. You cannot be in better hands."

Maren's Story

"Randy and I knew Children's was the best choice for Maren and us as a family. I never had to beat myself up, wondering if we had made the right choice. It was already settled in my mind that the best choice was made."

Patient story

Matthew's Story

"The doctors and staff of Children's National mend the broken hearts of not only the children, but the family of those children as well. My son is alive and well today because of the miracle that happened at Children's National."

Patient story

Alex's Story

"He is proud of his scar. He likes to tell people he is special and when they ask him why, he will tell them he had a bad heart and the doctors at Children's National made it all better."

Patient story

Addison's Story

"If you are reading this because your child has been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, just know that you are in good hands at Children's."

Patient story

Derek's Story

"The doctors and nurses at Children's have always done everything that they can to make my experiences pleasant. In a sense, many have become an extension of my family."

Ian's Story

Ian was born with a heart that was not fully formed, the specialists at Children's National rebuilt his heart to function normally and gave him all the energy he'll ever need.

Gary's Story

"His experience has made him, and us, much stronger people. I am forever grateful to Children's National for saving his life."

Brayden's Story

"The world of congenital heart defects is scary, but to know that there are people like those at Children's National to help guide you along the way is very comforting."

Camdyn's Story

"The nurses, techs, and doctors at Children's National were absolutely amazing. They were always professional, compassionate, and kind. Each person there touched us in ways that are unimaginable."

Patient story

Athena's Story

"To all the parents out there with a baby with hypoplastic left heart, good days will come. These babies overcome what seems impossible and have so much love to offer."

Charlotte's Story

"It is a little scary to see your baby with tubes, lines, gauze, and all of the other medical gear occupying their body, but once the nurses explain what it all does and how it helps your baby, you will feel much better."

Patient story

Sarah's Story

"I know how difficult it is, when you don't have all the answers, and are not getting much sleep in the hospital with your child. I want to assure you that the answers will come."

Scott's Story

"You should know that your child is being cared for at the finest children's hospital in the world and he or she could not be in better hands."

Riley's Story

"Richard Jonas, MD, and his fellows came in and explained it all to me the best they could. One even drew me a picture. I was dealing with an issue that I really had no idea was such a big issue."

Patient story

Joshua's Story

"We realize that we were very lucky we lived so close to one of the best children's hospitals with the best cardiac surgeons!"

Patient story

Julyan's Story

"When we go to doctor visits, the staff always remembers Juju. They make you feel at home, talk to you about everything, and listen. Children's National is a great hospital. "

Jax's Story

"I know this is a scary time for you. But it's okay: you have Children's National."

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Ryan's Story

Ryan was born with a rare condition -- his heart developed outside his body. Find out how Children's doctors worked together to help Ryan thrive.

Read More of Ryan's Story