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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

  • Fellowship Program, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1982
    Brigham & Women's Hospital
  • Residency Program, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1982
    Green Lane Hospital
  • Residency Program, General Surgery, 1979
    Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Residency Program, General Surgery, 1978
    Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Internship Program, 1976
    Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • MD, 1974
    University of Adelaide
Patient Stories

Patient Stories: Richard Jonas

Sophia

Sophia's Story

During a routine 20-week prenatal ultrasound, Carol Kando-Pineda’s obstetrician in Fredericksburg, Virginia, spotted abnormalities in Carol’s unborn child that she referred to as “possibly inconsistent with life.”

Ryan M

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.

Chip Teaser Image

Chip's Story

When Chip was born just three days after Christmas, his family was excited to welcome their new son into the world. But things immediately took a turn for the worse.


Ryan Morales and Kurt Newman

Ryan Morales' Story

Father and son Ryan and Alex Morales know what it’s like to spend days—even weeks in the hospital. The two have been patients at Children’s National Health System for more than 10 years. Their stories are connected by Children’s National physicians who have been treating them since 2005 and continue to see them improve and grow in more ways than one.

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. "

boy with shovel on beach

Ryan B.'s Story

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

April

Turner's Story

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

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Ryan's Story

Ryan M

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