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Children's National Heart Institute

Contact number | 202-476-2020
Dr and child

World-Class Care and Expertise

Our pediatric cardiac care team is the largest in the Washington, D.C., region, performing more than 600 cardiac surgery procedures each year.

Learn more about cardiac surgery

(en español)

Thousands of families from around the region, nation, and world seek care at Children’s National Heart Institute from our team of internationally respected pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. When you come to Children’s National Hospital, you are getting a team that includes pediatric experts from more than 40 subspecialties, ensuring your child has the best possible care.

Highlights of the Heart Institute, include:
  • More specialists than anyone in the region. We have a team of board-certified pediatric cardiologists who see patients throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. This means access to the very best cardiac care for families when they need it.
  • Surgical expertise. Our pediatric cardiac surgery team performs hundreds of cardiac surgeries each year – twice the number of surgeries of any other hospital in the region and with strong outcomes nationally. Learn more about our cardiac surgery outcomes.
  • Prioritizing your child's development. Our neurodevelopmental team evaluates our heart patients from infancy through their teenage years in our Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Program. Our goal is to identify developmental problems before a child’s school performance is affected. We provide recommendations and treatment planning for parents, teachers and healthcare providers.
  • Pioneering research. At Children’s National, we don’t just use advanced techniques and devices. We are actively involved in identifying and developing the next generation procedures and technology that will make pediatric heart care safer and more effective.
  • Family-centered care. Cheerful, warm rooms with televisions and DVDs, and enough space for families to stay comfortably with their child. We designed our Heart Institute around you, so your time with us will be as pleasant as possible. Children and families are at the core of what we do and continues to lead the way with an innovative and imaginative approach.

Our Programs and Services

Every child with a heart problem who comes to Children’s National receives the unique focus of our dedicated pediatric heart team. The team includes cardiologists, surgeons, interventionalists, intensivists, prenatal cardiology specialists, cardiac anesthesiologists, and nurse practitioners. We provide specialized care in the areas of:

  • Cardiology
    We offer programs for pediatric cardiac catheterization, imaging, electrophysiology, prenatal cardiology, preventive cardiology, as well as a unique adult congenital program for managing patients as they transition from pediatric care to adult care. Learn more about Cardiology.
  • Cardiac Surgery
    Our surgeons perform the largest volume of pediatric surgeries in the Washington, DC, area with one of the best success rates for cardiac surgery in the nation. The Children’s team performs corrective procedures for Tetralogy of Fallot, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and Fontan, among others. Learn more about Cardiac Surgery.
  • Cardiac Anesthesiology
    Having 24/7 access to pediatric anesthesiologists is critical. We are one of the few programs in the country to offer a specialized pediatric cardiac anesthesia team. Each member of our team is a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist with subspecialty training and certification in pediatric cardiac anesthesia. We are uniquely qualified to manage your child’s needs during heart surgery. Learn more about Cardiac Anesthesiology.
  • Cardiac Intensive Care
    The Cardiac ICU provides advanced subspecialty care for patients who are critically ill with congenital or acquired heart disease. Our state-of-the-art unit is a 34,000 square foot space with 26 beds and private rooms. Each room has sleeping accommodations for family members and other amenities to reduce the stress of critical illness. Learn more about Cardiac Intensive Care.

Excellent Care from World-Class Leaders

An internationally respected leader in pediatric electrophysiology, Heart Institute co-director and chief of the Division of Cardiology, Charles Berul, M.D., is recognized for his extensive clinical and research experience, and he has particular expertise in inherited heart rhythm abnormalities, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation and cardiac screenings for pediatric athletes. He leads a team of board-certified pediatric cardiologists who see patients throughout the metro area, which means access to the very best cardiac care for families when and where they need it.

World-renowned, pediatric cardiac surgeon Yves d'Udekem, M.D., Ph.D., is the chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and co-director of the Heart Institute. He is recognized for expertise in the most challenging procedures for newborns and children with complex congenital heart disease, including the repair of single ventricle anomalies. Dr. d'Udekem has additional expertise in valve repair, artificial hearts and other cardiac assist devices.

Ricardo Muñoz, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiac Critical Care Medicine and co-director of the Heart Institute is a pioneer and innovator in the fields of cardiac critical care and telemedicine. He oversees the work of a multidisciplinary team, including critical care nurse practitioners and nurses, respiratory and physical therapists, nutritionists, social workers and pharmacists.


Encompassing Care


  • Our specialists are international leaders who have pioneered new tools and techniques used all over the world, like pulse oximetry, a test that saves newborns' lives.

  • We care for the brain in addition to the heart, so children not only survive, but also thrive. The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Program ensures the best possible neurological outcomes.

  • Performing more than 3,000 fetal echocardiograms annually, our Prenatal Cardiology Program is the largest program in the region.

  • We have the region’s first and only pediatric Cardiac ICU.
  • We treat the whole child, paying attention to both physical and emotional needs.

  • Parents are included as a key part of the care team and encouraged to participate in daily rounds with the medical team.

  • Dedicated social workers, child life specialists, and case managers help ensure that families have the support they need.

Children’s National patients can receive common to complex care, including imaging and post-operative care, at many locations so parents can find one close to home. Some locations include:

Learn more about our cardiology locations.

Teresa's Story


Teresa Dejesus

Teresa, age 2, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and waited on the Berlin Heart EXCOR® Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) for nine months while she waited for a heart transplant. Her heart arrived on Christmas Day.

Teresa's Story

Children's National Heart Institute Team