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150 Years of Compassion in the Cath Lab

150 Years Stronger Patient Story The Cath Lab at Children's National

Caring for sick kids is at the heart of Children’s National Hospital. In our cardiac catheterization lab, a courageous and devoted group of interventional cardiologists, nurses and cardiovascular invasive specialists treats some of the sickest children in the hospital. “Our ‘cath lab’ is one of the higher risk environments and yet we have unbelievably good outcomes,” says cardiac anesthesiologist, Dr. Andrew Matisoff. The team has more than 150 combined years of experience.

“This team excels in that no-margin-for-error kind of work,” says interventional cardiologist Dr. Joshua Kanter, who has led the cath lab team for 9 years. “These individuals like to be at the cutting edge of their skills, barreling down at full speed to take care of patients in ways that others couldn’t imagine. This is what makes them exceptional.” Many have dedicated their entire careers to Children’s National, including registered cardiovascular invasive specialist Dan Sage (27 years) and nurses Cathy Connors (22 years) and Charlies Fleming (18 years).

Dr. Kanter says team members have more than sharp skills and dedication; they are infinitely compassionate. Recently he spoke with a teenage patient who aspires to be a doctor. “The mom was beaming,” he says. “She was looking around at our team knowing that our care saved her son’s life. There’s a happiness that comes from using our skills to enable a sick kid to go back to just being a regular kid.”