Dr. Wernovsky is a senior consultant in pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Critical Care at Children National Hospital, having joined the faculty in 2018. He attended Brandeis University, receiving a BS degree in 1978 in anthropology and music. He attended Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, receiving his M.D. in 1982. He completed a pediatric residency at New York Hospital (now known as Weill Cornell Medical Center) in 1985, and his pediatric cardiology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1988, with a focus on cardiac intensive care. He was appointed the Associate Director of the Cardiac ICU through 1995.
Dr. Wernovsky moved to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1995, where he was Medical Director of one of the first Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Units in the United States. He was promoted to full Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2004, and developed one of the first Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Programs in 2008, where he was the medical director from 2008-2012. He was the Director of Patient and Family Centered Care of the Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital from 2014-2016.
At Children’s National Hospital, he is member of the NeuroCardiac Critical Care Team, and is a Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Regarding research, he was a study physician in the landmark Boston Circulatory Arrest Study from 1987-1992, and was the Principal Investigator of the international PRIMACORP study from 2002-2003, at the time the largest multicenter trial in pediatric cardiac intensive care.
He was the co-chair of the Perioperative Working Group of the Pediatric Heart Network, National Institutes of Health in 2009, and a member of the Special Emphasis Panel for review of NHLBI Pediatric Heart Network Clinical Research Centers in 2016. He is currently a co-investigator for an ongoing NIH-funded clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of the intraoperative delivery mesenchymal stromal cells for neuroprotection during cardiac surgery. He has edited six textbooks and 13 periodicals, and has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and reviews. He has an H-index of 91 and his work has been cited over 25,000 times.
He is a founding member of:
- Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (1996)
- International Society of Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support(2009)
- World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery (2010)
- Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative (2016)
- Congenital Heart Academy (2020) – which presented over 100 webinars free of charge in 2020-2021 during the Coronavirus Pandemic, to over 26,000 attendees in over 115 countries.
Dr. Wernovsky is the co-chair of the upcoming 8th Quadrennial World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, planned for August, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
He was awarded the prestigious Newburger-Bellinger Award in 2015, for his lifetime contributions to the field of Neurodevelopment in children with heart disease. In 2021, Dr. Wernovsky was awarded the 2021 Maria Serratto Master Educator Award by the Section on Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Master Educator Award is presented each year to a pediatric cardiologist or cardiothoracic surgeon who exemplifies excellence in the areas of education, mentorship and/or leadership.
Dr. Wernovsky has been involved in the training and mentoring of over 300 fellows in pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, neonatology, critical care medicine and cardiac anesthesia, in addition to countless residents and medical students.