Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Partners with Tampa Hospital to Provide Cardiothoracic Services

October 2, 2014

PITTSBURGH, PA - October 2, 2014 - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC today announced a partnership with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., to assist their team with pediatric cardiothoracic services. Surgeons from the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital will provide highly specialized cardiovascular care for patients.

The partnership will be led by Victor Morell, M.D., co-director of the Heart Institute at Children's and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Children's pediatric cardiovascular surgery program has the lowest overall four-year surgical mortality rate among all medium- and high-volume programs with a rate of 1.1 percent, according to the latest data compiled by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (2008-2012).

"We are grateful for the opportunity to bring our unique expertise in pediatric heart surgery to families in Florida," said Dr. Morell. "We share a commitment with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital to provide the absolute best possible pediatric care to patients and families from the Tampa area and beyond."

In addition to collaborating with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital's cardiac team on surgical and non-invasive cardiology services, Children's experts will provide support to patients, families and caregivers in St. Joseph's Children's Hospital's cardiac intensive care unit via telemedicine.

Children's is leading the way in the development of telemedicine services to meet the needs of young patients regionally and around the world with video conferencing technologies that provide complex pediatric cardiac care through remote and virtual examinations — whenever and wherever expertise is needed.

For nearly two decades, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has provided a full spectrum of pediatric cardiac services, from less-invasive diagnostic catheterization, nonsurgical valve replacement and electrophysiology studies, to cardiovascular surgery for the rarest and most complex congenital heart defects. St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has been home to one of the largest pediatric cardiovascular programs in the southeast and is a regional referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects.

Prior to joining Children's in 2004, Dr. Morell led the pediatric cardiac surgical team at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

"This partnership brings the expertise of some of the country's top-ranking pediatric heart physicians to our community, providing families across Florida with unprecedented access to the highest level of pediatric heart care available," said Kimberly Guy, president, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,  

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,