About the Heart Institute

Every year, referring physicians and families of more than 18,000 patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) and acquired heart disease choose the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh when they need the most advanced, experienced, and comprehensive cardiac care available. Here, physicians and staff work with patients and their families toward the common goal of helping children, teens and adults with heart disease live their lives to the fullest.

The Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s achieves outstanding surgical outcomes and provides advanced clinical care to patients of all ages. We are consistently ranked among the top institutions in the nation by prestigious national forums.

  • For the ninth consecutive reporting period, the Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s has achieved the highest possible ranking by the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) metrics in 2021.
  • UPMC Children's is ranked among the top ten hospitals in the nation for Pediatric Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2023 - 2024. This ranking was determined from thorough analysis of data in fields spanning from surgical outcomes to patient and family support.

What makes us a Heart Institute?

Spanning a Lifetime

The Heart Institute offers a complete array of services that span a patient’s lifetime. From the tiniest patients—those who are still in the womb—through adults with congenital heart disease, once you are a patient at the Heart Institute, we stay with you—for life. Learn more about the services we offer from prenatal to adult congenital.

For children with Down Syndrome, the Heart Institute is well supported by the Down Syndrome Center, with locations at Children's Hospital and throughout western Pennsylvania. Find out more. 

World-Class Heart Institute

At the Heart Institute, welcome patients from around the world to receive care. We offer resources to ensure that every patient receives comprehensive treatment during all aspects of their journey. From travel assistance, overnight and transportation accommodations, to translation services, the team at the Heart Institute ensures patients receive a world-class experience.

Learn more about the resources we offer to patients and families.

Program Highlights

The Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s is among the top institutions in the country for cardiology and heart surgery. We have a rich history in patient care and clinical excellence.

  • Our program has welcomed patients and their families from 22 countries.
  • The pediatric Heart and Lung Transplant Program, part of the Heart Institute, has performed more heart-lung transplants in children than any other center in the U.S.
  • The Heart and Lung Transplant Program at UPMC Children’s has performed more than 450 organ transplants in children to date, including more than 360 heart transplants.
  • UPMC Children’s has over 30 years of experience using ventricular assist devices (VADs) to help children with heart failure.
  • The Heart Institute is home to the Da Silva Center for Ebstein’s Anomaly, where Luciana da Fonseca da Silva, MD, and Jose Pedro da Silva, MD, the creator of the cone procedure, operate on patients from around the world with Ebstein’s anomaly.
  • We are an Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Platinum Center of Excellence – the highest designation for Excellence in Life Support by ELSO.
  • The UPMC Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program is accredited by the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) for the program’s excellence in clinical care and patient support, one of only 50 centers across the nation to receive this recognition.

The Heart Institute Team

Our team of more than 170 physicians, nurses and therapists are among the best in the nation, and in the world. Our specialists medically manage every type of heart symptom – from chest pain and fainting to heart rhythm disorders – as well as perform the most challenging heart-lung transplants. We receive some of the most difficult and complex cases and achieve exceptional outcomes that are among the best in the country. 

The Heart Institute is led by co-directors:

Victor Morell, MD

Surgeon-in-Chief
Chief, Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
Co-Director, Heart Institute, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Co-Director, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Vice Chair and Director of Cardiovascular Services, UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Thoracic Surgery Residency, University of Pittsburgh
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Jacqueline Kreutzer, MD

Chief, Pediatric Cardiology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Medical Director, Heart Institute, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
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Avihu Zalman Gazit, MD

Chief, Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Medicine
Director, Cardiac Critical Care Services
Co-director, Heart Institute
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
View full profile

Learn more about our world-class physicians and staff.

Attracting the Best and the Brightest

The Heart Institute is committed to nurturing the next generation of pediatric cardiologists and physician-scientists by providing rigorous, high-quality training opportunities. Our cardiology fellowship programs are among the most highly sought-after positions and continue to draw outstanding applicants from some of the country’s best universities and residency programs. In addition, our nursing and respiratory therapy training programs and continuing medical education courses offer opportunities for staff and practicing physicians to continually hone their skills and remain current. Learn more about our Cardiology Fellowship program.

Improving Lives Through Research

Our physician-scientists are on the forefront of basic and clinical research in such areas as heart transplant outcomes optimization, pediatric ventricular assist device development, and the genetic mechanisms of congenital heart disease. Learn more about our groundbreaking research.

Contact Us

To refer a patient, visit our health care professionals page or complete our online form.

Patients or families can contact the Heart Institute by email at CHPHeartReferral@chp.edu, by phone at 412-692-5540, or by completing our online form.