In recognition of its expertise in serving adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford's and Stanford Health Care's joint program has received accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), a nationwide organization focused on connecting patients, family members, and health care providers to form a community of support and network of experts with knowledge of congenital heart disease CHD.
Individuals with CHD, the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. There are now 1.4 million adults in the U.S. living with one of the many different types of congenital heart defects that range among simple, moderate, and complex.
"At Stanford we are passionate about ensuring high-quality patient-centered care for our adult congenital heart patients," said Susan Fernandes, director of Stanford's Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program. "The ACHA ACHD accreditation not only acknowledges our efforts but pushes us and ACHD programs across the country to pursue the ultimate goal of exceptional care that results in an excellent quality of life and normal life expectancy."
The program is a Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Stanford Health Care collaboration, which provides a unique approach to care with a team of clinicians and cardiothoracic surgeons who specialize in caring for adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease. The program received accreditation by meeting ACHA's criteria, which include medical services and personnel requirements, and going through a rigorous accreditation process, both of which were developed over a number of years through a collaboration with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients.
"Our specialty is ensuring a smooth transition from pediatric cardiology to adult care and providing a comprehensive approach to congenital cardiac care in adulthood," said Fernandes.