Contact: Gian Galassi
Madison—UW Health’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease program recently earned a five-year accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) for its expertise in serving adults living with the disease. UW Health’s program is one of only 19 in the nation to meet the ACHA’s medical services and personnel requirements and complete the rigorous accreditation process.
Congenital heart disease, one of the most common birth defects diagnosed in the U.S., is an umbrella term that covers a variety of structural abnormalities that can alter the way blood flows through the heart. Defects range from simple, which might cause little to no problems, to complex, which can cause life-threatening complications. Currently there are approximately 1.4 million adults in the U.S. living with CHD. To better serve this population, the ACHA last year launched the Adult Congenital Heart Disease accreditation program, which provides a community of support and network of experts with knowledge of the disease.
“We are honored to become part of this important network of programs that provides patients with the lifelong care required to best treat the various forms of congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Heather Bartlett, cardiologist and director of the UW Health program. “It’s a testament to the hard work and determination of our entire team and gives assurance to our patients that the care they’re receiving here is among the best in the nation.”
The UW Health Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program consists of a multidisciplinary team that works collaboratively to provide expert care for patients and their families. In addition to cardiologists and surgeons, the program includes imaging specialists, nurses, genetic counselors, pharmacists, exercise physiologists, subspecialists and social workers to provide comprehensive care specifically tailored for adults with congenital heart defects. The program also works closely with primary physicians and subspecialists to meet patients’ medical, surgical, obstetrical and social needs.