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Children's National Heart Institute

Contact number | 202-476-2020
Dr and child

World-Class Care and Expertise

Our pediatric cardiac care team is the largest in the Washington, D.C., region, performing more than 600 cardiac surgery procedures each year.

Learn more about cardiac surgery

(En Español)

The Children’s National Heart Institute provides specialized expertise across the full spectrum of congenital and acquired heart disease in children – from the most common to the most complex. In addition to general cardiac care, our renowned, multidisciplinary team offers state-of-the-art cardiac imaging and diagnostics, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology, heart surgery and cardiac intensive care. View our programs and services.

Choosing Children’s National for Heart Care

  • Surgical expertise. Our renowned pediatric cardiac surgeons conduct more than 600 cardiac procedures each year, and care for a range of cardiac anomalies from the very rare to the most common issues. We are also one of few programs in the United States that offers a team of anesthesiologists subspecialty trained and certified in pediatric cardiac anesthesiology. Learn more about our heart surgery outcomes.
  • Lifelong care. Children's National is home to 1 of only 40 Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA)-accredited programs in 25 states. Not only do we provide quality care for children with common and complex heart conditions, we provide specialized care for adult patients with congenital heart defects.
  • Prioritizing your child's development. The approach to cardiac care at Children’s National extends beyond traditional cardiac care to include a specialized focus on the developing brain and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes with our Neuro-Cardiac Critical Care Program. Clinical care begins with a prenatal diagnosis in the Prenatal Cardiology Program and then continues through any needed surgical procedures.
  • Pioneering research. At Children’s National, we don’t just use advanced techniques and devices. We are actively involved in identifying and developing the next generation of procedures and technology, such as tiny pacemakers for infants, that will enable the safest and most effective care of children’s hearts.
  • Family-centered care. We work closely with you and your child throughout every step of the care process, in order to support the physical and emotional needs of your family during your child’s treatment journey. Our team, including child life specialists, social workers, chaplains and behavioral health experts, offers the emotional support and resources parents and families need during this time.

World Class Expertise

Thousands of families around the world seek care at Children’s National Heart Institute from our team of internationally-respected pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. When you come to Children’s National, you are getting a team that includes pediatric experts from more than 40 subspecialties, ensuring your child has the best possible care.

Founded by congenital heart disease and pulse oximetry expert Gerard Martin, M.D., the Heart Institute is currently led by first-class doctors, including:

  • Charles Berul, M.D., co-director of the Heart Institute and chief of the Division of Cardiology is a internationally respected leader in pediatric electrophysiology. He is recognized for his extensive clinical and research experience, and he has particular expertise in inherited heart rhythm abnormalities, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation and cardiac screenings for pediatric athletes. He leads a team of board-certified pediatric cardiologists who see patients throughout the metro area, which means access to the very best cardiac care for families when and where they need it.
  • Yves d'Udekem, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and co-director of the Heart Institute is a world-renowned, pediatric cardiac surgeon. He is recognized for expertise in the most challenging procedures for newborns and children with complex congenital heart disease, including the repair of single ventricle anomalies. Dr. d'Udekem has additional expertise in valve repair, artificial hearts and other cardiac assist devices.
  • Ricardo Muñoz, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiac Critical Care Medicine and co-director of the Heart Institute is a pioneer and innovator in the fields of cardiac critical care and telemedicine. He oversees the work of a multidisciplinary team, including critical care nurse practitioners and nurses, respiratory and physical therapists, nutritionists, social workers and pharmacists.


Encompassing Care


  • Our specialists are international leaders who have pioneered new tools and techniques used all over the world, like pulse oximetry, a test that saves newborns' lives.

  • We care for the brain in addition to the heart, so children not only survive, but also thrive. The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Program ensures the best possible neurological outcomes.

  • Performing more than 3,000 fetal echocardiograms annually, our Prenatal Cardiology Program is the largest program in the region.

  • We have the region’s first and only pediatric Cardiac ICU.
  • We treat the whole child, paying attention to both physical and emotional needs.

  • Parents are included as a key part of the care team and encouraged to participate in daily rounds with the medical team.

  • Dedicated social workers, child life specialists and case managers help ensure that families have the support they need.

Children’s National patients can receive common to complex care, including imaging and post-operative care, at many locations so parents can find one close to home. Some locations include:

Learn more about our cardiology locations.

Sophia's Story

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)


During a routine 20-week prenatal ultrasound, Carol Kando-Pineda’s obstetrician in Fredericksburg, Virginia, spotted abnormalities in Carol’s unborn child that she referred to as “possibly inconsistent with life.”

Sophia's Story

Children's National Heart Institute Team