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Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Program

Contact number | 202-476-2020
boy patient sleeping with bear

A Second Chance
at Life

World-class care and personalized support give children renewed quality of life.

Read Teresa's Story

The Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Therapy Team specializes in managing children with heart failure using the latest and most advanced treatments, including ventricular assist devices (VADs) and heart transplantation.

The littlest hearts demand the most advanced care. Each child in our Advanced Cardiac Therapies (ACT) Program benefits from the experience and expertise of our heart team, many of whom are nationally renowned heart failure and transplant specialists.

Having heart failure does not mean your child’s heart has "failed”. It means your child’s heart cannot pump enough blood to the body.  Heart failure is a serious condition that requires an experienced team for management.  Our Advanced Cardiac Therapies Program is dedicated to managing children and adolescents with heart failure. 

Advanced Cardiac Therapies Program at Children’s National

The ACT team prides itself in providing the most advanced, comprehensive and family-centered therapies for their patients.

Features of the ACT program include:

  • Personalized care: There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treatment for heart failure. We work intimately with each family to create an individualized treatment plan that offers your child the best long-term outcome. We are constantly monitoring the effectiveness of treatments and making changes as necessary. In addition, we offer resources and emotional support to the entire family during this time.
  • Dedicated team: The multidisciplinary ACT team’s members have devoted their careers to understanding, managing and treating heart failure in children. The team consists of:
    • Physicians (cardiologists, surgeons and infectious disease specialists)
    • Nurses and nurse practitioners
    • Social workers
    • Pharmacists
    • Dietitians
    • Psychologists

The Advanced Cardiac Therapies Team also works closely with the Cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care teams to ensure continuity of care during inpatient stays. They also work closely with respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and child life specialists who are trained in working with children with heart disease to provide the most comprehensive care.

  • Full range of treatments. We use the latest advances in heart failure therapy to provide comprehensive and effective care for your child, including:
    • Ventricular assist devices (VADs)
    • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
    • Home infusions of inotropic drugs (medications that change the force of heart contractions)
    • Implanting biventricular pacemakers for cardiac resynchronization therapy, for children with heart failure who also develop arrhythmias
    • Using automatic cardioverter-defibrillator devices to treat life threatening arrhythmias.
  • Post-operative care.
  • Award-winning heart transplant program. Our program was named one of the inaugural Vanguard Heart Transplant Centers by the Pediatric Heart Transplant Society (PHTS). This award recognizes individual centers for their outstanding contribution to the Pediatric Heart Transplant Society Registry.
  • Transition to adult healthcare: As your child ages, we will help prepare them to take on responsibility for managing their own healthcare. When the timing is appropriate, we will help them seamlessly transfer to an adult heart failure and/or heart transplant team.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with the Advanced Cardiac Therapies team or to refer a patient, please email us or call 202-476-2020.


Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Program Team

  • Shriprasad Deshpande

    Shriprasad Deshpande
    Medical Director, Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Program

  • John Berger

    John Berger III
    Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Program
    Director, Cardiac ECMO

  • Niti Dham

    Niti Dham
    Director, Cardio-Oncology Program
    Advanced Imaging Cardiologist
    Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Cardiologist

  • Dr. Sairah Khan

    Sairah Khan
    Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Cardiologist

  • Can Yerebakan

    Can Yerebakan
    Associate Chief, Cardiac Surgery
    Director, HLHS Hybrid Program
    Director, Cardiovascular Surgery Fellowship Program

  • Dr. Kaushalendra Amatya

    Kaushalendra Amatya

  • Colleen Iler

    Colleen Iler
    Heart Transplant Coordinator

  • Laura Norris

    Laura Norris
    Advanced Practice Registered Nurse