I practice general, outpatient pediatric cardiology and have a special interest in acquired heart disease. I enjoy working as a team with children and families, providing information and helping parents understand and feel confident in their child’s health.
When I approach a family, one of the most important questions I have is: "How can I help today" or "What are you hoping to learn today." Families appreciate this approach, and it helps me make sure that I am meeting the needs of our diverse children and families.
My care approach values the family. Both the child and the parents are equal partners in the care plan, and they have unique and important contributions to make during our visits. I try to ensure that families leave my office feeling confident about their child's health. I always say, “Please don't worry at home. If you are worried, reach out so we can discuss it further.”
I am very involved with the American Heart Association. I serve as the chair of the Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease Committee; a member of the International Committee; and as the scientific lead on the Rheumatic Heart Disease Strategy Team. My research is funded by the Thrasher Research Fund and the American Heart Association, which awarded Cincinnati Children's a new Strategically Focused Research Grant in Health Technology and Innovation in 2020.
I have led diverse teams in many successful international collaborations. My early work through the KL2 scholar program focused on improving early detection of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) through echocardiographic screening. The American Heart Association recognized this work as one of the 2012 top 10 research advances in cardiovascular disease and stroke, featured in Nature Reviews Cardiology, and published in the journal Circulation. My work has been acknowledged nationally and internationally, and I have published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles on RHD.
My other research areas involve:
- Characterizing rheumatic fever in Uganda, where RHD is endemic. We are looking to understand why rheumatic fever rarely comes to clinical attention and to develop a biological test for rheumatic fever.
- Addressing RHD, an acquired heart disease in childhood that affects the most vulnerable populations around the world. My team and I want to improve prevention and early detection of rheumatic heart disease so that children around the world can live fuller, longer and happier lives.
There’s never a dull moment in our house with four young children. In our free time, we like to read books and go on family bike rides. I love to travel and have spent time abroad with our kids in Uganda, and around the world with my wonderful husband.
Rheumatic fever/heart disease
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Global Health, Cardiology