A photo of Michael Gaies.

Michael Gaies, MD, MPH, MS

  • Executive Co-Director, Heart Institute
  • Division Director, Cardiology
  • Kindervelt Samuel Kaplan Chair
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



As a pediatric cardiologist, I treat children with pediatric and congenital heart disease — especially children with heart disease who require hospitalization. I believe that each patient and family deserve to be treated with dignity, in accordance with their wishes and values, and with consideration of both short- and long-term consequences of the decisions we make together.

Helping people is what drove me to pediatrics. In medical school, one of my mentors said it best: "I chose pediatrics because I knew it would never be difficult to muster the energy and focus necessary to take care of someone's child."

The physiology of congenital heart disease captivated me, and I loved the idea of taking care of children with life-threatening diseases and the potential to live long, happy, healthy lives because of the work of our team.

I’m privileged to be your child's physician, and I will care for them like they are the most important patient in the hospital. The best outcomes are achieved when patients and families are partners with physicians, nurses and other health professionals. Never hesitate to ask questions or share observations.

I also believe in continuous quality improvement in real-time. Our medical team must be accountable and reflective so that every patient we care for provides "teachable moments" for a better future.

My research focuses on understanding how to improve care for children with cardiovascular disease around the world. I started and led an organization, PC4, (Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium) that helps hospitals understand how they are performing in caring for children with heart disease and provides a learning community for hospitals to improve by studying one another's practices. I believe that the road to improvement comes through constantly measuring our performance, detecting areas where we can be stronger and learning from the best performing hospitals.

We received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to start our quality improvement collaborative, PC4, which turned into a decade's worth of work. I'm particularly proud of the dedication and success of the hundreds of people who contributed to the organization and demonstrated that our approach could improve and save lives.

The most important thing in the world to me is my wife and two daughters, Taylor and Abigail. We all love to travel and eat together; food is a major part of our family's life! Aside from them, I’m an admitted golf addict — I love to play it, watch it and buy equipment and other golf knick-knacks. Much to my family's embarrassment, I will sometimes stand in our house or out in public practicing my golf swing.

MD: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 2002.

MPH: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 2002.

Residency: Pediatrics, Boston Combined Residency in Pediatrics, Boston, MA, 2005.

Chief Residency: Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, 2006.

Fellowship: Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2010.

MSc in Health Care Research: University of Michigan, 2013.


Critical and acute care cardiology

Services and Specialties



Outcomes and quality assessment of perioperative care for congenital heart disease; multi-institutional collaborative quality improvement



Age at surgery and outcomes following neonatal cardiac surgery: An analysis from the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium. Smith, AH; Shin, AY; Tabbutt, S; Banerjee, M; Zhang, W; Borasino, S; Elhoff, JJ; Gaynor, JW; Ghanayem, NS; Pasquali, SK; et al. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2023; 165:1528-1538.e7.


Methods to Enhance Causal Inference for Assessing Impact of Clinical Informatics Platform Implementation. Gaies, M; Olive, MK; Owens, GE; Charpie, JR; Zhang, W; Pasquali, SK; Klugman, D; Costello, JM; Schwartz, SM; Banerjee, M. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2023; 16:e009277.


Preventing Cardiac Arrest in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Through Multicenter Collaboration. Alten, J; Cooper, DS; Klugman, D; Raymond, TT; Wooton, S; Garza, J; Clarke-Myers, K; Anderson, J; Pasquali, SK; Absi, M; et al. JAMA Pediatrics. 2022; 176:1027-1036.


Oral Aversion in Infants With Congenital Heart Disease: A Single-Center Retrospective Cohort Study. Goldstein, SA; Watkins, KJ; Lowery, RE; Yu, S; Knight, RM; Drayton, AK; Sayers, L; Gaies, M. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 2022; 23:e171-e179.


Relationship Between Gestational Age and Outcomes After Congenital Heart Surgery. Savorgnan, F; Elhoff, JJ; Guffey, D; Axelrod, D; Buckley, JR; Gaies, M; Ghanayem, NS; Lasa, JJ; Shekerdemian, L; Tweddell, JS; et al. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2021; 112:1509-1516.


Mortality from Pulmonary Hypertension in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU. Morell, E; Gaies, M; Fineman, JR; Charpie, J; Rao, R; Sasaki, J; Zhang, W; Reichle, G; Banerjee, M; Tabbutt, S. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2021; 204:454-461.


Influence of Early Extubation Location on Outcomes Following Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. Rooney, SR; Mastropietro, CW; Benneyworth, B; Graham, EM; Klugman, D; Costello, J; Ghanayem, N; Zhang, W; Banerjee, M; Gaies, M. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 21:e915-e921.


Predicting and Surviving Prolonged Critical Illness After Congenital Heart Surgery. Dewitt, AG; Rossano, JW; Bailly, DK; Bhat, PN; Chanani, NK; Kirkland, BW; Moga, MA; Owens, GE; Retzloff, LB; Zhang, W; et al. Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 48:e557-e564.


Improvement in Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Outcomes Through Interhospital Collaboration. Gaies, M; Pasquali, SK; Banerjee, M; Dimick, JB; Birkmeyer, JD; Zhang, W; Alten, JA; Chanani, N; Cooper, DS; Costello, JM; et al. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2019; 74:2786-2795.


Sustainability of Infant Cardiac Surgery Early Extubation Practices After Implementation and Study. Gaies, M; Pasquali, SK; Nicolson, SC; Shekerdemian, L; Witte, M; Wolf, M; Zhang, W; Donohue, JE; Mahle, WT. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2019; 107:1427-1433.

From the Blog

Gaies Named Executive Co-Director of Heart Institute
Heart and Lung

Gaies Named Executive Co-Director of Heart Institute

Michael Gaies, MD, MPH, MS12/4/2023

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