Joint Heart Program with Kentucky Children’s Hospital

Joint Heart Program: Cincinnati Children's and Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Nationally Recognized Experts. Nationally Ranked Care.


When it comes to pediatric heart conditions, getting the absolute best care possible is vital. That’s what Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s have teamed up to provide, combining the expertise of the #1 hospital in Kentucky with one of the country’s best children’s hospitals. Led by nationally recognized experts like Dr. Carl Backer, the collaboration is one of the top pediatric heart programs in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2020 - 2021 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

With our one-program, two-sites model, the world-class heart surgeons at Cincinnati Children’s work closely with the cardiology experts at Kentucky Children’s Hospital to provide a full spectrum of the most advanced heart care available, from assessment and diagnosis to complex surgery and post-surgical care. It’s an innovative collaboration dedicated to providing the level of heart care that kids across Kentucky deserve – close to home.

Joint Heart Program.

Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time

What Sets Us Apart

Our one program, two sites model provides care at the location most appropriate for Kentucky patients and their family. This includes: 

  • Leadership of Carl Backer, MD, who is chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, in addition to his primary appointment as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s. Dr. Backer has extensive experience and expertise as a cardiac surgeon, and a long track record of leadership in the field. 
  • Specialized team for patients of all ages with pediatric and adult congenital heart disease, including adult congenital cardiology
  • Advanced pediatric cardiac imaging onsite
  • Dedicated Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) with specially trained cardiac care team members (CICU MDs, RNs and APPs)
  • A pediatric cardiac operating room and team of dedicated pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, interventional catheterization and EP providers, surgeon and perfusion team
  • Sub-specialty telehealth clinics to connect families, patients and providers from Kentucky Children’s Hospital with experts at Cincinnati Children’s for additional convenience to the patients and their families
  • More than 20 outreach clinics throughout Kentucky for increased access

Along with these services provided, the expert team shares the same joint safety and quality reporting standards, including public reporting of surgical results to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database as well as catheterization and electrophysiology results to IMPACT. We maximize our patients’ quality of life and survival.

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