Care at 5 Locations
Our skilled multidisciplinary team sets the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program apart from any other ACHD programs in the Chicago area. Lisa Forbess, MD, leads the program; Andrew deFreitas, MD, directs ACHD outreach, research and imaging; and Marla Mendelson, MD, directs the ACHD Program at Northwestern Medicine. All three cardiologists have specific training and experience in caring for adolescents and adults with CHD. Our surgery team includes Joseph Forbess, MD, MBA, Division Head of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery, who is board-certified in thoracic surgery and congenital cardiac surgery; and Michael Monge, MD, who directs adult congenital heart surgery and is board-certified in thoracic surgery. The surgical outcomes for repair of congenital heart disease at Lurie Children’s are among the best in the nation, as reported by the STS. We offer a unique adolescent to adult care transition program that is customized for each patient.
When an adolescent patient is deemed ready for transition into the ACHD program, their pediatric cardiologist will refer them to an ACHD cardiologist at Lurie Children’s. As they grow older, many patients who stay in the greater Chicago area can transfer their care to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s ACHD Program, while some with more complex cardiac conditions may benefit from continuing care at Lurie Children’s. This care coordination from pediatric cardiologist to ACHD cardiologist provides a seamless continuity of care and reduces risks of problems from multiple hand-offs to different physicians.
We prioritize information sharing and education efforts on behalf of other doctors about the care ACHD patients should receive. Lurie Children’s is a member institution of the Chicago Adult Congenital Heart Network (CATCH), which is a patient-centered, multi-institutional network of ACHD programs in the metro Chicago region. CATCH was created to help ensure that all adults with CHD in the area receive appropriate follow-up care in keeping with national practice guidelines.