Best Children’s Hospitals – U.S.News and World Report – Cardiology and Heart Surgery 2018-19

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

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Appointments 1.800.543.7362

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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.

Conditions We Treat

View a list of conditions our specialists treat. 

Our Specialists

ForbessLisa18_epi.jpgLisa Forbess, MD

Dr. Lisa Forbess is the Medical Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) program at Lurie Children’s and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Forbess graduated from Harvard Medical School and trained in Adult and Pediatric Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Forbess is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease as well as Adult Congenital Heart Disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Forbess has advanced training in echocardiography and has expertise in preconception counseling, contraceptive counseling and in the management of heart disease in pregnancy.

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defreitasandrew_resized.jpgAndrew de Freitas, MD

Dr. de Freitas is an attending of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease program at Lurie Children’s, and the Co-Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease program at Northwestern Memorial. He is dually certified in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, as well as Pediatric Cardiology and Adult Cardiology. Additionally, Dr. de Freitas is interested in non-invasive cardiac imaging including cardiac MRI.

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MongeMichael_epi.jpgMichael Monge, MD

Dr. Michael Monge is a cardiovascular-thoracic surgeon at Lurie Children’s. He serves as our director of adult congenital heart surgery as well as director of pediatric mechanical circulatory support with dual privileges at Northwestern Medicine. Dr. Monge has been practicing at Lurie Children’s since 2013.

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forbessjoseph_resized.jpgJoseph Forbess, MD, MBA

Dr. Forbess is the Division Head of the Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery department as well as the Surgical Director for the Single Ventricle Reconstruction Program. Dr. Forbess is board certified in thoracic surgery and congenital cardiac surgery. Dr. Forbess joined Lurie Children’s in 2017. 

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backercarl_resized.jpgCarl Backer, MD

Dr. Backer is part of our Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery department as well as the A.C. Buehler Professor of Surgery. Dr. Backer has been on staff at Lurie Children’s since 1988. Dr. Backer serves as the President of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society.

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eltayebosama_resized.jpgOsama Eltayeb, MD

Dr. Eltayeb has been part of the Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery team at Lurie Children’s since 2014. Additionally, he serves as an Assistant Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is board certified in Thoracic Surgery and General Surgery.

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hornjenifer_resized.jpgJeni Horn, APN

Jenifer is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner who is able to provide care for patients of any age, birth through adulthood. As a member of the ACHD team, she provides care to adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Jenifer provides consultation services both at Lurie Children’s and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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druzbackamarta_resized.jpgMarta Druzbacka, APN

Marta is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and brings years of experience taking care of Pediatric and Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) patients. She is a member of our ACHD team and provides consultation services both at Lurie Children’s and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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Make an Appointment

Please call KIDS DOC at 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDSDOC) to schedule your appointment with the ACHD Program team. 

Before an appointment is scheduled, please sign a Release of Information in order to obtain past medical records. Signed forms can be emailed to ACHD@luriechildrens.org or faxed to 312.227.9640 marked "Attention: ACHD".

Lurie Children’s ACHD Contact Information
225 E. Chicago Ave, Box 21
Chicago, IL 6611
F: 312.227.9640

For questions, please call Kara Barto at 312.227.4403.

ACHD Events

Check out photos from past ACHD Education events: 

Stay tuned for our upcoming ACHD Education Day in Summer 2019!

Related Specialties

The Division of Cardiology is committed to excellence in the care of young patients with congenital and acquired heart disease — from the fetus to the adult. Our mission is to foster a collaborative environment in which expertise in cardiac issues is cultivated through the promotion of research, education and prevention.