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

Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery

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Care at 11 Locations

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Appointments 1.800.543.7362 


The Heart Center at Lurie Children’s provides the highest quality care for patients with the most complex and serious heart conditions. As the region’s largest children’s heart center, we care for more patients with cardiac conditions than any other hospital in Illinois. We use the most comprehensive heart evaluations and treatments to deliver the highest quality care from admission, to discharge, to follow-up. We provide cardiac care to pregnant mothers, infants, children and young adults, and our services range from cardiac disease prevention to heart transplantation. Our experienced, multidisciplinary teams of pediatric specialists make it easier for patients to see every specialist they may need under one roof and often in the same visit. 

Lurie Children's experts have a wide range of experience, treating thousands of patients with heart complications annually.     

  • Each year, our cardiologists see more than 10,000 pediatric patients in outpatient diagnostic visits and more than 300 inpatients.
  • Lurie Children's is home to the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit, which was built to ensure the continuity of care from admit to discharge, and is staffed by a team of specialists that meet the unique needs of its patients.
  • Our interventional cardiologists perform more than 550 cardiac catheterization procedures, including implanting a pulmonary valve, which is a less invasive procedure than surgical valve replacement.
  • On average, our heart surgeons perform 450 heart surgeries each year, with one of the best survival rates for congenital heart surgery among the nation’s 40 largest and most advanced children’s hospitals — even for heart transplants.
  • Lurie Children's Heart Center is committed to training the leaders of tomorrow through a number of educational opportunities

Lurie Children’s is ranked 3rd in the nation for child cardiology and heart surgery by U.S.News & World Report, and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons rated Lurie Children’s as a 3-Star hospital, the highest rating level awarded, in their Fall 2017 Harvest Report of the STS Congenital Cardiac Surgery Database.

Follow the Heart Center on Facebook 

To stay up-to-date on the latest news, patient stories and health resources from our specialists, "like" the Lurie Children's Heart Center Facebook page.

Visit the Heart Center Page

Conditions We Treat

Our pediatric cardiologists evaluate and treat both congenital and acquired heart diseases. Learn more about the wide range of conditions we treat. 

View a list of conditions

Our Programs

Our Heart Center offers many specialized programs, from fetal cardiology to adult congenital heart disease. We are nationally and internationally renowned for the diagnosis and treatment of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmia) and for helping pioneer the treatment of pediatric congenital heart disease through procedures like the Fontan conversion.

Our team also participates in Lurie Children’s Care Connect, a pediatric-focused telemedicine program that leverages technology to improve pediatric subspecialist access for children with heart conditions.

View our programs

Our Specialists

Our pediatric heart team includes:

Tests & Evaluations

Our specialists use various heart tests and evaluation methods to diagnose and monitor children's heart conditions.

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Make an Appointment

If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®) or visit our Appointments page for more information. To cancel or reschedule and make return appointments, contact us at:

To protect your privacy, we discourage sending of personal health information via e-mail.


Our physician-scientists are pioneering new cures, preventions and treatments for complex cardiac conditions through clinical and translational research. The Center for Cardiovascular Innovation focuses on interventions to improve outcomes and quality of life for children with high-risk complex heart disease.

Our scientific discovery efforts are supported by the Heart Center Research Core, a multi-disciplinary team to support significant and innovative clinical, translational and basic research.

We’re also conducting ongoing studies that concern:

  • The underlying causes of heart failure
  • Using patients’ own cells to correct life threatening conditions
  • Novel therapies to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes and treat neurodevelopmental issues in congenital heart disease survivors
  • Transitional care from adolescence to adulthood for high-risk cardiovascular patients
  • Novel aortic valve and aorta imaging
  • Pioneering new therapies for patients with Marfan syndrome
  • Genetic origins of sudden cardiac arrest

Learn more about our research studies

Heart Center Fellowships

The Heart Center supports various opportunities for students and physicians to continue to expand their expertise and knowledge in pediatric cardiolog​y.

The Heart Center at a Glance

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

Lurie Children's is ranked 3rd in the nation for child cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

Chicago magazine's Top Cardiologists 2018

Dr. Carl Backer, Dr. Joseph Forbess, Dr. Peter Koenig, Dr. Elfriede Pahl, Dr. Dolores Vitullo and Dr. Thomas Weigel were all recently recognized as part of Chicago magazine's Top Cardiologists 2018 – a special edition of the publication's Top Doctor List.

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Cardiovascular-Thoracic Team Performs 300th Heart Transplant

The hospital's first heart transplant took place in 1988 and, throughout the past 30 years, Lurie Children's has performed more pediatric heart transplants than any other healthcare provider in Illinois. 

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Bradley S. Marino, MD, MPP, MSCE, named President of the American Heart Association Metro Chicago Board of Directors. 

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Performed more than 550 cardiac catheterization procedures

Our leadership has over 200 years of experience

Renowned Leader in Pediatric Heart Surgery and Research Joins Lurie Children’s

Joseph Forbess, MD, recently joined Lurie Children's as the Associate Division Head of Pediatric Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Director of the Single Ventricle Reconstruction Program.

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Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at or call 312.227.7500