The Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center Earns Accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA)

Monday, March 18, 2019 Heart Disease News
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Joint program between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine is the first Delaware Valley institution to have earned ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Accreditation

MEDIA, Pa., March 18, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In recognition of its expertise in serving adults with congenital heart

disease (CHD), the Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center has received accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), a nationwide organization based in Philadelphia that is focused on connecting patients, family members and healthcare providers to form a community of support and network of experts with knowledge of CHD. The Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center is a joint program between two premier institutions — Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Penn Medicine.

Individuals with CHD, the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. There are now 1.4 million adults in the U.S. living with one of the many different types of congenital heart defects that range among simple, moderate, and complex.

"Through the partnership between CHOP and Penn Medicine, the Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center is able to treat CHD patients throughout their entire lives, from before birth into adolescence and on to adulthood," said Yuli Kim, MD, medical director of the Center, an assistant professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Pediatrics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at CHOP. "We are deeply committed to providing and advancing the highest level of care for these patients and are thrilled to be among other distinguished centers across the country recognized by ACHA."

The Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center treats all types of congenital heart conditions in adults, including those complicated by heart rhythm problems, heart failure, pregnancy and pacemakers. Program doctors have unique expertise in both providing adult-centered care and ensuring a smooth transition in surveillance and treatment from child-focused care into adulthood. The transition to adult care is vital in congenital heart disease because patients' cardiac problems differ from those that other adults develop as they age.

"The intersection between congenital heart disease and aging must be handled carefully and with expertise," said Stephanie Fuller, MD, surgical director of the Center, an attending surgeon in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at CHOP, and an associate professor of Cardiac Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Adults are not just large children. Our collective expertise enables us to provide a comprehensive and unique approach to each patient."

The Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center received accreditation by meeting ACHA's criteria, which includes medical services and personnel requirements, and going through a rigorous accreditation process, both of which were developed over a number of years through a collaboration with doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients.

"There are now more adults than children in the U.S. with CHD," said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. "Accreditation will elevate the standard of care and have a positive impact on the futures of those living with this disease. Coordination of care is key, and this accreditation program will make care more streamlined for ACHD patients, improving their quality of life."

Twenty-six additional centers across the country have earned the ACHA ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center designation.

About the Adult Congenital Heart Association

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and extending the lives of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). ACHA serves and supports the more than 1.4 million adults with CHD, their families and the medical community—working with them to address the unmet needs of the long-term survivors of congenital heart defects through education, outreach, advocacy, and promotion of ACHD research. For more information about ACHA, contact (888) 921-ACHA or visit


The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program was partially funded by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. ACHA and Actelion Pharmaceuticals have partnered together since 2007 to support the CHD community.


SOURCE Adult Congenital Heart Association

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