Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

Congenital heart defects are those that are present at birth. One in 100 babies born in the United States each year has a heart defect of some kind. As these babies become adults, they often need continued care for conditions corrected early in life. Sometimes, symptoms of congenital heart disease (such as abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath, dizziness, or swelling) may not appear and need care until later in life.

Learn more about congenital heart disease.

One of few programs in nation for adult congenital heart disease

More and more, people born with congenital heart defects live long into adulthood. If you’re part of this growing population, it’s good to know the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (ACHD Program) offered by Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is one of the few in the nation and the largest program in the state. We are part of Herma Heart Center at Children's Hospital and work in conjunction with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin to offer the specialized expertise you need to live life to the fullest.

Video: Meet Dr. Bartz and learn about our program

Uniquely qualified specialists

Our team of experts includes Michael Earing, MD, Peter Bartz, MDScott Cohen, MD, and Salil Ginde, MD — four of the less than 40 cardiologists nationwide trained to care for adults with congenital heart disease. Drs. Earing, Bartz, Cohen, and Ginde also see patients at Froedtert & the Medical College. Their advanced training in both pediatric and adult cardiology makes them exceptionally qualified to provide complete care as patients transition from adolescence to adulthood. The team has been awarded highly competitive research grants and published nearly 50 Adult Congenital Heart Disease articles in the last decade.

Our ACHD Program is also home to the only board-certified congenital heart disease surgeons in Wisconsin. Our patient volumes continue to increase as our reputation for quality care expands nationally.

Convenient hours and ACHD clinics statewide

In addition to Milwaukee, our adult congenital heart disease specialists staff clinics in Fond du Lac, Green Bay, and Neenah. Patients can schedule initial assessments and follow-up care at these convenient locations. Evening appointments are available in some locations.

Care that spans the spectrum of needs

Many congenital heart disease conditions and genetic heart disorders can have serious cardiac and non-cardiac complications for adults, including:

  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Congenital valve defects
  • Dilated aorta
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
  • Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of the great arteries (vessels)

These and other congenital heart defects can impact physical activity, pregnancy, and other aspects of life as an adult.

Through our partnership with Froedtert & The Medical College, we offer all the inpatient and outpatient services adults with congestive heart defects may need. This includes:

Our Marfan Syndrome Program is the largest in the state and recognized nationally for its expert care for adults with this rare genetic heart disorder.